Around The Oval

By Jeremy Birmingham on September 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm
Rivas Nets Game WinnerRivas flooded Binghamton

Ohio State operates the NCAA's second-largest athletic department. Eleven Warriors is committed to keeping you informed of what's happening with those sports that make Ohio State athletics more than just football and basketball. Around the Oval will be your weekly update on these teams.

Another week has passed, and another portion of Ohio State’s “other” sports schedule has gone by the wayside. This week, Around the Oval will take a look at how the OSU soccer programs, men's golf, woman’s volleyball and field hockey teams fared; as well as a sneak-peek at the upcoming tennis and cross-country seasons.


In the game of soccer, falling behind 1-0 is the equivalent of being down three scores in real football.  It’s not easy to come back from, no matter how well you play the rest of the way.

Unfortunately for Ohio State, now unranked after starting the season ranked 15th nationally, finding themselves in a one goal deficit has sort of become their calling card, at least that’s how it’s been early this season.

For the fifth straight game, the Buckeyes surrendered the first goal of the game, this time it was Sunday against Binghamton.

The Bearcats struck early, as Jake Keegan put BU 1-0 only after 5 minutes of play. Binghamton had multiple opportunities to gain a greater advantage, but the Buckeyes were able to hold off five different set pieces in the first half of play alone. The score would remain 1-0 until the 74th minute, when Buckeyes junior forward Chris Hegngi knotted the score with his second goal of the year.

Ten minutes later, Sebastian Rivas continued his scoring ways with his third goal of the year, putting the Bucks up for good, 2-1. Ohio State put a whopping 20 shots toward Binghamton netminder Anthony Sokalsi, who finished with 10 saves in a losing effort. Ohio State’s Matt Lampson, first team All-Big Ten a year ago, stood out for the Buckeyes with five saves of his own. Coach John Bluem recognizes that his team has some early game adjustments to make, but sees a bright side to the early season trend.

 "We put ourselves in a hole again; it's the fifth game we've gone behind 1-0, but they never stop playing soccer and pushing forward. "

After starting the season 0-2, the Buckeyes improve to 3-2 as they head to Conway, South Carolina for this weekend’s Coastal Carolina Invitational. 

The Buckeye women, fresh off their 3-0 loss to #1 North Carolina, had a full week to sort through the rubble and prepare for Sunday’s game against the Bobcats of Ohio University, in 9/11 match for state school bragging rights. Getting a reprieve from the national favorite did not mean this match-up was any easier for the #22 Buckeyes, but they fought through the inclement weather and the Bobcat defense for a 1-0 victory in double OT. The Bobcats struggled to get anything going possession wise, as Ohio State outshot Ohio 30-5, including 14 on goal, but Ohio’s Mattie Liston routinely stood on her head, stonewalling the Buckeyes for 109 minutes before Tiffany Cameron was finally able to break through with her second goal of the young season, securing the 1-0 win for Ohio State.  The Buckeyes, now 5-2 will host the Dayton Flyers, Wednesday, the 14th at 7:30pm.


No, that’s not my way of saying that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, take it easy Glorida Steinem. This past weekend saw the fearless Buckeye women volley-ballers head to the northwest quadrant of Ohio for the Toledo Rocket Classic. A three-match tourney that would pit the Buckeyes against Penn, Alabama, and the Toledo Rockets.

Can you dig it? I can dig it.

Penn was first up for the Buckeyes, and the Quakers were up to the task right off the jump, taking a quick 7-3 advantage on the Buckeyes. Ohio State would respond with six straight points to take a 9-7 lead. Back and forth the first set went before the Buckeyes could put it away 25-20.  Set two was another see-saw affair that had 10 ties and four lead changes, but ended on a Buckeye error, giving the Quakers a 25-23 set. It didn’t take long for the Buckeyes to reestablish their control of the match in set three, busting out to a 17-7 lead on the way to a 25-13 set win.

In set four, the two teams went back to trading points, and sat locked up 20-20.  After an ace from Sarah Mignin and consecutive kills from Marie Hole and Emily Danks, the Buckeyes finished out the Quakers, 25-21, winning the match 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21). Danks continued her hot play, with a career-high 25.5 points and 19 kills, and also led the match with six aces.

After dispatching the Quakers, the Buckeyes turned their collective attention to the Crimson Tide of Alabama. The Tide came out rolling (get it?), hitting at .375 for the first set compared to .176 for the Buckeyes, on their way to a 25-18 win.

Ohio State, led by Marie Hole and Emily Danks (again) fought back and won the second set 25-23 after holding a 24-20 lead.  The third set saw more of the changing tide (get it?), with 11 ties and three lead changes. ‘Bama held what looked to be a definitive 24-19 lead before the Buckeyes went once again to their ace in the “Hole” (these puns basically write themselves).  After kills from Erin Sekinger and Hole, an Alabama error and another timely ace from Sarah Mignin, the Buckeyes had stopped four consecutive set points. 

Tied at 24-24, Hole, the transfer from UCLA; gave the Buckeyes an unlikely set victory, 26-24. Now leading the match 2-1, the Buckeyes turned up the heat and destroyed the Tide in the fourth set faster than you can kill a centuries old tree, 25-16 to take the match 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-16).

With the Rocket Classic championship now in their grasp, the Buckeyes faced the host Rockets.  Toledo (4-4) looked to upset the Buckeyes and claim a home-court victory. The first set was a classic, 16 different ties and 7 lead changes, the last of which saw the Rockets taking a 24-23 lead on their way to a first set victory. As they did against Alabama, the Buckeyes bounced back with wins in the second and third sets, 25-21 and 25-20 respectively. Toledo held a 22-17 lead before Danks once again led the Buckeyes back, and the set was knotted up in 25 all tie.

One more time, the Buckeyes went on the offensive, and Erin Sekinger finished out the Rockets with consecutive kills, giving  the Buckeyes the match 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-20, 27-25); and the Rocket Classic win.  Marie Hole was named MVP of the weekend and Emily Danks and Sarah Mignin joined Hole on the All-Tournament team.

After a rough go of it last weekend in Hawaii, which saw the #25 Buckeyes take three on the chin, a return to the mainland and beautiful Toledo, Ohio was just what the doctor ordered for the lady Buckeyes.  They will be back in action this weekend, in Columbus, where they will face Albany, Akron and Maryland in the Sports Imports Classic. 


The Buckeyes field hockey team, ranked #6 in the preseason polls continued their rankings free fall this past weekend after two losses at home.  Now unranked, Ohio State (2-5) hosted #5 Syracuse and #2 Old Dominion in the 2011 Buckeye Classic.

The Buckeyes battled Syracuse the whole way, and found themselves in a scoreless tie after 60 minutes of play, but the relentless pressure of the Orange finally got the best of the Buckeye defense, as Kelsey Millman found an opening behind Buckeye goalie Ally Tunitis to break open the scoring.  Shortly thereafter Syracuse added some insurance, and the Buckeyes were unable to get on the board.  

Game two of the Buckeye classic followed a familiar refrain for Ohio State, only difference being that the Lady Monarch's got their goals early instead of late, notching two first half goals before settling in and playing prevent defense in the second half en route to their own 2-0 victory over the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes are now working on a 145 minute scoreless streak.

Sophomore Rola leads the highly ranked Buckeyes tennis team

Need some love?  Tennis season is right around the corner, as the Buckeyes men and women will serve up their first helpings of competition in the upcoming weeks.  The men, led by 8 different players ranked in the 2011 Campbell's/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I Preseason, should be particularly strong this season.  Slovenia native and sophomore Blaz Rola begins the year as the second ranked singles player in the country.  Senior Chase Buchanan, a two-time reigning "Big Ten Athlete of the Year" from Gahanna High School, ranks fifth. Overall, the Buckeyes boast six individually ranked singles players, the most of any team in the nation. The future looks bright for the Buckeyes as well, with Chris Diaz, a ntionally ranked amateur, set to join the ranks next year.

Prefer little white balls over larger, neon green ones? We have that covered here in AtO, too.  Another Buckeye sports team that started its fall slate this week the duffers sit tied for third in the Marshall Invitational in Huntington, WV heading into today's final round  Three individual Buckeyes aslo found themselves on the leaderboard at 3-under 139, good for 11th in the tournament. 

Lastly, if running for no apparent reason is more your speed, then look no further than the Ohio State cross-country teams, who also begin their seasons this week.  The squads travel to North Carolina for season-openers this week and we will have updates on their performances next week.

In men's gymnastics, Ohio State gold-medalist and assistant coach Paul Hamm, who began his coaching career in June was let go following his arrest on assault charges last week.  

That will wrap up this week's Around the Oval.  See you next week, Buckeye fans.


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