Ohio State 1, Northwestern 0
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Nov. 10, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill -- Northwestern's men's soccer team fell in the opening round of the Big Ten Men's Soccer Championship Thursday to second-seeded Ohio State, 1-0. The Wildcats played admirably throughout the match, but the Buckeyes scored a goal in the 31st minute that proved to be the game winner.
Throughout the first half, the game's momentum shifted back between the two teams. The Wildcats opened play by limiting the Ohio State offense with their defensive speed and physicality.
While the teams combined for only six first-half shots, Ohio State got on the board first when Kevin Nugent redirected a shot from Xavier Balc and sent a low liner to the right corner of the cage, giving Ohio State a 1-0 lead.
The Buckeyes went into halftime with the 1-0 lead, but Northwestern was poised to make a comeback.
Northwestern came out of the blocks firing in the second stanza. While only notching two first-half shots, the 'Cats tallied eight in the second half.
Many of those shots came within inches of the net. With 15 minutes remaining, Daniel Chille (Lake Zurich, Ill./Stevenson) took a shot from the near side of the Buckeye goal. The Ohio State keeper saved the first attempt, but couldn't keep a handle on the ball. Chille was there for the rebound, but on the second shot, an Ohio State player just made enough contact with the ball to send it wide of the goal.
Northwestern kept the pressure on the Buckeye defense, but couldn't net one to tie the match.
"We challenged ourselves at halftime, and I feel like everyone left it out there on the table. This is a special group of guys," head coach Tim Lenahan said.
For the match, Northwestern enjoyed a 10-5 shot advantage and had eight corner kicks to Ohio State's four.
With the loss, Northwestern falls to 9-7-2 this year.