Bottom Row L-R: Jack Brooks, Sean Fitz Gerald, Daniel Branch, Andrew Chiou, Nick Guida, Chris Dowling. Middle Row L-R: Wyatt Goodin, Isaac Arefi, Joey Brooks, Sam Agranoff, Cole Heilman, Holland Clarke, Luke Petersen, Ryan Schoener, Liam Duncan. Top Row L-R: Jon Bowman, Anthony Seliskar, Ash Rajmohan, Sam Frohman, Jake Etnyre, Sam Polonia, Matt Stritar, Ryan Mark, Jared Gerlacher, Matiss Reineks, David McGrath, Luke Kisor, Rroni Thaci, Nathan Cotton, Brock Hersch.
OSUFC 2019 Regional Champions
OSUFC won it’s eighth Regional Championship in team history this past weekend in Westfield, Indiana. After an undefeated regular season, with an 8-2-0 record, the team won it’s third consecutive MASC-East Division title. With 84 national Power Points out of a possible 100, OSUFC came into Regionals as the #2 seed in the tournament only trailing by one power point to the #1 seed University of Cincinnati. The team was drawn into Group B with #7 Michigan State University, #10 University of Wisconsin La-Crosse, and #15 Grand Valley State University.
After beating GVSU at the 2018 Regional Tournament 2-0, the team entered the match with a little bit of knowledge on the opponents. OSUFC had most of the possession in the first half and took an early lead in the 8th minute off a long throw-in by senior Jared Gerlacher where sophomore Chris Dowling tapped in. With a 1-0 lead at the half, the Buckeyes were motivated to improve on their performance. The Buckeyes dominated adding four more goals in the second half to win the game 5-0. Entering the second match of the day, OSUFC played UW-La Crosse where the last meeting between these two teams ended in a 1-0 Buckeye victory back in the 2016 Regional Tournament. The Buckeyes put on a clinic scoring three goals in the 12th, 13th, and 14th minutes of the game. Adding a 4th goal in closing minutes of the first half, OSUFC took a commanding 4-0 lead. The Buckeyes added a 5th goal two minutes into the second half to take a 5-0 lead. After an unfortunate error the Buckeyes ended up conceding an own goal to make the game 5-1, but the team was able to hold on for the rest of the half for the 5-1 victory to finish at the top of their group. Michigan State came in 2nd in the group and moved onto the knockout stage as well.
In the knock out stage of the tournament OSUFC was drawn to play #8 Northwestern University who finished 2nd in their group behind the University of Cincinnati. After a dominant 2-0 victory by the buckeyes, Daniel Branch and a Northwestern own goal put OSUFC into the Regional Championship against the TTUN. The last time the Buckeyes faced TTUN was in the 2016 Regional Final where the Buckeyes bested TTUN in Golden Goal Overtime 2-1. TTUN finished 2nd in their group behind UW-Madison after group play and defeated Purdue University in their Semi-Final match up 1-0. TTUN had the better of the possession in the first ten minutes of the game and put the Buckeyes on their heels. However, a counter attack sparked by senior Daniel Branch led to a Chris Dowling goal that was assisted by Luke Kisor to give OSUFC a 1-0 lead early in the game. The Buckeye defense held its own in first half, defending five corners and blocking a slew of shots from the Wolverines. Due to a stout first half defensive performance the Buckeyes entered half-time with a 1-0 lead. The Buckeyes came into the second half fired up to improve on their first half performance. The Buckeyes defended all over the field to halt any attacks from the TTUN. There were many opportunities from both sides to add to the score sheet, however neither teams were able to execute due to phenomenal defending from both teams. In the closing moments of the game the Buckeyes conceded a corner kick where TTUN threw everyone forward. The Buckeyes were able to clear the corner kick, however the ball was dumped back into the Buckeye’s defensive half. After another clearance, sophomore Chris Dowling was able to steal the ball from a Wolverine defender which led to a counter attacking situation. Dowling played a through ball to Luke Kisor who was 1v1 with the goalkeeper. Kisor buried his shot to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead in the final seconds of the game. There was an explosion of cheers from the team and the crowd as the team ran and celebrated in the corner, with many shouts of “C U” echoing throughout the facility. With 9 points secured in the Championship game, OSUFC became the overall points leader and overall Champion of the MASC Region with 121 Power Points; edging out UW-Madison, who was the winner of the other side of Regional Bracket, by 4 points.
Dowling’s first half goal that gave the Buckeyes the lead and Kisor’s second half goal that sealed the game were one of many key moments that helped punch OSUFC’s ticket to Round Rock, Texas to compete in the NIRSA National Tournament. The Tournament will be held at Round Rock Sports Complex on November 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. OSUFC will be 1 of 24 men’s teams, and over 575 athletes competing for the chance to be crowned National Champions. The last time OSUFC competed at the National Tournament they took home 3rd place after beating Virginia Tech 3-1 in the Consolation game. The Ohio State Buckeyes will enter the competition with an overall undefeated record of 12-2-0, 59 goals for, 6 goals against, and 8 shutouts. Senior Daniel Branch is the leading scorer with 13 goals on the season, while Senior Isaac Arefi is the leading assister with 7 assists.
Details such as who the team will be drawn against, transportation, lodging, and game times will be announced as soon as they are known.