April 11, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team will face off against Fairfield at 4 p.m. Friday at University Field. The team will travel to take on Stony Brook at 1 p.m. Sunday at Seawolves Field. Ohio State enters the weekend with a record of 3-5. Fairfield is 2-6 on the season, while Stony Brook is 2-7, prior to its game against Rutgers April 11.
Dan Denihan scored two goals and dished out four assists to lead No. 8 Johns Hopkins to a 12-7 victory Saturday at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md. The Buckeyes came out strong jumping to first-half leads of 3-1 and 5-3. Pat Meyers (Fr., Kennebunk, Maine) scored both of his goals in the first half. Sandy Boyce (Jr., Butler, Md.) also added two goals. Buckeye goalie Mike Abeles (Sr., Westfield, N.J.) went the distance and finished with a career-high 28 saves.
Goalie Mike Abeles posted a career-high 28 saves against Johns Hopkins. He broke his previous career-high of 22 that he set last season against Butler. The 28 saves is the most by any Division I lacrosse goalie this season.
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.
Fairfield enters Friday’s game with a record of 2-6, with wins over Vermont and Manhattan. The Stags are led by Mark Beckwith and Spencer Steele who have scored 21 and 19 goals, repectively. The Stags have split time between three goalies. Geoff Champney is leading the pack from the cage with 47 saves and a save percentage of .522.
Fairfield Coach Spencer
Fairfield is coached by Ted Spencer, who is now in his fifth season as the head coach of the Stags. Spencer guided Fairfield to a 10-7 record and a second place finish in the MAAC last season. He boasts an overall coaching record of 40-25. Spencer is a 1985 graduate of UMass.
Friday’s game between Ohio State and Fairfield will be the first time these programs have met on the lacrosse field.
Scouting Stony Brook
Stony Brook enters Sunday’s game with a 2-7 record, with wins over Radford and Providence. The Seawolves are led by Kevin Pall and Dominic D’Orazio who have scored 19 and nine goals, respectively. D’Orazio recorded his 100th career point against Georgetown Sunday. In goal, Stony Brook is led by John Dobias who has 118 saves and a save percentage of .527.
Stony Brook Coach Espey
Stony Brook is coached by John Espey, who is now in his 13th season as the head coach of the Seawolves. He has compiled a 82-86 record at Stony Brook and a 123-130 record overall. In his 18 years of coaching he has coached over 75 All-Americans and World Team players. Prior to his arrival at Stony Brook, Espey coached at Duke for six years, twice leading the Blue Devils to a national ranking. Espey is a 1973 graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland. He helped lead the Red Dragons to two Final Four Appearances and a NCAA Championship in 1973. He twice received All-America honors as a midfielder.
Ohio State and Stony Brook have met on the lacrosse field three times. Ohio State leads the series 2-1. The Buckeyes beat the Seawolves 12-8 last season in Columbus.
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 35 of the team’s 71 goals. Curtis Smith (Fr., Saanichton, B.C.) leads the team in total points with 17, eight goals and nine assists. Buckeye rookies have scored 64 of the 114 total points on the season.
Abeles Moving Up
Senior goalie Mike Abeles moved into seventh place on the career saves list with his career-high 28 saves against Johns Hopkins. He now has 452 career saves. He needs 31 more saves to move into the sixth spot currently occupied by Jack Strapp with 483. Abeles needs 85 saves to catch his dad, Jon Abeles, who is fifth all-time with 537.
Lange on Pace
Senior Buddy Lange is tied for the lead in goals with 11. If he continues at this pace, 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 eighth in save percentage with 132 saves, good enough for a .641 percentage. He is also first for goalie saves in a game. His career-high 28 saves against Johns Hopkins gives him one more than Pat McGinnis of Maryland. The Buckeyes as a team also are ranked in one category. OSU is No. 10 for man-advantage offense, connecting on 15 of 37 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 295-247. Leading the way for OSU are senior Jon Torpey and freshman Anthony Kelly with 30 and 26, respectively. The Buckeyes have 15 other players with double-figures in the groundball category.
The Buckeyes will face two oppoents in the same week for only the second time this season. Ohio State defeated both VMI and Vermont on the road March 22 and 25, respectively.
First Half Blues
Ohio State had first half leads of 3-1 and 5-3 and was tied at the half with No. 8 Johns Hopkins on Saturday for only the fourth time this season. Opponents have outscored the Buckeyes 43-30 in the first half.
Second Half Turnaround
Ohio State has outscored its opponents in the second half, 41-33. 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
Entering the season, 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.
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.
More on Joe Breschi
Joe Breschi came to Ohio State from Brown University where he was the head assistant lacrosse coach for five seasons. He played an integral role in bringing Brown’s program into the national spotlight, guiding the Bears to their first-ever NCAA Final Four appearance in 1994. Breschi also helped Brown earn two consecutive Ivy League Championships. He served as defensive coordinator for the Bears, and headed all scouting, recruiting and conditioning efforts. Breschi coached at North Carolina, his alma mater, for two seasons before going to Brown. He was the head assistant at UNC, and part of a nationally recognized program that captured two ACC titles and a National Championship during his tenure. The Tar Heels compiled a stellar 28-3 record during Breschi’s coaching stint. Success at North Carolina came not only as a coach for Breschi, but also as a player. He was an all-ACC selection in both 1989 and 1990, and was selected to play in the prestigious North/South Lacrosse All-Star game in ’90. He was a first team All-America pick in 1990, and an honorable mention All-America selection in 1989. After captaining the Tar Heels his senior season, Breschi was selected as the UNC nominee for the 1990 Anthony J. McKevlin Award, given annually to the outstanding male athlete in the ACC. He also was a member of the USA National Team in 1994 and 1998.