Nov. 5, 2006
Columbus, Ohio - Indiana's Brian Ackley scored his sixth goal of the season to lead No. 1 Indiana to a 1-0 victory over second-seeded Ohio State in the finals of the Big Ten Men's Soccer Championship on Sunday at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers capture their 11th Big Ten title in program history and first since the 2003 season.
"This is a talented team," Indiana head coach Mike Freitag said. "They have a lot of heart, and find ways to win. We have a lot of depth, and everyone contributes. We have set three goals this year, winning the Big Ten regular season, winning the Big Ten Tournament, and winning the NCAA Championship. We've accomplished two of them, and now we're ready to go after the third."
Indiana and Ohio State remained even throughout the first half until the Hoosiers capitalized on their second scoring opportunity at the 39th minute. Off a rebound from senior Tudela, sophomore midfielder Ackley notched a header from eight yards out for his sixth goal of the season.
The game proved to be a physical affair, with 50 fouls between the two teams. For Ohio State, Big Ten leading scorer Xavier Balc had three hard shots in the first half, one which went just high of the goal early in the period and another in the 41st minute that Cain made a diving save to stop. Eric Bruhner also had a good opportunity in the 20th minute that was headed high.
The Hoosiers also had their chances early. Ackley attempted to flick a pass from senior Kevin Robson into the net in the 17th minute, but ball went just high of its mark.
Indiana's goal came as Tudela drew a foul to set up a free kick from 18 yards out. Tudela took the shot and it hit the crossbar, rebounding back into play. Ackley was there to head the ball into an open net for his sixth goal of the season. Freshman Darren Yeagle also had a good chance in the 23rd minute that went high and wide as he was chased by an Ohio State defender.
In the second half Indiana held off an Ohio State onslaught, as the Buckeyes outshot the Hoosiers 10-1 in the half. In the 74th minute, Cain made a jumping save on Danny Irizarry's header shot to keep the ball out of the back of the net. With six minutes left in the game, Cain dove to his left to save Eric Edwards shot. Ryan Kustos shot the rebound, and it was blocked by freshman Ofori Sarkodie.
The Indiana defense had five blocked shots in the game. Ohio State outshot Indiana 19-8 in the contest, and held a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Indiana's Ackley and goalkeeper Chay Cain, who tallied six saves in the victory, were named Offensive and Defensive Player of the Tournament, respectively. They were joined by Michigan's Mauro Fuzetti and Patrick Sperry, Michigan State's Matt Kreikemeier, Northwestern's Gerardo Alvarez, Ohio State's Casey Latchem and Geoff Marsh, Penn State's Ryan Badaracco and Markku Viitanen and Wisconsin's Aaron Hohlbein on the 2006 All-Tournament Team.