In a game that meant less to the standings and more to its pride on senior day, the Ohio State men’s soccer team (10-5-2, 4-2-0) took down the Big Ten champion Indiana Hoosiers (9-6-2, 4-1-1) 1-0 Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“It’s a very emotional day,” senior Sam Scales said after taking the pitch at home for the last time. “For Konrad (Warzycha), Matt (Gold) and I, it’s a dream come true. It really is bitter-sweet, to be honest.”
Warzycha, Gold and Scales have been one of the most successful classes in history, amassing 48 wins during their tenure — good for third most of any four-year class at OSU.
Austin McAnena scored the game’s lone goal when an Indiana defender misdirected his shot from seven yards out. If the shot went untouched, it likely would have gone right to goalkeeper Luis Soffner.
“To be honest, we haven’t had a lot of breaks this year,” coach John Bluem said. “So to catch a deflection like that and see the way it spun into the net playing against the wind was great.”
OSU fended off a strong second-half effort from the conference champions that was highlighted by Matt Lampson’s goalkeeping and timely defense.
“They have one of the top goal scorers in the conference, and we held them,” McAnena said. “Props to our center backs and Lampson for some great saves.”
Indiana’s Will Bruin has scored 15 goals this season and was mentioned by Bluem as one of the better “brute force” players in the country. Sunday’s loss to the Buckeyes was the first conference game the Hoosiers have lost this season.
The Hoosiers came into Sunday’s match leading the all-time series 45-5-2 against the Buckeyes. With the win, OSU has won three straight over IU dating back to last year, when the Buckeyes took both games the teams played.
“Their tradition in this conference is not matched by any of us. We’ve been battling for a long time now to try to be on an even par with them and gain some notoriety for ourselves,” Bluem said.
This season marks the first time since 1974 that OSU has gone unbeaten at home with a 7-0-1 record at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
OSU earned the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will play No. 7 Wisconsin on Thursday.