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Crew, Buckeyes honor late Ohio State player

The Crew defeated Ohio State 4-0 on Tuesday in the ninth annual Connor Senn Memorial Match, but both sides hope the money from ticket sales and an auction will lead to a greater victory.

The match raised funds for a scholarship in the name of Senn, the freshman walk-on at Ohio State who collapsed during a game in Sept. 2001 and died later that night of a congenital heart defect.

The scholarship has now been endowed by the university and OSU coach John Bluem said distributing funds to other areas is being discussed.

“We’re working with Connor’s father, Lance (Senn). He has some ideas,” Bluem said. “We’re talking of doing some testing of athletes at Ohio State or maybe donating money to heart research.”

More than $170,000 has been raised since the first fundraiser in 2002.

“The money will be put to good use, and the essence of what we’re trying to do now is if there’s any way possible to prevent what happened to Connor from happening again to a kid, we’d like to be part of that,” Bluem said.

The Crew did not play any of its starters from Saturday’s 1-1 tie at Seattle. They instead trained for about an hour on the OSU practice fields across from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, where the match was played.

It didn’t matter. Reserve forward Jason Garey had three goals and midfielder Emilio Renteria three assists.

“It was good to come out here for a good cause,” Garey said.  “It’s my fifth year playing. It’s a pretty big tradition now. That’s cool.”

Renteria set up Garey in the 16th minute for a goal-mouth redirect before Garey struck from 18 yards in the 30th. Forward Sergio Herrera followed a minute later from six yards out, and Renteria fed Garey in the 73rd minute for an easy tap-in before a crowd of 1,507.

On the other side, Ohio State junior midfielder Konrad Warzycha, son of Crew coach Robert Warzycha, had a header saved in the 6th minute by Crew backup goalkeeper Kenny Schoeni.

Rookie Shaun Francis made his first appearance since injuring his ankle on March 21, while fellow newcomers Dilly Duka and Othaniel Yanez also saw action.

French trialist Leandre Griffit, who has agreed to a contract with the Crew but has not been signed, is in France to take care of personal matters but will rejoin the team soon.