OSUFC began the 2019 season with high hopes and extremely motivated after a disheartening exit in the 2018 NIRSA National Championships Final Four after a 1-0 loss to the University of Florida. In 2018, OSUFC finished 16-1-2, MASC East Division Champions, MASC Regional Semi-Finalists, and capping off the season beating Virginia Tech 3-1 in the NIRSA National Tournament Consolation game. After a rememberable 2018 campaign the Buckeyes entered the season looking to replace seniors: Nevin Anandika, Stephen Burgin, Thomas Gullo, Adam Hirsch, Stefan Scheele, Niko Strickler, Jack Sullivan, and Nathan Zanzig.
The 2019 32 man squad consists of 21 returners and 11 newcomers. The coaching Staff consisted of Jon Bowman, Nathan Cotton and Brock Hersch; all of whom were former OSUFC players. The team consists of 10 seniors, 8 juniors, 8 sophomores, and 6 freshman. The executive board consists of Jared Gerlacher (President), Ryan Schoener (Vice-President), Isaac Arefi (Secretary and Media Director), Sam Polonia (Fundraising Chair), Sam Agranoff (Social Chair), Matiss Reineks (Treasurer), Daniel Branch and Anthony Seliskar (Risk Managers), and Jack Brooks and Matt Stritar (Equipment Chairs).
The Buckeyes finished the regular season undefeated for the second consecutive season with an 8-2-0 record, finishing with 84 NIRSA Power Points. The team’s 13-0 win vs. Youngstown State University marks the largest margin of victory during the season so far. That victory also ties the most goals scored in a game in the team’s recorded history. Senior, Daniel Branch scored a hat-trick in that game which broke the record for most goals scored over an OSUFC player career. The previous record was held by Thomas Gullo at 19 goals. A 3-0 win against Ohio University and a 1-1 tie against University of Cincinnati mark the most notable games from the season. Only conceding 5 goals in 10 games, goalkeepers Sam Frohman, Ryan Mark, and David McGrath combined for 5 shutouts. The Buckeyes are third in the entire region with the least amount of goals against only trailing Purdue University and the University of Michigan who gave up 2 and 4 goals respectively. With 45 goals scored, OSUFC scored more goals than any other team in the entire Region, followed by the University of Illinois who tallied 39 goals. The team’s top 3 leading goal scorers at this point in the season are Daniel Branch (9), Justin Kowalski (5), and Ashvin Rajmohan (4). 16 different players have scored a goal this season. The team’s top 3 leading assisters at this point in the season are Isaac Arefi (7), Cole Heilman (5), and Jared Gerlacher and Sam Polonia with 4 assists. 15 different players have assisted on the season so far.
The 8-2-0 finish was good enough to secure first place and win the MASC-East Division title, as well as being a #2 seed going into the MASC Regional Tournament. The MASC region consists of 5 divisions; allowing the top 3 teams from each division to qualify for regionals as well as one “wild card” bid. Advancing out of the MASC East division with OSUFC is University of Cincinnati, and Case Western Reserve University. The team was drawn into Group B with #7 Michigan State University, #10 Wisconsin La-Crosse University, and #15 Grand Valley State University. The tournament will take place in the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana from October 26th-27th. On October 26th, OSUFC will play Grand Valley State University at 8 am and then Wisconsin La-Crosse University at 4 pm. Depending on the results of those games, the team hopes to be competing on Championship Sunday to have the chance to win the team’s 8th Regional Championship. If OSUFC were to win Regionals this weekend, the club would travel to Round Rock, Texas to compete at the NIRSA National Championships where we would look to become National Champions again for the second time in club history.