The Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-0) opened the 2017 season with a thrilling victory on a game-winning goal in the 90th minute by forward Michael Prosuk as the Buckeyes defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers (0-1) Friday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in their opening game of the 12th annual Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic.
This was the first glimpse of what might be to come from Prosuk, who appeared in his first game with the Scarlet and Gray after transferring from St. John’s University. Coach John Bluem was not surprised.
“Nothing surprises me about Mike Prosuk,” Bluem said. “He’s a very interesting kid.”
Prosuk was visibly excited about the game-winning goal, ripping his jersey off as he ran into the corner as he celebrated with the rest of his teammates. Prosuk received a yellow card after not being able to locate where he had flung his jersey.
Prosuk and the coaching staff might have been the only ones at the stadium who anticipated Prosuk’s heroics.
“Before I went in, (associate head coach Ian Gordona) told me, ‘Just keep going, don’t put your head down; you’re gonna get your chance,’” Prosuk said.
Prosuk subbed in at the 72nd minute mark, and shortly thereafter had a breakaway chance at the goal in the 79th minute that ended with him lying on his face without finding the back of the net.
Eleven minutes later, Prosuk found another opportunity on a cross from forward Marcus McCrary, where he scored the game-winning goal that electrified the home crowd.
Goalkeeper Parker Siegfried played a large role in keeping the Buckeyes in the game.
The goalie picked up five saves on the night, diving to block shots on multiple occasions. It was the kind of start the keeper from Granville, Ohio, was looking for to build off his 2016 campaign when he earned All-Big Ten Rookie Team honors.
Siegfried said he felt more confident and comfortable in goal than ever before.
“When I started tonight from the warmup on, I just felt like I wasn’t going to get scored on,” Siegfried said.
Siegfried’s premonition came to fruition as he notched his fourth career shutout.
The players and crowd were ecstatic in the aftermath of the Buckeyes’ opening victory, but Bluem wanted to make sure his team stays grounded.
“You got to just take them one game at a time,” Bluem said. “Don’t get too high, don’t get too low.”