Around the Oval

By Jeremy Birmingham on September 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm
Edwards led OSU to the win

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.

This may have been a weekend to forget for a number of Buckeye fans, but as we have learned in the last few weeks here Around the Oval, there is more to Ohio State sports than just the guys on the gridiron.  Despite the football team's failure in South Beach this weekend, the rest of Buckeye nation still suited up and took to their respective fields of play this past week, and did so with mixed results.

In this week's version of AtO, we will start in beautiful Boone, North Carolina. 



As we mentioned last week, the Buckeyes cross country teams traveled to North Carolina for their season-opening meets this past weekend, and it was quite a weekend for the men, who started off 2011 with a dominant performance, outpacing runner-up Appalachian State by 43 points en route to the meet win.

Ohio State's Jake Edwards and Donny Roys paced the Buckeyes by finishing first and second in the 6.4k (four mile) run at 19:28.1 and 19:35.3, freshman Michael Brajdic (19:38.2) and RS senior Taylor Williams (19:44.1), placed fourth and fifth, picking up points for the Buckeyes as well.  Overall, six Buckeye runners placed in the top ten of the event. Off this week, Ohio State will travel to South Bend, Indiana for the Notre Dame Invitational on September 30th.

Soc(cer) it to me

The Buckeye soccer teams have been wonderfully inconsistent through the first three weeks of the season, and the 25th ranked ladies and 24th ranked men's teams continued that trend this past week, posting a combined 1-2-1 mark.

The girls started their week by hosting 24th ranked Dayton in a cool Columbus Wednesday afternoon slate.  The Buckeyes and their in-state rivals played a fierce first half of soccer, which saw the Buckeyes unable to take advantage of some great opportunities, with Medina native and senior Paige Maxwell just missing on two headers in the 21st and 32nd minutes. Four minutes after the last Buckeye flurry, Dayton found the back of the net as Katrin Loo made good on her own header, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead that would hold into the half. Despite Maxwell's best efforts, the Buckeyes found themselves without a shot on goal in the first 45 minutes of play.

Second half action was a bit more tepid, but saw much of the same for Ohio State, again plagued by missed opportunities. The Buckeyes put 8 shots towards the net in the second half, including six on goal, but Dayton's Katherine Boone stood tall and got help when she needed it, stonewalling the Buckeyes and walking away with a 1-0 win in the battle of top 25 teams.  Dayton improved to 7-1 on the season after the victory, and the Buckeyes fell to 5-3.

Coming off the disappointing loss to Dayton, the Buckeyes traveled to Minneapolis for the B1G conference opener against the Golden Gophers, looking to get back on the winning track. On a cold and rainy (it is Minnesota in September, afterall) afternoon, the Buckeyes saw themselves once again playing from behind

Maxwell was excellent in defeat against Dayton

early, as Minnesota's Shari Eckstrom scored from 25 feet out at 31:56.  The Buckeyes struggled to get much going on the attack in the first half, and found themselves down 1-0 at intermission, being outshot by the Gophers 6-3. As the second half begun, the Buckeyes increased their offensive pressure, culimating in a Danica Wu equalizer at 52:05. Wu's 23 foot goal was her second of the season. Neither side was able to get anything else on the board in regulation, and the conference opener for both teams headed to overtime, tied 1-1.

As regulation ended, so overtime began, with the Buckeyes and Gophers playing even and the scoreboard reflecting that.  In OT, Ohio State got off two shots to the Gophers one, but it was Buckeye goalie Katie Baumgardner who had to make the only save in the extra period.  After one overtime period, the score was still knotted up at a single goal apiece.  After another OT period, the game would finish in a 1-1 draw. Minnesota (3-5-1) outshot the Buckeyes (5-3-1) 14-13, but each side had four saves.  The ladies will continue their Big Ten schedule this weekend, hosting Northwestern Friday night, and Illinois Sunday afternoon.

The Buckeye men's soccer team traveled to Conway, South Carolina to participate in the Coastal Carolina Invitational for a weekend getaway, beginning with a rendezvous with the Hartwick College Hawks.  Coming into the game with Hartwick, the Buckeyes boasted a 3-1-1 record, but had gotten off to inauspicious starts in every game, surrendering the first goal in each of the seasons first five games.

The Buckeyes quickly ended that trend against Hartwick. Junior midfielder Austin McAnena scored his first goal of the season just 5:57 seconds into the match and he was quickly joined in the scoring column by Chris Hegngi, his third on the season, a mere minute and a half later and the perpetually trailing Buckeyes held an almost insurmountable 2 goal load less than eight minutes in. The hectic pace slowed just as quickly, and those two goals would hold going into the half, as the Buckeyes entered the break up 2-0. An uptick in offensive pressure from both sides led to a few second half scoring opportunities, but Buckeye goaltender Matt Lampson stayed stout, successfully making four saves, and Chris Hegngi added an insurance goal for the Buckeyes in the 66th minute to round out the scoring at 3-0 for Ohio State shutout victory.  By adding his fourth goal on the season and second in the game, Hegngi became the first Buckeye to tally two goals in live-game action since....Chris Hegngi, who accomplished the feat almost exactly two years ago, putting two on the board against Butler on September 16th, 2009.

In stark contrast to the offensively limited Hawks stood the host Chanticleers,Ohio State's second opponent in the CCU Invitational, who entered Sunday's contest as the nation's second highest scoring team. The Buckeyes were flat from the outset, allowing Coastal Carolina to set the pace offensively, and they did so to the tune of seven first half shots to the Buckeyes Buckeyes three. CCU's Austin Bennett scored once in the 32nd minute, and once more in the 64th, and that was all the scoring the 407 in attendance would see, as the 24th ranked Buckeyes (4-2-1) fell to the Chanticleers 2-0. Hegngi, Lampson and sophomore Omar Vallejo were named to the All-Tourney team for their efforts in South Carolina.

The Buckeyes will have to right the defensive ship quickly. They begin a nine-day stretch that sees three games, including contests against the third ranked Louisville Cardinals, and the fourth ranked Akron Zips, with the Big Ten opener against rival Michigan sandwiched in between. 

volleyball continues net-setting ways

Ohio State's 25th ranked women's volleyball team was back in Columbus, fresh off their Toledo Rocket Classic championship, where they would be the host for the Ohio State Sports Imports Classic. The Buckeyes would see Albany, Akron and Maryland in a weekend tournament that serve as the final tune-up before the start of conference play for the Buckeyes.

Barhorst kills Akron

Albany (3-8) was not likely to upset the Buckeyes, but that certainly didn't stop them from giving Ohio State a better than expected match. Mari Hole got the Buckeyes off to a 3-0 early lead, but the Great Danes (one of my favorite nicknames in the NCAA, for sure) kept fighting, leveling the score at 17 before Emily Danks, Hole and Sarah Mignin put the Buckeyes on their backs as they have for the majority of the early season for Ohio State, pushing the Buckeyes to a 25-21 set win.

The second set opened with the Buckeyes continuing to rely on the emerging "big three" of Hole, Danks and Mignin, busting out to a 17-10 lead on their way to a breezy 25-16. Albany came out blazing in the third set, taking a 5-1 lead in their last ditch effort before the Buckeyes turned the tide, regaining a four point advantage at 18-14. Ohio State looked to put the match away, but Albany didn't give up, fighting back to take an eventual 27-25 win. The Buckeyes and Great Danes stayed at it in the fourth set, but ultimately Hole and Danks were too much. A kill by Danks gave the Buckeyes the match 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 25-27, 27-25). Hole, with 27 match points, led the Buckeyes to the win.

Match two for Ohio State brought the Zips from Akron, who were out-classed from the start as the Buckeyes rolled in straight sets, 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-17). Senior Kelli Barhorst led the Buckeyes in the match with 16.5 points.

The fightin' turtles of Maryland would get the next shot at stopping the Buckeyes from adding a third tournament win to their early season resume on Saturday night. Once more, Ohio State relied heavily on the transfer from UCLA, Mari Hole, to dominate the Terrapins in a 3-1 (25-18, 25-16, 25-27, 25-18) win. Hole was named the tournament MVP, and Sarah Mignin was named the most valuable defensive player. Mignin was also named Big Ten co-defensive player of the week, and freshman Taylor Sherwin was named Freshman of the Week in the conference.

Now 10-3, Ohio State will open conference play this week on the road at Iowa and at #10 Nebraska.

BUckeye bits

The 20th ranked Buckeye men's golf team, fresh off their season-opening comeback win at the Marshall Invitational a week ago traveled to Illinois to play in the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. The 15 team field that took their hacks on the grounds of the historic country club featured some of the nation's best teams, including the 2nd ranked Oklahoma State Sooners, the 3rd ranked Crimson Tide, 5th ranked Texas, 7th ranked Florida, 9th ranked Auburn and 12th ranked Stanford, among others in the top 25.  The field was tough, the course was tougher - and Ohio State finished 10th.  Freshman Boo Timko finished 72-75-73, +10 for the tournament, and was the highest placing Buckeye individual, ending up 25th. Ohio State will head to Toledo and Inverness Country Club for the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational starting September 26th.

Nora Murer scored twice

The women of the Ohio State tennis program started their season with 11 singles wins and four doubles victories in the Muirfield Collegiate Tennis Invitational.

Ohio State's field hockey team got back on the winning track with a 4-1 victory at Kent StateNora Murer scored the first two goals of her career to lead the Buckeyes, who outshot the Golden Flashes 21-12 for the game, and 14-4 in a decisive first half.

"We were aggressive and composed on both sides," head coach Anne Wilkinson said. "Our corner execution was strong today and we were able to put our chances away."

The Buckeyes, now 4-5 on the year after starting the season ranked in the top ten nationally, look to conference play to change the direction of their season, opening up Big Ten play with Michigan this Friday.  The game will be aired on tape delay Sunday, September 25th at noon on the BTN.

Former Buckeye golfers Rosie Jones and Meg Mallon are set to captain the US Solheim Cup teams in Ireland starting today in Country Meath.  Mallon, who has participated in eight Solheim Cups, will lead the junior team, comprised of the best 12-18 year olds in the country against the best Europe has to offer. Jones, the first female golfer inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame, will lead the United States professional team.

That will do it for this week, folks.  Thanks for reading Around the Oval.

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