May 2, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio — After three games away from home the Buckeyes are back in Columbus for their final game of the season Saturday. Saturday also represents Senior Day at OSU and the Buckeyes are looking to send their three seniors out with an upset of No. 17 Cornell. The game begins at 1 p.m. and will be contested at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
One Last Hurrah Three seniors, Sandy Boyce (Butler, Md.), Greg Zytkowski (North Olmstead, Ohio) and John DeLucia (Setauket, N.Y.) will be playing their final home game Saturday.
The National Rankings With a 15-6 loss to No. 12 Virginia the Buckeyes slipped out of the Top 25 for the first time in five weeks. Cornell enters the game at No. 17.
The Series The Buckeyes and the Big Red have faced one another only once on the lacrosse field. That meeting took place last year in Ithaca, New York. The Buckeyes were paced by Curtis Smith who scored twice, but fell to the Big Red, 11-5.
Scouting Cornell The Big Red (7-5, 4-2 Ivy League) are loaded. They have beaten teams like Fairfield, Yale and Dartmouth and three of their five losses have been by a lone goal. Cornell is led by senior midfielder David Key. He recently recorded his 100th career point and leads the team in goals (29) and assists (16). He has taken only 49 shots on the year scoring on a remarkable 59 percent of them. Cornell has three other players who have recorded over 20 points on the year. The Big Red are also impressive on the defensive side of the field. They boast one of the premier goalies in the nation in Justin Cynar. In 12 games Cynar has stopped 141 of 228 shots for a save percentage of .618. That is good enough to place him at No. 12 in the nation at that category. Cynar is more impressive in goals against average. He is ranked No. 8 in the nation in that category allowing a scanty 7.33 goals per game.
The Coach Joe Breschi is in his fourth year at the helm for the Buckeyes. In his four-plus years with the team, the squad has compiled a mark of 28-24. In 1999, the Buckeyes won their first Great Western Lacrosse League title since 1988. Prior to joining the Buckeye staff, Breschi served as an assistant coach at both Brown and North Carolina. Breschi played collegiately at North Carolina, earning both All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. He was a member of the U.S. National Team in 1984 and 1988.
National Recognition The NCAA lists national leaders in seven major statistical categories and OSU is ranked in the Top 20 in three of them. OSU is No. 13 in man-up offense. The Buckeyes have had a man advantage 49 times, recording 17 goals (35 percent). The Buckeyes are No. 14 in face-off winning percentage, winning 166 of 296 faceoffs (56 percent). The Buckeyes’ 7-6 record correlates to a winning percentage of .538 placing OSU at No. 19 in the nation.
Kelly in the Rankings One Buckeye is ranked in the nationally. Anthony Kelly (So., North Olmsted, Ohio) has won 115 of 194 faceoffs. His percentage of .592 ranks him thirteenth in the nation. He is one of only two sophomores ranked.
Leading the Team After tallying seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) last year, Sandy Boyce (Sr., Butler, Md.) is having a career season. He has scored three or more goals in five of the 13 games this year. He leads the team with 36 points (28 goals, 8 assists) and his 2.76 points per game average is the highest on the squad. He has led the team in goals in eight of 13 games.
Dishing Them Out Mike Norton (So., Timonium, Md.) is second on the team with 25 points, although he does not score often. Instead, Norton racks up points by leading the team in assists with 20.
Consistency is Key Curtis Smith (So., Saanichton, B.C.), Lewis Ratcliff (So., Victoria, B.C.) and Kevin Stephan (Jr., Massapequa, N.Y.) are key contributors to the team making the most of their time spent on the field.
Smith is second on the team with 18 goals and leads the team with an amazing 55 percent shooting average. (minimum 10 shots) He has 23 points on the year.
Ratcliff has scored 14 times on the year and recorded eight assists for 22 points. His steady contributions have helped the team average over 10 goals a game. April 14 he scored three goals against Fairfield, including the game-winner in OSU’s 11-10 win.
Stephan has found the net 10 times this season and has dished out 10 assists for 20 points.
Saving the Day Goaltender Tony Russo (So. Fallston, Md.) has seen 305 shots this season and has stopped 157, saving .558 percent of the shots he has faced. As a team the Buckeyes yield 10.46 goals a game.
Scooping Them Up If there is one stat OSU dominates its opponents in, it is ground balls. The Buckeyes have recorded 523 ground balls on the year to their opponents 373 for a difference of 150.
Deadlocked OSU has tallied 136 goals on the year, but the Buckeyes have also given up 136 goals. OSU averages 2.62 goals a quarter and has outscored their opponents in the first half by nine. Scoring by period follows.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total Ohio State 34 31 35 36 136 Opponent 27 29 40 40 136
OSU’s Captains Seniors John DeLucia and Greg Zytkowski and juniors Peter Dillon and Kevin Stephan are serving as the Buckeyes’ captains this season.