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Ohio State men’s soccer team extends unbeaten streak to 5 in 2-1 victory at Michigan State

OSU sophomore forward Marcus McCrary (19) and Penn State redshirt freshman defender Dani Marks (18) fight for a ball during a game on Sept. 20 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU tied 1-1. Credit: Ed Momot

OSU sophomore forward Marcus McCrary (19) and Penn State redshirt freshman defender Dani Marks (18) fight for a ball during a game on Sept. 20 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU tied 1-1. Credit: Ed Momot

The Ohio State men’s soccer team defeated Michigan State on Sunday afternoon, giving the Buckeyes their first road win of the season.

OSU pulled even to 4-4-2 on the season and 1-1-1 in Big Ten play, while MSU fell to 5-4-1 overall and 1-1-1 in Big Ten conference action with the loss.

The Buckeyes came out of the gate with intensity as they prepared to take on a team looking for revenge after the Buckeyes beat the Spartans 3-2 a season ago.

MSU had the first shot of the game, but the ball went high above the goal in the third minute. The Buckeyes later earned a free kick in the sixth minute, but could not turn it into a point.

In the 14th minute, the Spartans earned the first corner kick of the game, but a header sailed high above the net.

Just one minute after MSU’s corner kick, OSU freshman midfielder Abdi Mohamed attempted to make a connection between the ball and the net, but MSU senior goalkeeper Zach Bennett saved his shot.

After a deflected ball from the left side of the net, OSU sophomore forward Marcus McCrary headed in a Scarlet and Gray goal in the 17th minute, giving the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. McCrary’s goal was his first of the year.

The Spartans tried to answer, taking back-to-back shots, but OSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer stopped both.

In the 33rd minute, Mohamed sailed a shot that went right over the bar.

With McCrary’s lone goal, OSU led MSU 1-0 heading into halftime.

“It’s always difficult to play on the road, so I think to have a 1-0 lead at this point in time is good for us, because it was a very evenly contested first half,” OSU coach John Bluem said in a halftime interview on Big Ten Network.

Bluem also said that heading into the second half, the Buckeyes had to address the one-on-one defending on the flanks and take away the midfield service of the Spartans.

Just three minutes into the second frame, the Spartans earned a free kick but knocked it right off the bar.

OSU junior forward Danny Jensen had a look at OSU’s second goal just one minute after MSU’s free kick, but his shot was missed from the far side.

Jensen appeared to not be bothered, though, because in the 57th minute he scored the Buckeyes’ second goal of the game after redshirt senior forward Kenny Cunningham’s shot was deflected from the left side of the net.

Jensen was at the right place at the right time to give OSU a 2-0 lead.

The Buckeye defense continued to hold strong until MSU started to find the gaps late in the game.

In the 84th minute, the Spartans nearly found the back of the net but a huge save by Froschauer prevented it.

Still trying finding a way to break through the Buckeyes’ defense, MSU senior defender Zach Carroll broke through with a pass to MSU freshman forward Ryan Sierakowski, who headed in a header to put the Spartans on the board.

However, with only one minute to go, the Buckeyes’ 2-1 lead enabled them to play conservatively and run out the clock, sealing their third straight victory, and fifth straight contest without a loss.

With the Scarlet and Gray victory, Froschauer improved to 4-4-2 of the season, making four saves in the winning effort.

OSU is next scheduled to return home to host Bowling Green at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

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