April 30, 2014
Ohio State Lacrosse This Week
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (6-7, 3-1/t-1st ECAC) plays host to the 2014 ECAC Tournament this week. The No. 2 seed Buckeyes will take on No. 3 seed Air Force (8-5, 3-1/t-1st ECAC) at 8 p.m. Thursday, preceded by a game between No. 1 seed Fairfield (11-3, 3-1/t-1st ECAC) and No. 4 seed Michigan (5-10, 1-3/4th ECAC) at 5 p.m. The championship is slated for 5 p.m. Saturday, with the winner earning the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. All games will be played in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
FOX Sports 2 will televise all three ECAC Tournament games, with the broadcast also available through Fox Sports Go for subscribers with participating cable providers. John Sadak will call the play by play, while Ohio State All-American and MLL All-Star Greg Bice will provide analysis. To get your local channel number for FOX Sports 2, visit: msn.foxsports.com/watch/foxsports1. Live stats for all three tournament games will be on GameTracker through OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
For the ECAC Tournament, tickets are available to prepurchase online (go.osu.edu/ecacchamptix2014) and at the Ohio State athletics ticket office or will be available at the gate on gameday. An all-session pass, which includes all three games, is $25 for adults and $15 for students/youth. Single-session tickets, which include both semifinal games Thursday or the championship Saturday, are $15 for adults and $10 for youth. (Note tickets purchased online include Ticketmaster fees.) Children 6 and under are free.
The first 50 Ohio State students at tournament games involving the Buckeyes will receive free tickets. Ohio State students must present a valid BuckID at the pass gate at the south entrance of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Buckeyes in the ECAC Tournament
Ohio State has qualified for the ECAC tournament each year of its existence since joining the league in 2010. Denver hosted the tournament in 2011 and 2012, with the No. 4 seed Buckeyes falling in the semifinals to the host No. 1 seed Pioneers in 2011 (11-4) and to No. 3 seed Fairfield as the No. 2 seed in 2012 (9-7). Last year, the No. 3 seed Buckeyes downed NCAA tournament teams No. 2 seed Loyola (18-11) and No. 1 seed Denver (11-10) to win the first postseason title in program history.
Buckeyes Share ECAC Title
Ohio State finished the 2014 season with a share of the ECAC regular season title, as the Buckeyes, Fairfield and Air Force each posted matching 3-1 records. It is the first share of a regular season title for the Buckeyes since they were Great Western Lacrosse League co-champions in 2008.
Ohio State had a four-game winning streak ended with a 7-5 loss at Fairfield Saturday to close the regular season and is now 6-7 overall (after beginning the season 1-5). The squad is averaging 9.38 goals a game and ranks eighth in the NCAA in scoring defense, holding opponents to 8.15 goals a game. The squad has converted 12-of-43 (.279) man-up chances and is 21-for-33 (.636) on man-down defense. The Buckeyes are 216-for-237 (.917) on clears, ranking fifth nationally.
Tewaaraton nominee junior Jesse King leads the Buckeyes with 26 goals, 22 assists and 48 points and is first in the ECAC with 4.00 points per game, ranking 12th nationally. Sophomore Carter Brown is second with 21 goals and 33 points and fourth with 12 assists. Junior Turner Evans is second with 18 helpers and third with 29 points, tying classmate Reegan Comeault for fifth with 11 goals each. Comeault is third with 13 assists and fourth with 24 points, with sophomore Ryan Hunter third with 13 goals, followed by junior David Planning with 12 goals. Senior goalie Scott Spencer has started the last six games and has a 7.35 goals-against average and .567 save percentage. Senior Greg Dutton started the first six games and has 54 saves and freshman Nick Doyle made nine saves vs. Bellarmine March 21 in his first career start. Freshman Jake Withers is first with 62 groundballs and leads the team with 106 faceoff wins, winning 51.7 percent of his draws. Sophomore Robby Haus is second with 32 groundballs and leads the team with 16 caused turnovers, with senior Dominic Imbordino third in groundballs (30) and tied with junior Evan Mulchrone for second in caused turnovers (12). Senior Joe Meurer has 11 caused turnovers to rank fourth.
Buckeyes vs. Falcons
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Air Force, 19-11, and has won the last six games vs. the Falcons. Earlier this season (April 19), the Buckeyes downed the Falcons, 8-6, in Ohio Stadium. In Columbus, Ohio State is 13-3 vs. Air Force. Ohio State and Air Force met during the regular season each year since 1988. The series dates to a 1967 win by the Buckeyes, who fell to Air Force in 1972 in the second meeting. In postseason play, the teams met in the 2009 Great Western Lacrosse League semifinals, a 10-5 Ohio State victory in Birmingham, Mich.
Air Force is 8-5 this season, averaging 11.85 goals a game while allowing 9.23 an outing. The man-up unit has converted 16-of-37 (.432) chances and the man-down defense is 32-for-50 (.640). Air Force senior Mike Crampton, the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, has 35 goals and 51 points to lead the team, ranking second with 16 assists. Keith Dreyer is first on the squad with 22 assists and ranks second with 35 points. Tommy McKee is second on the team in goals (26), followed by Kyle Cassady with 21. Dreyer is second in points (35), followed by McKee (34), Cassady (33) and Erik Smith (32). Brett Dadiego and Doug Gouchoe have split time in the cage. Dadiego has a 3-1 record, 8.40 goals-against average and .486 save percentage, while Gouchoe is 5-4, with a 9.90 gaa and .465 sv%.
The Last Time – Ohio State 8, Air Force 6
Behind 14 saves from senior goalie Scott Spencer, Ohio State defeated Air Force, 8-6, April 19 in front of 2,386 fans on a beautiful day in Ohio Stadium. The game between the Buckeyes and Falcons was tied five times but a late goal from sophomore Ryan Hunter – his fourth of the game – lifted the Buckeyes to the win. The Buckeye defense held Air Force, which came into the game averaging 12.55 goals per game, to six tallies and kept the team’s two leading scorers, who had 58 goals entering the game combined, to just one goal. Ohio State and Air Force were tied at one after the first quarter and the Buckeyes carried a 3-2 lead into halftime. Ohio State scored early in the third quarter for its first two-goal advantage of the day but Air Force scored the next two goals for a 4-4 game with 8:26 left and the teams traded goals to close the third quarter deadlocked at five. A man-up goal from Jesse King put Ohio State ahead 6-5 early in the fourth quarter but the Falcons tied the game with 4:16 left in regulation. Just over a minute later Turner Evans set up Hunter for the eventual gamewinner and sophomore Carter Brown sealed the win with a goal at 1:46 with the goalie out of the crease. Hunter had his second four-goal game in a row while Brown had two goals and an assist for three points. Evans and Reegan Comeault both had two assists and King had a goal and an assist. Freshman Jake Withers won 10-of-17 faceoffs in the game and had seven groundballs.
Buckeyes vs. Stags
Ohio State and Fairfield met Saturday, a 7-5 win by the Stags in Fairfield, Conn. Ohio State leads the all-time series with Fairfield, 7-6, with a 4-2 ledger in Columbus. The Buckeyes won the 2013 meeting in Columbus, 14-8. In 2012, Ohio State won at Fairfield (8-3) before falling to the Stags the next week in the ECAC semifinals. The teams have met each year since 2009, with Fairfield now ahead in that stretch, 4-3. The Buckeyes and Stags faced off as members of the Great Western Lacrosse League from 2000-05 and have been conference foes in the ECAC since 2010.
Buckeyes vs. Wolverines
The Buckeyes defeated Michigan, 15-6, in the 2014 Showdown in the Shoe April 12 in Ohio Stadium, the first game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines as varsity programs in Columbus. Since Michigan moved to a full varsity program in 2012, Ohio State has won all three matchups between the teams. The Buckeyes posted a 12-9 win in 2012 and a 17-8 victory last year, with both games in Michigan Stadium following the Wolverine football team’s spring game. The Buckeyes are 13-3 all-time vs. Michigan in the series, which dates to 1966 and was discontinued in 1988.
Buckeyes Pick Up League Postseason Awards, Meurer Defensive POTY
Highlighted by senior Joe Meurer’s ECAC Defensive Player of the Year award, nine Buckeyes have been recognized with ECAC Lacrosse League postseason honors. Defensemen Meurer and Robby Haus, along with midfielder Turner Evans, were named First Team All-ECAC, while attackmen Ryan Hunter and Jesse King, midfielder David Planning, LSM (specialist) Dominic Imbordino and goalie Scott Spencer were named second team all-conference. Jake Withers was named to the All-Rookie Team as a faceoff specialist. The honorees were selected be a vote of the league’s coaches (who could not vote for their own players) and Ohio State led the league with eight members on the first and second teams.
Meurer was named First Team All-ECAC for the second year in a row and is the second Buckeye to be named the league’s defensive player of the year, joining 2011 honoree Matt Kawamoto. Ohio State has won at least one major postseason award each since joining the ECAC in 2010. Logan Schuss was the 2010 ECAC Rookie of the Year, Kawamoto captured defensive player honors in 2011, Schuss was the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2013 and Carter Brown earned rookie of the year accolades in 2013.
Tewaaraton Nominee King Leading ECAC in Scoring
Junior midfielder Jesse King was named one of 28 nominees for the 2014 Tewaaraton Award last Friday. The Tewaaraton Award annually honors the top male and top female college lacrosse player in the United States. The selection committees are made up of top collegiate coaches and are appointed annually by the Tewaaraton Foundation. Five men’s and five women’s finalists will be announced May 8 and will be invited to the May 29 ceremony in Washington.
The junior has a has a team-high 26 goals, 22 assists and 48 points, ranking first in the ECAC and 12th in the NCAA in points per game (4.00) and is second in the league in goals (2.17) and assists (1.83) per game. King has a point in each of his last 35 games (dating to March 31, 2012 at Loyola and tying for the eighth-longest active streak in the NCAA), with 66 goals, 51 assists and 117 points in the stretch, while he had a 21-game assist streak ended Saturday at Fairfield. King has multiple points in nine games this season, including a seven-assist, eight-point day at Delaware April 6 and five-goal games at Johns Hopkins Feb. 9 and vs. Michigan April 12.
King’s first-quarter assist at Hofstra March 8 was the 100th point of his Buckeye career and he now has 128 points, on 74 goals and 54 assists, to tie for 18th in program history with Jim Ash (1985-88). King’s 22 assists this year are one shy of the career-high 23 he had as a sophomore last season and he is six goals behind the 32 he had in 2013. He had a career-high 55 points a season ago.
ECAC Defensive POTY Meurer a Senior CLASS Top 10 Finalist; Vote4Joe
Senior defenseman Joe Meurer is one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 20 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote daily through May 12; Ohio State fans can vote for Meurer by visiting go.osu.edu/Vote4Joe. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore May 24-26.
Meurer was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year Wednesday. He has started all 13 games for the Buckeyes this season at close defense and has 13 groundballs and 11 caused turnovers, helping Ohio State rank eighth nationally in team defense (8.15 goals allowed per game). A team captain for 2014, Meurer has played in 60 career games for the Scarlet and Gray (starting the last 30), tying for the fifth-most among Buckeyes since 2000. In his career, he has 103 groundballs and 43 caused turnovers, along with two goals and 10 faceoff wins. He is now a two-time First Team All-ECAC honoree and was a USILA Honorable Mention All-American in 2013. Meurer was drafted by the Florida Launch in the second round of the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft with the 10th overall pick, the second-highest pick in Ohio State history. A finance major, he is a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and will be a three-time Academic All-Big Ten choice who is on pace to graduate Sunday.
Noting the Buckeyes
As a team …
• Ohio State is eighth in the NCAA in scoring defense, giving up 8.15 goals a game. The Buckeyes have held opponents to less than 10 goals in eight of the last nine games and allowed seven goals or less in each of its last three games and in six games on the year.
• Five of the seven teams the Buckeyes have lost to this season were ranked in the Top 20 in the Inside Lacrosse poll released Monday – No. 2 Denver, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 6 Johns Hopkins, No. 13 Hofstra and No. 15 Fairfield, with Penn State receiving votes. Five were listed in this week’s USILA rankings as well – No. 2 Denver, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 6 Johns Hopkins, No. 13 Hofstra and No. 14 Fairfield, with Penn State and UMass receiving votes.
• After starting the season 1-5, Ohio State won five of six games (and four in a row) to even its record at 6-6 before falling at Fairfield, 7-5, Saturday to drop to 6-7.
• The Buckeyes were 17-for-19 on clear attempts vs. Fairfield and are now 216-for-236 on the year, ranking fifth nationally in clearing percentage (.915). The team was 22-for-22 vs. Penn State and 21-for-21 at Johns Hopkins Feb. 9, along with a 17-for-17 day vs. UMass Feb. 16 and 16-for-16 outing March 8 at Hofstra.
• Ohio State was limited to a season-low tying five goals at Fairfield Saturday, matching the total the team had in losses at Hofstra (7-5 March 8) and Denver (9-5 March 15). The squad had scored 13 or more goals in three of the previous four games, all during its four-game winning streak. On the year, Ohio State is averaging 9.38 goals per game. The team has one win when scoring less than 10 goals, downing Air Force 8-6 April 19.
• The Buckeyes have 83 assists on 122 goals this season (68 percent) and are 21st nationally in assists per game (6.38). Against Fairfield, one of the team’s five goals was assisted, just the second time this season less than half of the goals in a game were assisted (March 25 vs. Notre Dame, 7 goals, 3 assists).
• Ohio State has scored on 29.1 percent of its shot attempts this season, ranking 23rd nationally in shooting percentage. Carter Brown is third in the ECAC and 22nd in the NCAA, scoring on 43.8 percent of his shots (21 goals, 48 shots).
• As a team, the Buckeyes have 84 caused turnovers this season, while their opponents have 60. Robby Haus is first with 16, while Dominic Imbordino and Evan Mulchrone have 12 and Joe Meurer has nine.
• After recording 39 or more shots in three games in a row (47 vs. Jacksonville, 39 at Delaware, 49 vs. Michigan), Ohio State has had less than 30 in each of its last two games, with 27 vs. Air Force and 29 at Fairfield. The Buckeyes are averaging 32.2 shots per game and allowing 29.5 an outing.
• Ohio State has won the groundball battle in all six wins this season and is 0-7 when the teams tie in groundballs or the other team picks up more.
• This season, Ohio State captured 12 ECAC Player of the Week honors. Jake Withers was a four-time rookie of the week (Feb. 24-co, March 31, April 14-co, April 21) and the league’s specialist of the week March 24. Scott Spencer was a two-time defensive player of the week (April 14, April 21) while Turner Evans (Feb. 17-co) and Ryan Hunter (April 21) both earned offensive player honors. Nick Doyle (March 24), J.T. Blubaugh (April 7-co) and John Kelly (Monday) joined Withers as rookie of the week selections.
• Second Team All-ECAC goalie senior Scott Spencer has started the last six games and has a 7.35 goals-against average and .567 save percentage, marks that ranks first in the ECAC, but he has not played enough minutes to qualify for the official NCAA statistics. Spencer is 4-2 on the year and has 13 groundballs. Spencer has nine or more saves in each of the last four games, including a career-high 14 vs. Air Force April 19.
• Sophomore Ryan Hunter, a Second Team All-ECAC selection, has 13 goals and 17 points in his last five games combined, marking the first points of his Buckeye career. After scoring twice and adding an assist vs. Jacksonville March 29, he had a two-goal, two-assist day at Delaware April 6 in his first career start. He scored four goals in back-to-back games vs. Michigan and Air Force before scoring once at Fairfield. He also has 12 groundballs this season.
• John Kelly was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week Monday after scoring a goal at Fairfield Saturday. He has played in 12 games this season, with two goals, three assists and five points.
• First Team All-ECAC pick Robby Haus had four groundballs and two caused turnovers at Fairfield Saturday. He is second on the team (first outside the faceoff specialist) with 32 groundballs and has a team-high 16 caused turnovers. Haus has started all 30 games of his Buckeye career at close defense and has 66 groundballs and 25 caused turnovers for the Scarlet and Gray.
• Junior Turner Evans, a first team all-conference honoree, was held scoreless for just the third time in 12 games this season Saturday. He is 14th in the ECAC with 2.42 points per game and fourth in the league with 1.5 assists per outing. Evans is second on the team in assists (a career-high 18 after entering the season with just 13 in his career) and third in points (29). He has eight multiple-point outings this season.
• ECAC All-Rookie Team selection Jake Withers is second in the league in faceoff winning percentage (.517) and groundballs per game (4.77) this season. He has won 106-of-205 faceoffs this season and has double-digit wins in five games, including a 16-for-25 day against Michigan and 15-of-21 wins vs. Bellarmine. He had 10 groundballs vs. the Knights and picked up 11 against Marquette, the most for the Buckeyes since Eric O’Brien had 10 in 2007.
• Junior David Planning, a Second Team All-ECAC selection, has started all 13 games for Ohio State this season (and each of the last 30). He has 12 goals and five assists for 17 points this year.
• Senior Dominic Imbordino was named Second Team All-ECAC as a specialist. He is in his first year as a long stick midfielder after starting on close defense in all 17 games last season and in nine in 2012. This year, Imbordino has a career-high 30 groundballs (ranking third on the team) and 12 caused turnovers.
• Sophomore Carter Brown has at least one goal in 11 of 13 games on the year (including a goal and an assist at Fairfield) and has been held off the scoresheet completely just once. Brown has 21 goals and 31 points to rank second on the team and is fourth with 12 assists. He is 11th in the ECAC in points (2.54), goals (1.62) and assists (.92) per game this year. As a freshman last season, Brown was named the ECAC Rookie of the Year and had 27 goals, 16 assists and 43 points.
• Sophomore Chris Mahoney, starting his fourth game at close defense, had a career-high tying three groundballs and scored his second career goal Saturday at Fairfield. He has 13 groundballs this season (with six in the last two games combined), along with eight caused turnovers.
• Junior Reegan Comeault was held scoreless Saturday at Fairfield, the first time this season he did not record at least one point, ending his scoring streak at 12. He has three multiple-assist games as a Buckeye, with all three this season and two in his last four outings (three assists vs. Michigan April 12, two vs. Air Force April 19). Comeault has a career-high 24 points this year, with 11 goals and 11 assists, both career highs and is eighth in the ECAC with 1.0 assists per game.
• Freshman J.T. Blubaugh leads the Buckeye rookies with seven goals and eight points this season, playing in all 13 games. He has at least one point in four of his last five games (4g, 1a).
• Junior Evan Mulchrone, in his first year playing SSDM, has 15 groundballs on the year, along with 12 caused turnovers. He has at least one groundball in all but two games.
In the MLL
Eight Buckeyes are on Major League Lacrosse active rosters as the season started last weekend. Greg Bice, Dominique Alexander, Eric O’Brien, Stefan Schroder and Logan Schuss are on the Ohio Machine opening day roster, with Kevin Mack and Matt Cafarelli on the practice squad for the Machine. Kevin Buchanan is with the Boston Cannons, Anthony Kelly returns to the Denver Outlaws and Mario Ventiquattro is playing for the Florida Launch. Alexander was named the league’s HEADStrong Humanitarian of the Month earlier this week.
Twenty-one members of the men’s lacrosse program were honored at this year’s Department of Athletics’ Scholar-Athlete Dinner: Lucas Bailey, Ryan Borcherding, Carter Brown, Nick Diegel, Kevin Duffy, Turner Evans, Sean Giampietro, Robby Haus, Kacy Kapinos, Gordie Koerber, Rick Lewis, Joe Meurer, Evan Mulchrone, Johnny Pearson, Tyler Pfister, Jake Sharick, Danny Simonetti, Scott Spencer, Cameron Stephens, Brian Ward and Jake Withers. In addition, 2013 senior Logan Schuss was a finalist for the Big Ten Medal of Honor and 2013 senior Dominique Alexander was the recipient of the Corwin Fergus scholarship for postgraduate studies.
Follow the Buckeyes
Keep up with Ohio State men’s lacrosse all season long through social media, including facebook (OhioStateMensLacrosse) and Instagram (@OhioState_MLAX). The team’s official Twitter feed is @OhioState_MLAX and you can keep up with Coach Myers (@MyersJMZ), Coach Dobbins (@DobbinsDave), Coach Koesterer (@squirerockwell), Coach Hall (@judsonhall) and Coach Bergey (@MBergey11).