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OSU junior forward Danny Jensen (9) during a game against Cleveland State on Oct. 21 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won 1-0. Credit: Christopher Slack / Lantern PhotographerThe ninth-seeded Ohio State men’s soccer team’s season came to an end on Sunday after a 3-1 loss against No. 8 Stanford in the third round of the NCAA tournament. After a shaky start to the 2015 season, the Buckeyes got hot, building an eight-game win streak en route to an overall record of 13-7-3. The 13 victories are the second-most in program history. With the win, the Cardinal improved to 16-2-2 overall and advanced to the quarterfinals.Freshman midfielder Abdi Mohammed scored the Buckeyes only goal of the game in the second half, leveling the match at 1-1. However, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and junior forward Jordan Morris  netted two second-half goals to solidify the win for Stanford. Stanford came out of the gates pressuring the Buckeyes, but the Scarlet and Gray held strong in the first half, preventing the Cardinal from scoring.Morris, who is also a member of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team, had the first good look of the half in the 17th minute, but his shot went off the side of the net.OSU junior forward Danny Jensen had a clean look for the Buckeyes in the 23rd minute, but his strike missed to the left. Despite a scoreless first half, the Cardinal were clearly the aggressor in the game, giving coach John Bluem’s squad reason to be concerned for the second half. In the 48th minute, OSU junior defender and co-captain Tyler Kidwell made an unbelievable play — a goal-saving clearance in front of the net — to keep the Cardinal off the board.However, Kidwell’s save was not enough for the Buckeyes, because just five minutes later, Stanford scored its first goal of the game.Morris received the through ball and poked it in front of the net.Although the Scarlet and Gray were down a point, they managed to remain calm and make a comeback.In the 62nd minute, Mohammed tied the game with a header assisted by junior defender Austin Bergstrom.Back-and-forth play ensued for roughly the next 15 minutes before Morris put his team back on top with another goal in the 78th minute.With only 10 minutes left to play, the Buckeyes needed to score in order to stay in the game. Jensen attempted a header, but his shot was saved.Stanford’s Corey Baird put the nail in the season’s coffin in the 88th minute when he scored off a turnover by the Scarlet and Gray. Overall, shots were 19-11 in favor of Stanford, while the Cardinal also held a 5-1 lead in corners.Despite the loss, OSU overcame a rough start to its 2015 season, earning the Big Ten regular season title and advancing to the Sweet 16 for just the fourth time in program history.Regardless of the end result, it was a successful season for Bluem’s squad. read more

Despite recent struggles on the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods’ play on the par-5 holes at the 2012 Memorial Tournament has him in contention after one round. Woods carded a 2-under-par 70 during the first round of the 2012 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Woods walked off the 18th green one stroke off the lead, though he has sense fallen into a tie for 11th place as American Scott Stallings jumped to the top of the leader board after posting a 6-under-par 66 first round score. The 2-under-par score comes after what some consider underachievement in the three tournaments leading up to the Memorial Tournament. After finishing tied for 40th (-5-strokes) at The Masters, missing the cut for the Wells Fargo Championship and tying for 40th (-1) at The Players Championship, Woods said he feels like he’s “perking up” after one round of play in Dublin. “Well, I think I was just consistent all day,” Woods said. “I didn’t do … anything great and I didn’t do anything poorly. I was just very consistent. And I think with the way the golf course being the way it’s set up, you just have to be that way.” In order to finish his round 2-under-par, Woods took advantage of nearly every opportunity he had on Muirfield’s four par-5 holes, birdying three times while also posting a par. After paring holes 1-4, Woods tracked into negative territory when he birdied the 527-yard fifth hole. Two holes later, he birdied the 563-yard seventh. Woods saved par on the 11th, but said he wasn’t satisfied with that result. “The one on 11 should have been a birdie, as well,” Woods said. “I hit two really nice shots in there.” Woods bounced back and went to 4-under-par for the round when he birdied the 15th hole. The lone blemish on Woods’ round was a double-bogey on 18. After Woods finished his round, he said his play on the par-5 holes was productive for a change. “Well, I haven’t played the par-5’s particularly well the last few tournaments, and today was a good example (of how well I’m playing),” Woods said. “I played (the par-5’s) great. I feel very pleased with the way I hit the golf ball all day, and it was nice to actually play the par-5’s under par for a change.” Second-round play at the Memorial Tournament begins Friday at 7:20 a.m. read more

It was one big party in Ohio Stadium last night, as No. 12 Ohio State beat down No. 21 Nebraska for a 63-38 victory. Here’s what we learned about the Buckeyes, who improved to 6-0 for the season. It was an exciting night for the program and Buckeye fans were treated to a historic night during OSU’s 100th Homecoming game. Quarterback Braxton Miller was once again spectacular. The sophomore ran for a career-high 186 yards, breaking his own school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback. “We have a quarterback that’s kind of ridiculous running the ball,” first-year coach Urban Meyer said. Ridiculous is a fair way of describing Miller. He has an innate ability to make opposing defenders look foolish, to turn a sure-loss into a long touchdown. He’s the perfect quarterback to lead an offense that was equally absurd Saturday night. On OSU’s first four possessions, the offense managed a meager seven yards. It looked bleak for the Buckeyes, who trailed 17-7 early in the second quarter. And then it happened. Miller did what he does best, veering through the Nebraska defense for a 72-yard run to move the ball down to the three-yard line for the Buckeyes.  Miller’s long run fired up the crowd and ignited the offensive barrage that would shortly ensue. In the team’s final ten possessions, the Buckeyes scored eight touchdowns en route to a 63-point performance. It was the first time OSU scored more than 60 points against a Big Ten opponent since Oct. 1, 1983, a 69-18 drubbing of Minnesota. Meyer-coached teams are famous for high-scoring affairs, but even the most optimistic Buckeye fans shouldn’t have expected OSU to look this good this early in his tenure. For one, Meyer is instilling a completely different offensive scheme, with inherited players that he didn’t recruit for his system. And the players he does have are young – OSU starts just three seniors on offense. It would be insane to think that the Buckeyes would be an offensive juggernaut in year one, there had to be hiccups. Well, the first quarter was a hiccup, and the team still managed 63 points against a defense that hadn’t allowed more than 36 points in a game this season. This offense still has plenty of room to improve, and that, is ridiculous. One B1G mess We’re halfway through the season, and OSU is the clear favorite to win the conference they are sanctioned from winning. The Buckeyes stand alone as the Big Ten’s only unbeaten team. The four preseason favorites – Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin – all have two losses, and only Michigan is unbeaten in conference play. Then there’s the league’s Leaders division, currently led by Penn State and OSU, the conference’s two teams banned from post-season play. If the season ended today, the division’s third-place team, Wisconsin, would play in the conference championship game. It’s been a tough season thus far for the Big Ten, whose top teams were beat down in non-conference play. Entering this weekend, only three teams were ranked in the top 25. Two of them lost on Saturday. Excluding last season, the Buckeyes have been the class of the conference for the past decade. That appears to be the case again this year, but given the team’s sanctions, it doesn’t bode well for the Big Ten. Give an extra helmet sticker to… Carlos Hyde, who had a career night for the Buckeyes. The junior running back rushed for 140 yards and four touchdowns, both personal bests. Perhaps more importantly, Hyde carried the ball a career-high 28 times. It was the first time an OSU running back had more than 20 carries since Miller took over as starting quarterback last season. A hot topic of conversation this year has been whether Miller receives too many carriers, and in turn too many hits, in Meyer’s system. It’s a lot easier to limit you best player’s touches when others can step up and provide production. Hyde did that Saturday night, and that bodes well for the Buckeyes moving forward. read more

Junior guard Sam Thompson takes a shot during a game against Penn State Jan. 29 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 71-70.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThad Matta just needed somebody to hug.After Wisconsin sophomore forward Sam Dekker’s last-second heave clanged off the rim Saturday at the Kohl Center, signaling a victory for Ohio State, the jubilation on the Buckeye sideline was clear.The man Matta grabbed was the team’s video coordinator, Jake Diebler, and OSU’s coach said Monday it was because Diebler was the closest guy to him.“He was the first guy I could find,” Matta said with a laugh. “Because I had the line on Dekker’s shot, and I thought it was off to the right and I’ll be honest, I’ve seen what these guys have done. I’ve seen what the staff has done to get us ready to play that game and it was obvious with the ending the other night (against Penn State Wednesday), there was a sense of excitement, a sense of relief.”The sense of relief Matta felt after the 59-58 victory over the Badgers percolated throughout the rest of the team, but senior guard Aaron Craft said it’s not the time to sit back and be satisfied, especially with the Buckeyes set to visit No. 17 Iowa (17-5, 6-3) Tuesday at 7 p.m.“We got a big win the other day, and we don’t want to rest on that either,” Craft said Monday. “Our biggest focus right now is to find a way to be better than Iowa. Everything else will really take care of itself the more we go on.”The Hawkeyes came to Columbus and handed the Buckeyes (17-5, 4-5) their first home loss of the season Jan. 12, a 84-74 outcome where OSU struggled against Iowa’s zone defense.OSU committed 17 turnovers in that loss, something Craft said cannot happen Tuesday.“We just can’t turn the ball over. That’s what cost us the game the first time,” Craft said. “We had the lead, and turned the ball over quite a few times down the stretch … When they’re at their best, they’re getting buckets in transition, getting fouled, getting to the free throw line. That’s what we can’t do if we want to be in it at the end of the game.”Junior forward Sam Thompson, who got his first start of the season in the win against Wisconsin in place of junior guard Shannon Scott, agreed and said in order to figure out the zone, the team just needs a different mindset.“I think it’s just about our mindset on the offensive end against the zone. Last time we played Iowa, we didn’t do a good job of attacking that zone, we really let that zone dictate the way we played on offense,” Thompson said Monday. “We were sort of playing on our heels, moving the ball from side to side and not really looking to attack.”The Buckeyes — who dropped out of the top 25 rankings for the first time since Jan. 2010, when the latest poll was released Monday — also allowed 44 points in the paint against Iowa in the Jan. 12 loss. Fixing that issue isn’t just on one guy either, Craft said.“It’s a team defensive effort. They do a good job of setting good screens and getting guys in the paint, whether it’s tight curling or driving the ball off that,” Craft said. “They’re gonna score in the paint, that’s kind of their MO this year. They score in the paint and they get to the free throw line. So we need to find ways that we can hopefully minimize that as much as possible and not get down or not get frustrated when they do maybe go through a stretch where that happens. You have to find a way to get to the next play and move on.”It is clear OSU is going to need an entire team effort to leave Iowa City with a victory and to win back-to-back games for the first time since starting the season 15-0. Solving the riddle against Wisconsin was a start, Matta said, and continuing it won’t be easy.“That is the plan,” Matta said about getting a few wins in a row. “It’s a lot easier said than done, reeling a couple off. We went in, we won a tough game. You think about the game before that comes down to the last shot, this one comes down to the last shot. I’d love to not be in that position — it’s making me old, but it is what it is … I liked the energy that we had in huddles, down the stretch guys talking saying ‘We gotta do this, we’ve been here before.’ You hope you can build on that.” read more

Senior outfielder Caitlin Conrad (left) arrives safely at 1st base during a game against Pittsburgh on March 31 at Buckeye Field. OSU won, 7-3.Credit: Stacie Jackson / Lantern PhotographerWith the Big Ten season coming down the home stretch, the Ohio State softball team wants to keep control of its own fate.“The key will be to beat the teams we know we can,” senior outfielder Caitlin Conrad said before the Buckeyes swept Michigan State last weekend. “By doing this, we can put ourselves in position to get a better seed come tournament time.”Conrad, one of four seniors on the squad, is currently among the hottest hitters on the team with a .394 batting average and is quickly approaching 40 runs batted in to complement her 35 runs scored so far this season.“Caitlin has been the most consistent player for us all season,” coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said before the team departed for East Lansing, Mich.The Buckeyes scored a total of 29 runs against the Spartans, and have either scored or given up double digits 17 times this season. Conrad said she believes the high-scoring affairs are new to Big Ten softball, changing the way she looks at scoring.“It used to be that if you scored seven runs in a game, you would win,” Conrad said. “Now you need to score 12 or so just to be in the game.”And scoring is what the Buckeyes have been doing lately.To sweep Michigan State, OSU tallied six, eight and 15 runs, respectively, over the course of the three games. The 15-5 win on Sunday came in just five innings.The sweep has the Buckeyes riding a four-game win streak entering a week when they will be facing both Penn State and Rutgers.All five of those games, two against the Nittany Lions and three against the Scarlet Knights, are crucial for the Buckeyes (22-16, 6-6) to get better position in the conference and achieve their ultimate goal: making it to regionals in the NCAA Tournament.“We need to keep winning in order to move up in the Big Ten standings,” senior pitcher Olivia O’Reilly said. “Doing this will put us in a position where we can make it to regionals.”The Buckeyes hit the road to face Penn State for a doubleheader on Wednesday. The team lost 7-6 in the first game before falling, 11-6, in the nightcap. They are then set to return home to face Rutgers over the weekend.Despite getting the opportunity to play all over the country, Schoenly said she believes there is nothing like playing at home.“I love to play at home,” Schoenly said. “Of course it’s great to travel other places but there is nothing like home. We love having fans come out to our games. Columbus has a really good softball community.”With home in mind, Schoenly and the Buckeyes make it a point to travel and play in each woman’s hometown at least once during a player’s career as a member of the Scarlet and Gray.“We have the opportunity to play all over the country,” Schoenly said. “So we try to travel to every girls’ hometown during their career.”With 13 Ohioans on the team, eight of whom are from Central Ohio, playing at home can be that much more welcoming.The Buckeyes’ series against Rutgers is set to start on Friday at 6 p.m. at Buckeye Field. read more