After two rough games last week, the Ohio State men’s soccer team rebounded well, getting a tough win against Oakland last Wednesday and a 2-0 win Friday night against Cleveland State.
“We stumbled a little last week, but to respond from the two bad games and to get back on the right track was very good,” coach John Bluem said. “I am proud of the guys. It was a good team effort in both of our wins this week, so I am very happy right now for the team.”
Under cloudy and rainy conditions at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, the Buckeyes struck early, two minutes into the game.
After a great pass from Buckeye forward Chris Hegngi, who crossed the ball to Austin McAnena, McAnena got the ball and drilled it into the upper-right corner of the goal to give OSU a 1-0 advantage.
“That was all Chris,” midfielder Austin McAnena said. “I was just on the back end of that. It was a great pass right on the money. I give the credit to Chris and the rest of the team.”
Midfielder Matt Gold was the player who initially started the play with an outlet pass to Hegngi. For the freshman McAnena, it was his third goal of the season.
“They’ve done that a couple of times this year,” Bluem said. “Those two freshmen are really good players, and they play more like upperclassmen.”
OSU added another quick goal in the 19th minute of play when senior co-captain Doug Verhoff scored his fourth goal of the season.
Verhoff launched a free kick from 25 yards out that bent around and went into the goal, which gave OSU its 2-0 score.
From start to finish, the Buckeyes dominated, playing much more aggressively and very physically. Cleveland State displayed a sense of frustration, with five yellowcards by the end of the game.
For goalie Matt Lampson, it was his fifth shutout of the season. The redshirt freshman had five saves on the day and he improved his record to 5-1-2 on the year.
Last Wednesday saw the Buckeyes matched up against Oakland, a rematch of last year’s second-round tournament game. OSU defeated Oakland 1-0 after sophomore Joshua Breto scored the game’s only goal.
The Buckeyes will remain at home when they return to action Wednesday against the University of Illinois-Chicago. Game time for the non-conference matchup is 7 p.m.