COLUMBUS, Ohio - A record crowd helped raise an event-record $19,000 for the Connor Senn Memorial Scholarship Fund Wednesday night in the Fifth Annual Connor Senn Memorial Match between the Ohio State men's soccer team and the Columbus Crew. Gate receipts from a crowd of 1,747 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and proceeds from a silent auction, along with donations from individuals and companies, contributed to the amount, which puts the Scholarship Fund at $76,000.
OSU sophomore Eric Edwards (Loveland, Ohio/Milford) put the Buckeyes up 1-0 in the 52nd minute before the Crew's Brandon Moss tied the game at 1-1 in the 55th minute, which is where the final score would stand.
"I want to thank the Crew for continuing to support this game," John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. "It's wonderful for them to keep contributing to this type of game and it really shows how the soccer community really is. Thanks to the fans for everything. We're very happy and we hope the event keeps growing. I hope everyone tells their friends so it will grow even more next year."
The scholarship fund was started by Dr. Lance Senn, Connor's father and a former member of the Ohio State tennis team. Connor collapsed during Ohio State's match at Akron Sept. 26, 2001 and died that night from a congenital heart defect. A native of Granville, Ohio, Connor was a freshman walk-on defender who had earned a starting position midway through the 2001 season.
The attendance figure bettered the previous record of 1,388 fans that attended the first game in 2002. The $19,000 vastly surpassed the previous record of $11,750 raised last year.
After a scoreless first half, OSU sophomore goalkeeper Casey Latchem (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) sent a quick goal kick past midfield to a streaking Edwards, who collected the ball, beat a Crew defender and sent a shot past a diving Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch into the lower left 90.
"It was great how many people came out and supported us tonight," Edwards said. "It is a good cause and I think people are still learning what this night is all about. It is a great opportunity for the community to come together."
The Crew outshot the Buckeyes 22-6 in the game and had a 9-5 shots on-goal advantage. Latchem had eight saves for Ohio State. OSU freshman Geoff Marsh (North Olmsted, Ohio/North Olmsted) had a close range shot in the 20th minute that was saved by Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, while Rusty Pierce had a shot for the Crew that hit off the cross bar in the 89th minute.
"I'm proud of our guys," Bluem said. "They fought hard tonight. Obviously, at times they were outplayed but we created opportunities for ourselves. I thought our organization during the game and our patience was good. The Crew probably should have had a few more goals, but we held our own."