COLUMBUS, Ohio — After a scoreless first half, Ohio State scored four times in a 12-minute span in the second half, ending the Bradley soccer season with a 4-0 victory over the Braves Sunday at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio State senior Xavier Balc gave the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 58th minute, beating Bradley goalkeeper Mike Haynes (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.). Geoff Marsh was taken down in the box moments earlier, setting up the go-ahead score for the hosts. The Braves nearly tied the game just four minutes later, as a header from close range from senior Ken Hickman (Ogden, Utah/Bonneville H.S.) was stopped by Ohio State goalkeeper Casey Latchem.
The hosts stretched their lead to 2-0 in the the 63rd minute when Marsh sent a shot just to the left of Haynes, setting into the lower right corner of the net. The goal from Marsh was his first of the year. The Buckeyes continued to pour it on in the 65th minute when Balc scored his second goal of the game on a header in front of Haynes to give Ohio State a 3-0 lead. The goal came after a centering pass from junior Patrick Roan. Ohio State junior Andrew Magill made it 4-0 with an unassisted goal in the 70th minute, chipping a loose ball off a turnover in the box past Haynes.
The Buckeyes and Braves battled to a scoreless first half, as Ohio State outshot Bradley 8-4 before halftime. Haynes made an outstanding save in the 32nd minute, diving to his right to stop a shot from close range from junior Roger Espinoza. Moments later, Espinoza had another chance from just outside the box straightaway, but his drive sailed wide to the right of Haynes. The Bradley goalkeeper made three saves in the first half, while Latchem made a single stop in the first 45 minutes.
The Braves were outshot by Ohio State 18-10 for the game, as Haynes finished with three saves.
After the first three postseason victories in school history, the Braves finish the season with a 16-6-4 record. Ohio State (16-3-5) will play Massachusetts Friday, Dec. 14 at the College Cup in Cary, N.C.