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Ohio State men’s soccer team moves to top of Big Ten after win vs. Maryland

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Ohio State forward Yaw Amankwa (23) kicks the ball past Maryland defender Chris Odoi-Atsem (28) during a game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Oct. 31, 2015. OSU won, 1-0. Photo Credit: Amanda Etchison | Editor in Chief

Ohio State forward Yaw Amankwa (23) kicks the ball past Maryland defender Chris Odoi-Atsem (28) during a game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Oct. 31, 2015. OSU won, 1-0. Photo Credit: Amanda Etchison | Editor in Chief

Maryland native and junior forward Yaw Amankwa led the No. 23 Ohio State men’s soccer team to a 1-0 shutout victory against Maryland after scoring the game’s lone goal in the final minutes of the first half.

“At the beginning of the season we talked about doing something special and these kind of games you always want to play,” Amankwa said. “You want to beat the big boys. They’ve won national championships and we just wanted to prove that we could play with them.”

OSU moved back to the top of the Big Ten standings and improved its record to 10-5-2 on the season and 4-2-1 in Big Ten play. Maryland dropped to No. 5 in the conference and fell to 7-5-4 overall and 2-2-3 in conference play with the loss.

Saturday night’s victory marked the Buckeyes’ 100th victory at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Not only is it the 100th win at the stadium, but the Scarlet and Gray also earned their first win against Maryland in the last three times the two teams met.

Maryland lived up to what it is known for, which is its ability to attack and bring physicality to the game. However, the Buckeyes were not intimidated and matched the Terrapins’ physical nature.

The first half looked as though it was going to be a scoreless one, as the Buckeyes and the Terrapins battled it out, with both teams not allowing the other to score for much of it.

OSU had three great looks, including one in the 10th minute from junior forward Danny Jensen, but his shot was blocked from the near side.

Another look came from Amankwa after a feed from Jensen, but his shot missed the net.

Finally, in the 13th minute Jensen got the ball, with a good look at the net, but his shot went left of the post.

It appeared like the teams would enter the locker room at halftime scoreless but Amankwa had different plans. In the 43rd minute, Amankwa sent in a shot from 18 yards out to the far post, giving the Buckeyes at 1-0 lead heading into halftime. Senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson was credited for the assist.

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Ohio State midfielder Kyle Culbertson (3), forward Yaw Amankwa (23) and forward Christian Soldat (13) celebrate after scoring a goal against Maryland during a game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Oct. 31, 2015. OSU won, 1-0. Photo Credit: Amanda Etchison | Editor in Chief

“I knew the defenders pushed up a lot and I knew Kyle is usually consistent with the flick-ons,” Amankwa said describing the play. “So I was ready for it and he flicked it on and I saw the goalie off his line, then I chipped it and it went in.”

Trailing by one, the Terrapins entered the second half firing shots at the Buckeyes, with the visitors holding a 6-4 edge in second-half shots.

However, despite Maryland’s plan of attacking the Scarlet and Gray, the Buckeye defense held strong and was able prevent the Terrapins from getting the tying goal.

“We knew we were going to have a difficult second half, but the backboard held together and they played very well,” OSU coach John Bluem said.

Overall, shots were 13-9 in favor of Maryland, while both teams held a total of eight corner kicks.

OSU senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer had five saves on the night to improve to 10-5-2 overall. The clean sheet was Froschauer’s eighth of the season.

The Buckeyes are set to host their final regular-season match against rival Michigan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

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