The Ohio State men’s soccer team is set to return home one last time this season.
OSU was announced as one of the 48 schools competing in the 2014 NCAA Tournament on Monday morning, receiving an at-large bid following a 9-7-4 season that included a semifinal appearance in the Big Ten tournament.
The Buckeyes are set for a rematch with Mid-American Conference champion Akron (13-6-1). The Zips won, 3-1, in Columbus on Sept. 24, one of OSU’s two home losses this season.
Akron outshot OSU, 19-10, in that contest, including 12 shots on goal. OSU redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov made nine saves and sophomore forward Danny Jensen scored, but Akron’s attacking offense – which ranks 28th in the nation in goals per game – was too much for the Buckeyes.
OSU has not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2010. In 2007, it saw a successful tournament run that culminated in an appearance in the championship game, ultimately falling to Wake Forest.
Akron, on the other hand, is making its 10th consecutive tournament appearance, including a national championship in 2010. Last season, it fell in the second round to Marquette.
OSU is joined by several familiar faces on the bracket. Including Akron, 10 opponents on OSU’s schedule made the tournament field, including five other Big Ten schools.
The winner of the matchup between OSU and Akron is set to play No. 1 seed Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are the defending champions after defeating Maryland in the 2013 title match to take home their first national championship.
OSU’s first-round matchup with Akron is set to be played Thursday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The start time has not yet been announced.