Feb. 2, 2018
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The curtain officially lifts on the 2018 lacrosse season Saturday night, as the eight-ranked Buckeyes make a trip up I-71 to Cleveland State for a 6 p.m. face-off against the Vikings at the Krenzler Dome. LaxSportsNetwork.com will provide a stream of the game (subscription required) and live stats will also be available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Todd Bell will handle play by play duties with Capital University head coach Dom Marzano as the analyst.
MORE ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
• Ohio State returns four of its top six scorers all three of its starters on close defense.
• The Buckeyes begin their 2018 season ranked No. 8 in the USILA/Nike Lacrosse Coaches Poll and No. 7 in the Inside Lacrosse/Maverik Media Poll.
• Sophomore Tre Leclaire, a third team All-American who in 2017 set the program record for goals by a freshman (49), leads an offense looking to build off a season last year that was among the best in program history. Leclaire was the first Buckeye in program his to make either the first, second or third team All-America as a freshman.
• Ohio State returns 54 percent of its total goal output from last season. The Buckeyes scored a program-record 238 goals in 2017 and had 12 or more goals on 11 occasions.
• The Buckeyes’ defense was statistically amongst the nation’s best in 2017 and welcomes back three starters, including first team All-American Ben Randall, the first first-teamer in program history. Randall scooped up 50 groundballs and forced 12 turnovers last season.
• Two other returning starting defensemen are Erik Evans, a senior captain, and junior Matt Borges. The two combined for 22 caused turnovers and 43 groundballs while holding opponents to eight goals or less 10 different times.
• The third returning All-American on this year’s roster is sophomore Ryan Terefenko, a defensive middie who caused nine turnovers and had 28 groundballs in 18 games last year.
• Head coach Nick Myers begins his 10th season guiding the Scarlet and Gray. He’s led the program to three appearances in the NCAA Tournament and has advanced past the first round on all three occasions. Myers has an 85-63 career record.
• After graduating the program’s winningest senior class, Ohio State was able to fill that void by welcoming in one of the nation’s top-ranked recruiting classes. The class represents nine different states and provinces and has three players who competed in last summer’s Under Armour All-America Game.
• Ohio State will be opening the season on the road for the fourth time in the last five years. It will also be the earliest day that the Buckeyes have opened the season in program history.
• Ohio State’s ticket office already has a record number of season ticket purchases for the 2018 campaign. Single game, group, mini plan and season tickets are still available for purchase by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or the Ohio State Ticket Office at 1-800-GOBUCKS. More notables about tickets:
• Single game tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students/youth/seniors, with Ohio State students admitted free with a valid BuckID.
• Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets for scheduled indoor contests against Boston University (Feb. 10) and No. 19 Hofstra (Feb. 17) as those games are expected to sell out.
• Season ticket packages include a 20 percent discount over tickets bought game-by-game, a guaranteed seat for the Buckeyes’ indoor games and easy entry on game day.
• Group tickets are $4 each for groups of 10 or more. Group tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance of the event and are not available at the door.
NATIONAL TELEVISION APPEARANCES
• Ohio State is slated to appear on ESPNU four times this year: at home versus Notre Dame (March 25) and Penn State (March 31) and on the road against Johns Hopkins (April 7) and Maryland (April 22).
• The four ESPNU appearances are tied for the second most of any program nationally.
• Last season, the Buckeyes were on national TV 11 times. That included five regular season contests, two Big Ten Tournament games and all four NCAA Tournament matchups.
• BTN’s national television schedule is still being finalized. Last year, Ohio State appeared on the network five times.
SEASON OPENING HISTORY
• Under Myers, Ohio State is 7-2 in season openers with wins over Detroit (four times), Villanova and Furman (twice).
• In their 65-year history, the Buckeyes own 27 season-opening victories.
• Ohio State finished the fall semester with its best academic performance in program history. The Buckeyes had a 3.36 cumulative team GPA and 3.32 mark for the semester.
• A record 36 players – out of 46 – earned scholar-athlete distinction by having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
• The semester GPA is the team’s highest since Ohio State moved from quarters to semesters in 2012 and it’s the fifth straight semester the Buckeyes achieved a GPA higher than the previous semester.
• Ohio State’s freshman class proved to be one of the team’s best overall groups, as 11 of the 12 newcomers had over a 3.0 GPA and nine were over a 3.5.
• Sarah Pergine, academic counselor with SASSO: “To have such a high level of academic success in working with a new academic counselor in their first semester is a testament to how academically sound the team is. They are a disciplined group and want to achieve the highest level of success on the lacrosse field and in the classroom. In addition, the level of support from the coaching staff and the value that they place on the academic success of their team is really what allows for their culture of academic success to continue to improve each year.”
• Ohio State’s roster represents 15 different states and provinces of Canada, making it one of the most diverse in college lacrosse.
• Eight players on this year’s roster hail from Ohio and five of them are local central Ohio products.
• Two Buckeyes are from the northeast Ohio area: goalie Jack Rennillo (Westland, Ohio; St. Ignatius High School) and midfielder Bo Lori (Hudson, Ohio; Hudson High School).
• With 35 wins since the start of the 2015 season, Ohio State is seventh among 70 teams nationwide in total victories. That win total ranks as second in the Big Ten and is the second most over a three-year period in school history.
• Buckeyes have a winning conference record in two of the last three years and have beaten every team in the league at least once. They own multiple wins over Johns Hopkins (three), Michigan (three) and Maryland (two).
• On its way to winning a school-record 16 games in 2017, the Buckeyes knocked off seven ranked teams and had 10 wins over opponents that finished with a RPI of No. 10 or better.
• Ohio State has 14 wins over ranked teams over the past three years.
HOME SWEET HOME
• In 2017, the Buckeyes finished with a perfect 6-0 record at Ohio Stadium. Noteworthy wins included a 12-11 overtime against No. 1 Maryland and a 7-4 triumph over Loyola (Md.) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Since 2013, Ohio State is 32-10 at home, including games played on the indoor field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and Ohio Stadium.
• From 2008 through 2010, the Buckeyes set and subsequently broke a national record for on-campus and regular season attendance, topping out with a crowd of 31,078 for the Showdown in the `Shoe in April of 2010 vs. Air Force.
• Ohio State was the only team in the Big Ten – and one of just two nationally – to produce multiple freshmen All-Americans in 2017: Tre Leclaire and Ryan Terefenko.
• In his nine full seasons as Ohio State’s head coach, Myers has coached three league rookies of the year (two ECAC, one Big Ten).
#PROBUCKS CONTINUE TO SHINE
• Last September’s National Lacrosse League Draft was a virtual parade of Scarlet and Gray, as four players were taken overall, including three with the first six picks. It was the first time in NLL history that one school had three of first six selections.
• The three first-round selections brings Ohio State’s total over the last 10 years to eight, which is tied for the most of any program nationally.
• The Buckeyes have produced nine first-round NLL selections in program history. They also have the distinctions of having players taken No. 1 overall (Logan Schuss), No. 2 (Withers), No. 3 (Jesse King), No. 5 (Shanks) and No. 6 (Fannell).
• Last May, six players were taken in the Major League Lacrosse Draft. One of them – Tyler Pfister – went on to help the Ohio Machine win its first-ever league title. He was joined on that team by 2013 graduate and former team captain Dominique Alexander.
PLAYING THE BEST
• Ohio State’s 2018 schedule includes nine games against teams that are ranked in the USILA/Nike Lacrosse Coaches Preseason Poll, including four top-10 opponents (No. 1 Maryland, No. 4 Denver, No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 7 Rutgers).
• Four of the nines contests versus ranked foes will occur at home this year: No. 6 Notre Dame (March 25), No. 7 Rutgers (April 28), No. 12 Penn State (March 31) and No. 19 Hofstra (Feb. 17).
• The Big Ten boasts five teams that are ranked in the top 12, the most of any conference in the nation.
THE SEASON 18
• The Buckeyes are being featured this year in a documentary entitled “The Season 18”, which will take viewers on a behind-the-scenes look at four prominent programs: Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and Ohio State.
• The digital and video content series is being filmed and produced thanks to a partnership with STX and Inside Lacrosse.
• “The Season” will revolve around 10 episodes shared between the fall season in September to the conclusion of the postseason in May.
• Episodes will be posted and archived at theseason2018.com.
FOUR CAPTIONS TO LEAD 2018 SQAUD
• In September, head coach Nick Myers announced that four seniors – John Kelly, Bo Lori, Erik Evans and Colin Chell – would serve as captains in 2018.
• Kelly, a redshirt senior from Towson, Md., saw action in 20 of 21 games last year and finished with 10 points (seven goals, three assists). At the Final Four last May, he had two caused turnovers in the national semifinals against Towson and a caused turnover in the national championship game vs. Maryland. In 2015, as a sophomore, he started 11 times and had a career-high 12 goals, eight assists and 20 points to earn the Paul Hartman Most Improved Player award. Kelly in an insurance major in Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business.
• Chell, from Bel Air, Md., put up the best offensive numbers of his career last season, registering 21 goals, 12 assists and 33 points. A force on the Buckeyes’ man-up unit, Chell scored five times in those situations to rank seventh nationally. He also ended the season with 20 points in the final 13 games combined, with a point in all but three contests during the stretch. He has at least 20 points in each of his three seasons and 79 (57 goals, 22 assists) in his career. Chell is majoring in logistics management in the Fisher College of Business.
• Evans, a native of Baldwin, Md., has played in and started all 41 games of his career heading entering his senior season. On defense, he helped the Buckeyes rank first in the Big Ten and 11th nationally in scoring defense, holding opponents to 8.38 goals per game. Evans had 28 groundballs and team-high 16 caused turnovers in 2017, including three groundballs in NCAA semifinals vs. Towson March 27 and a career-high four groundballs and a caused turnover vs. Johns Hopkins April 9. In an 8-7 win over UMass on Feb. 18, Evans forced a turnover in the final 20 seconds and scooped up the groundball to preserve the one-goal victory. Evans is majoring in sport industry and is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.
• Lori, from Hudson, Ohio, saw action in 19 games last year with 12 groundballs and an assist in the NCAA semifinals vs. Towson. Since joining the Buckeyes prior to the 2016 season, Lori has played in 34 games with 20 groundballs, three caused turnovers and two goals. In the classroom, he has twice been an OSU Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten choice while majoring in sport industry.