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April 18, 2000

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team returns to Columbus to take on conference foes%^$ Denver and Air Force. The Buckeyes will face off at 4 p.m. Friday and at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be%^$ played at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes enter this weekend with a record of 4-6. Denver is%^$ 8-3 on the season and 0-1 in the conference, while Air Force is 2-9 and 0-2 in the GWLL.%^$

%^$ Last Weekend
%^$ On Friday, Tim Houston (Sr., Garden City, N.J./Garden City) scored three goals and dished out one assist%^$ and Buddy Lange (Sr., Annadale, N.J./North Huntedon) added three goals to lead Ohio State to a 9-8 victory%^$ over Fairfield. The Buckeyes came out strong, jumping to a 4-0 lead after the first quarter. Fairfield fought back%^$ outscoring Ohio State in the thrid and fourth quarters. Fairfield was led by Mark Beckwith who scored three%^$ goals. Buckeye goalie Mike Abeles (Sr., Westfield, N.J.) went the distance and finished with 13 saves.%^$

%^$ On Sunday, Kevin Pall scored three goals to lead Stony Brook to a 7-6 win over OSU. The Seawolves took%^$ control in the second quarter, scoring four unanswered goals. In the second half, the Buckeyes rallied behind%^$ Pat Meyers (Fr., Kennebunk, Maine) to come within one goal. Meyers finished the afternoon with a%^$ career-high four goals. Abeles once again was phenomenal in the cage stopping 17 shots, while playing the%^$ entire 60 minutes.%^$

%^$ Abeles Shines Again
%^$ Goalie Mike Abeles posted 30 saves against Fairfield and Stony Brook. He has posted double-figure saves in%^$ eight of the 10 games this season. He topped the 20-save mark against Butler and Johns Hopkins with 21 and%^$ 28, respectively.%^$

%^$ Head Coach Joe Breschi
%^$ Joe Breschi is in his third season as head lacrosse coach at Ohio State. Last season Breschi led OSU to a%^$ stellar 10-3 finish, marking only the seventh 10-win season in 45 years of Ohio State lacrosse. Late in the%^$ season the Buckeyes captured a share of the GWLL title with wins over Notre Dame, Denver and Air Force.%^$ Breschi was named the 1999 GWLL Coach of the Year.%^$

%^$ Scouting Denver
%^$ Denver enters Friday’s game with a record of 8-3, with wins over No. 14 Penn State, No. 24 Brown, Radford%^$ and Villanova. The Pioneers are led by junior attackman Mike Law. Law has recorded 41 points on the season%^$ off 27 goals and 14 assists. Denver has split time between two goalies.Brian Berger is leading the pack from%^$ the cage with 92 saves and a save percentage of .571, while Jeff Nunziato has 21 saves for a percentage of .600.%^$

%^$ Denver Coach Munro
%^$ Jamie Munro returns for his second season as the Pioneers’ head coach after guiding the Denver lacrosse%^$ team to a 4-8-0 record in his first campaign. Prior to taking the reins of the Pioneer program, Munro spent eight%^$ seasons as the top assistant coach at Yale. As the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator from 1991-97, Munro%^$ designed an attack that helped the team achieve five top 20 national rankings in eight years and reach the%^$ NCAA Tournament quarterfinal in 1992. Yale’s offense averaged 13 goals per game in 1996, leading the team to%^$ a 14th ranking in the final NCAA Division I poll. As a player, Munro was a four-year member of the Brown%^$ University lacrosse team. At Brown, Munro garnered all-Ivy League honors from 1987-89 and capped his%^$ collegiate career by earning all-America status in 1989.%^$

%^$ The Series
%^$ Friday’s game between Ohio State and Denver will mark the fifth time these programs have met on the lacrosse%^$ field. Ohio State leads the series 4-0. Last year the Buckeyes defested the Pioneers, 7-5, in Denver.%^$

%^$ Scouting Air Force
%^$ Air Force enters Sunday’s game with a 2-9 record, with wins over VMI and Manhattan. The Falcons are led by%^$ junior John Agnew and seniors Nick Dipoma and Eric Carrano. In goal, Denver is led by Billy Arnold who has%^$ recorded 144 saves.%^$

%^$ Air Force Coach Acee
%^$ With his long and illustrious lacrosse career,%^$ which has spanned over three decades, Fred Acee took the helm of the Falcon Lacrosse program in the fall of%^$ 1998. Prior to coming to Air Force, Acee has made a name for himself as the head coach at Farmingdale, a%^$ two-year college on Long Island. While there, he built the Rams into a national lacrosse powerhouse,%^$ capturing National Junior College Athletic Association championships in 1977, 1981 and 1987. In 1994, he was%^$ the defensive coach for the world champion United States lacrosse team, assisting Johns Hopkins head%^$ coach, Tony Seaman.%^$

%^$ The Series
%^$ Ohio State and Air Force have met on the lacrosse field 14 times. Air Force leads the series 10-4. The Buckeyes%^$ beat the Falcons 7-6 in overtime last season in Denver.%^$

%^$ O’Connor Out for the Season
%^$ Mickey O’Connor (Jr., Severna Park, Md.) will sit out the remainder of the season due to a concussion he%^$ suffered against Notre Dame. He joins senior captain and preseason honorable mention All-American%^$ selection Greg Zytkowski (Sr., North Olmsted, Ohio) who had knee surgery on March 24 to repair a torn%^$ anterior cruciate ligament he suffered during a preseason practice.%^$

%^$ Freshmen Are On Fire
%^$ The freshmen are contributing to the offense, having scored 43 of the team’s 86 goals. Pat Meyers leads the%^$ team in goals and total points with 17 and 22, respectively. Curtis Smith is right behind with 20 points, nine%^$ goals and 11 assists. Buckeye rookies have scored 77 of the 141 total points on the season.%^$

%^$ Abeles Moving Up
%^$ Senior goalie Mike Abeles moved into sixth place on the career saves list with his 17-save perormance against%^$ Stony Brook. He now has 486 career saves. He needs 51 more saves to move into the fifth spot currently%^$ occupied by his dad, Jon Abeles, with 537.%^$

%^$ Lange Hindered-A Little
%^$ Senior Buddy Lange is second on the team in goals with 15. He is two goals behind freshman Pat Meyers. If%^$ he regains the lead Lange will become the first OSU player to lead the team in goals for three consecutive%^$ seasons since two-time All-American Skip Van Bourgondien did it in 1971-72-73.%^$

%^$ Buckeyes in the NCAA Rankings
%^$ One Buckeye was highlighted in the NCAA individual statistics this week. Goalie Mike Abeles is ranked in%^$ two categories. He is fourth in save percentage with 164 saves, good enough for a .648 percentage. He is also%^$ first for goalie saves in a game. His career-high 28 saves against Johns Hopkins gives him one more than John%^$ Lily of Holy Cross and Pat McGinnis of Maryland. The Buckeyes as a team also are ranked in one category.%^$ OSU is No. 15 for man-advantage offense, connecting on 15 of 42 extra-man opportunities.%^$

%^$ Ohio State Good on Groundballs
%^$ The team who wins the groundball battle, usually wins the war. The Buckeyes are winning the war. Ohio State%^$ is beating its opponents in the groundball battle 378-319. Leading the way for OSU are senior Jon Torpey and%^$ freshman Anthony Kelly with 38 and 34, respectively. The Buckeyes have 14 other players with%^$ double-figures in the groundball category.%^$

%^$ Good Omen
%^$ The Buckeyes will face two oppoents in the same week for the third time this season and the first at home.%^$ Ohio State defeated both VMI and Vermont and split with Fairfield and Stony Brook.%^$

%^$ First Half Blues
%^$ Ohio State has been leading or tied at the half five times this season. Opponents have outscored the Buckeyes%^$ 49-37 in the first half.%^$

%^$ Second Half Turnaround
%^$ Ohio State has outscored its opponents in the second half, 49-42. The Buckeyes started this trend early in the%^$ season outscoring Radford and Butler in the second half, 11-3 and 4-2, respectively.%^$

%^$ College Lacrosse USA Honors Ohio State
%^$ College Lacrosse USA, the leading website covering NCAA lacrosse, picked Ohio State to repeat as%^$ champions in the Great Western Lacrosse League. CLUSA also announced its preseason picks for the%^$ all-conference team. Four Buckeyes highlight the list, more than any other school. Among the names on the%^$ list are attackman Buddy Lange, midfielder Greg Zytkowski, defender Jon Torpey and goalie Mike Abeles.%^$ Abeles was also selected as the preseason Player of the Year. CLUSA also picked Ohio State to be the%^$ conference representative to head to the NCAA Tournament. A trip to the tournament would be the first in%^$ program history.%^$

%^$ Preseason Honors for Two Buckeyes
%^$ Greg Zytkowski and Mike Abeles earned preseason honorable mention All-America honors in Face-Off%^$ Magazine, one of the leading authorities on college lacrosse. Zytkowski and Abeles are two of four captains of%^$ the 2000 Ohio State lacrosse team. Zytkowski a two-time all-Great Western Lacrosse League selection, finished%^$ the 1999 season with nine goals and 12 assists. He ranked fourth on the team with 30 ground balls. It marks the%^$ second time in as many years that Zytkowski has been named to Face-Off’s preseason All-America team.%^$ Abeles also was a first-team all-GWLL pick last season. He posted the sixth-highest save percentage in the%^$ nation (.632), and ranked 13th nationally with a 8.80 goals against average. Abeles has started 19 consecutive%^$ games in goal for Ohio State entering his senior year.%^$

%^$ Tough Task Ahead
%^$ Nothing defines the 2000 Ohio State lacrosse team more than its highly competitive schedule. The Buckeyes%^$ will face eight teams that are ranked in Face-Off Magazine’s national preseason poll. In fact, OSU will meet%^$ more ranked opponents (eight) than unranked opponents (six). Ohio State’s grueling schedule includes No. 1%^$ Virginia, No. 3 Johns Hopkins, No. 5 Duke, No. 10 North Carolina, No. 14 Notre Dame, No. 18 Cornell, No. 21%^$ Butler and No. 27 Fairfield. Ohio State, ranked No. 23 in the preseason poll, also faces the undaunting task of%^$ playing nine road games compared to just five home games.%^$

%^$ Road Warriors
%^$ The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team has home field advantage in just three more games during the 2000%^$ season. The Buckeyes will play nine games away from the friendly confines of Jesse Owens Memorial%^$ Stadium. OSU will spend almost a month (3/18-4/16) on the road, playing seven road games in a row.