Eric Beiersdorfer / Lantern photographer
Not to be outdone by their football counterparts, the Ohio State men’s soccer team defeated conference foe Wisconsin on the road Sunday afternoon on the legs of the Hegngi brothers, albeit in less thrilling fashion.
The Buckeyes knocked off the Badgers 2-0 to improve their conference record to 4-1 and take the driver’s seat in the Big Ten title race.
Head coach John Bluem praised his defense after the game saying he knew it would be a tough task winning on the road.
“We just had a really good game,” Bluem said. “The guys were really determined; they played well and followed the plan very well.”
Ohio State got on the board early when senior forward Parnell Hegngi was fouled in the box by Wisconsin freshman defender A.J. Cochran, giving OSU a penalty kick.
Parnell Hegngi’s brother Chris Hegngi took the penalty kick and got it past sophomore goalkeeper Max Jentsch to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute of the contest. It was Chris Hegngi’s third goal on three penalty kick attempts this season.
Chris Hegngi’s goal was his ninth on the season, which leads the Big Ten.
In the second half, Parnell Hegngi took a free kick from just outside the box and curled it around the Wisconsin defensive wall and into the upper right corner of the goal to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead. It was Parnell Hegngi’s third goal of the season and first since the Buckeyes’ Sept. 4 win over Stetson.
“Parnell Hegngi was a big part of the reason we won today,” Bluem said. “He was the guy who drew the penalty kick and in the second half Parnell scores a goal off of a free kick. He had a very good game.”
The Buckeyes were out-shot 20-13 in the contest but junior goalkeeper Matt Lampson tallied seven saves and notched his fifth shutout of the season. He is now in second place all-time with 24 career saves, three saves away from tying Casey Latchem’s career record for OSU.
With Northwestern playing No. 10 Indiana to a 2-2 tie Sunday, the Buckeyes (10-5-2) take sole control over the Big Ten lead. They will play Indiana (10-3-4) for the regular season conference title Saturday.
“If we win against Indiana, that would make us the conference champions, no matter what other scenario,” Bluem said. “We control our own destiny.”
The game will kick off from Bloomington, Ind., at 1 p.m.