Nov. 3, 2006
Columbus, Ohio - No. 2 Ohio State defeated No. 6 Michigan, 1-0, in the semifinals of the 2006 Big Ten Men's Soccer Championship at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes will now face No. 1 seed Indiana in the championship game on Sunday at noon EST.
Ohio State held Michigan scoreless for the second time this season and the Buckeyes scored their game-winner just 39 seconds into the second half to advance to their third Big Ten championship game since the postseason event was first played in 1991. Michigan sees its season come to an end at 7-10-4.
When Ohio State hosted the Big Ten Championship in 2000, the Buckeyes knocked off Indiana 1-0 in the semifinals before topping Penn State in overtime for their first Big Ten title.
OSU junior goalkeeper Casey Latchem had four saves as the Buckeyes withstood eight Michigan corner kicks in the game and 11 Wolverine shots in the second half alone. It was Ohio State's and Latchem's 10th shutout this season, which are one shy of the school record.
OSU sophomore midfielder Geoff Marsh put away the deciding goal after the Buckeyes two forwards brought the ball into the attacking third. Junior Ryan Kustos brought the ball up the left flank and delivered it to junior Xavier Balc at the top of the 18-yard box. Balc, the Big Ten's leading scorer, drew a Michigan defender and slid the ball to the right side of the penalty area to Marsh, whose shot flew over Wolverine goalkeeper Patrick Sperry and into the left corner of the net.
The goal for Marsh was his third of the season. The assist for Balc was his league-leading ninth of the season, while the helper for Kustos was his second.
Ohio State, which is now 8-1-1 in its last 10 games, will take on the Hoosiers on Sunday in the championship game. CSTV will televise the game live, beginning at noon.