COLUMBUS, Ohio – Austin McAnena's goal in the 27th minute of the match proved to be the winner, as host Ohio State University posted a 2-0 victory over the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team Wednesday night (Oct. 10). The non-conference match was held at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
With the victory, the Buckeyes improve to 5-7-1 on the season. The Falcons drop to 4-6-2.
Alec Lowell's goal with just under 80 minutes gone gave the hosts some insurance. Chris Hegngi had an assist on both OSU goals.
Alex Wimmer was credited with four saves in goal for the Buckeyes. For the Falcons, junior Michael Wiest made five saves, several of the spectacular variety.
Neither team had a shot attempt for nearly 27 minutes of the match, until McAnena's goal. The play came after Hegngi blooped a ball into the center of the box from the left side of the 18-yard area. McAnena was able to volley the ball home with a one-time effort, giving the hosts the lead for good.
McAnena had a chance to double his team's lead just two minutes later, but Wiest made a point-blank save as McAnena fired a shot from the right side of the six-yard box.
BGSU had had several chances earlier in the match, but the Falcons' first shot attempt came with roughly 36 minutes gone, as an effort by sophomore Danny Baraldi was blocked by a Buckeye defender at the top of the box.
Just over a minute later, Baraldi played a free kick into the box. Wimmer went up for the ball, but dropped it as BG junior Ryan Comiskey vied for possession as well. Wimmer was able to grab the ball on a bounce.
With three minutes left before the intermission, the Falcons won a corner kick. Baraldi's kick found the head of freshman Jake Genrich on the far side of the goal. Genrich headed the ball back toward the goalmouth, but Wimmer made the save.
Late in the half, the hosts had a scoring chance as a short cross was played into the box from the right side, but a shot by Sebastian Rivas was deflected by a BG backliner and corralled by Wiest.
Early in the second period, the BG 'keeper made an acrobatic save, leaping to tip Hegngi's header over the crossbar. The Falcons were able to clear the ensuing corner kick out of the defensive zone.
With 26 minutes left in the match, senior Zach Lemke hit a shot that forced Wimmer to make a diving stop. Five minutes later, senior Chris McLean's pass put junior Anthony Grant through on the left side, and Grant was able to win a corner kick, but the OSU defense held.
Just under 20 minutes remained when Wiest made another nifty save, diving to his right to deny another close-range effort by Hegngi. Two minutes later, at the other end of the pitch, Lemke got his head on a long free kick by junior Sean Sikich. But, Lemke's shot was grabbed out of the air by Wimmer.
Thirteen minutes remained when junior Marco Ilao eluded several defenders on the right side of the field, and played the ball to Grant, who was stationed near the right post. Grant fired a shot from a sharp angle, and the ball sailed just wide on the far side of the net.
With 10:08 on the clock, however, Hegngi's cross-field pass found Lowell, who fired a shot from distance that found the net and gave the hosts a 2-0 lead. As was the case on the opening goal, Hegngi drew the lone assist.
The Buckeyes' Yianni Sarris looked to make it a three-goal lead with under eight minutes left, firing a shot that was headed toward the upper-right-hand corner of the frame. But, Wiest went high in the air to make the save.
The Falcons pressed forward in an effort to cut into the deficit. With less than six minutes on the clock, Grant took a Baraldi pass and fired an absolute rocket from the right side of the box. But, Wimmer made the save -- perhaps in self defense -- and a follow try by Comiskey was off the mark.
Lemke made several moves to elude OSU would-be defenders as the clocked ticked toward the three-minute mark. The fifth-year senior hit a shot that was blocked in the box and caromed high into the air. Wimmer went up for the ball and, with a Falcon striker poised on the doorstep, initially bobbled it. But, the Buckeye 'keeper eventually made the grab to thwart what proved to be BG's last scoring chance.
For the match, the Buckeyes had an 11-7 advantage in total shot attempts, and OSU put seven shots on goal to the Falcons' four. Hegngi led all players with three total shots, while Lemke and Grant each were credited with two shot attempts for the Brown and Orange.
The Falcons will return to action on Saturday night (Oct. 13), hosting the University at Buffalo in Mid-American Conference play at Cochrane Field. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.