The Columbus Crew beat Ohio State men’s soccer team 4-0 in the ninth annual Connor Senn Memorial Game Tuesday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The game is held each year in honor of Connor Senn, a former Buckeye soccer player who collapsed during a game and passed away later that night due to a congenital heart defect. The team has since adopted the motto “Play like Connor today.”
All ticket sales and auction profits benefitted the Connor Senn Memorial Fund, which is expected to surpass $170,000.
OSU took only five shots-on-goal during the game, two from sophomore forward Joshua Breto and three from junior forward Konrad Warzycha, the son of Crew coach Robert Warzycha.
Warzycha said playing against his father’s team doesn’t faze him, he plays just like he would in any other game.
“It’s always a little rivalry in the family,” he said. “We’ll talk about it a couple weeks before, make some jokes, but it’s always fun, a good time.”
Robert agreed with Konrad and said he enjoyed playing OSU and that the Crew looks forward to the game each year.
The teams traded possessions for the first 15 minutes of the game, giving the impression of an almost equal match-up.
Jason Garey shattered this notion with the first Crew goal nearing minute 16. With an assist from teammate Emilio Renteria, Garey launched the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, putting the Crew ahead, 1-0.
Garey kept the Crew’s momentum going with his second goal of the night in the 30th minute. Only a minute later, Sergio Herrera found the net with another assist from Renteria.
The Buckeyes got back in the game and played well for the remainder of the first half, swapping possessions with the Crew much like the early minutes of the game.
Breto had a close shot-on-goal nearing the 45th minute mark, but goalkeeper Kevin Schoeni made the save and the Buckeyes ended the half without scoring.
OSU started the second half with a revamped attitude coming out of the locker room. Warzycha had an early score attempt and the Buckeyes kept possession for most of the first 25 minutes back on the field, making obvious their determination.
The Crew pulled further ahead with another goal from Garey nearing the 74th minute, assisted again by Renteria.
Garey, who scored three of the four Crew goals, said he enjoyed playing in the game and was glad no one got hurt.
“It’s a good opportunity to come out here, play a little bit for the fans and give the Ohio State team a chance to measure themselves a little bit against us,” Garey said. “But like you saw, there weren’t very many bad tackles or anything like that so it was pretty good on both sides.”
OSU coach John Bluem said that though he was disappointed with his team’s performance, it helped expose some of their weaknesses and they can learn from the game.
Regardless of score, both teams played in honor of Connor Senn, which is a victory in itself, Bluem said.
“It’s hard to believe it’s the ninth annual game already, and it’s grown so much,” Bluem said. “It’s become a meaningful event in the soccer community here in Columbus. We appreciate what the Columbus Crew do so much to make this game happen, and it’s kind of an emotional moment for a lot of us that knew Connor, but at the same time it’s a very nice feeling to see this sort of effort to keep the memory alive.”