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COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The No. 15/16t Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (3-1, 0-0 GWLL) hits the road to take on Penn State (0-3, 0-1 ECAC) this Saturday. The teams will meet at 1 p.m. in State College, Pa.
 
Polling Place
The Buckeyes were ranked 15th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 17th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll released earlier this week.

Buckeye Bio
Ohio State is 3-1 this year, with a 21-1 win over Detroit Mercy Feb. 7, an 8-6 loss on the road at Navy  Feb. 14, a 10-9 victory in overtime over Bucknell Feb. 28 and an 11-6 win at home vs. Fairfield last Saturday.

The team is averaging 11.87 goals a game, while allowing 5.93. The squad is averaging 34.0 shots a game and giving up 34.2.

Senior Joel Dalgarno is first on the team with seven assists and 17 points and shares the team goal-scoring lead with senior Jeff Ryan with 10 each. Ryan is second with 15 points, followed by junior Mario Ventiquattro with 12. Ventiquattro is third with seven goals and junior James Green is second with six assists, followed by Ryan and Ventiquattro with five each.

Junior Brandon Freeman has started all four games in net and has 37 saves, with 23 goals allowed, for a 6.49 goals-against average and .617 save percentage.

Freshman Stephen Tepsick has won 17-of-33 (.515) faceoffs, with senior Nick Carr right behind (17-of-37/.467). Senior Scott Matthews and Freeman have a team-high 10 groundballs each, followed by Dalgarno, Tepsick and Carr with seven.

In the Nation 
The first NCAA statistics were released this week, with Ohio State ranking in the Top 25 in nine team categories: scoring defense (4th/6.0), assists per game (4th/9.5), points per game (8th/21.5), man-down defense (9th/.813), scoring margin (9th/+6.0), scoring offense (12th/12.0), winning percentage (14th/.750), saves per game (22nd/11.5) and man-up offense (25th/.389).

Goalie Brandon Freeman is fifth in goals-against average (6.5) and ninth in save percentage (.617). Attackman Joel Dalgarno is 16th in points per game (4.25).

Last Time Out
Led by four-point games from James Green and Mario Ventiquattro and 10 saves from Brandon Freeman, Ohio State beat Fairfield, 11-6, last Saturday afternoon inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Green had a hat trick and an assist, with Ventiquattro adding two goals and two assists. Joel Dalgarno had three points with three assists and senior Jeff Ryan had a hat trick. Freshman Brock Sorensen had two points, including his first career goal. The Buckeye defense limited Fairfield to just two goals in the second half, shutting the Stags out for 27:21.

Ohio State led 4-3 at the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 7-4 at halftime on the strength of a three-goal run. The Buckeyes outscored the Stags 2-1 in both the third and fourth quarters for the 11-6 final.

The Big Ten Title
Ohio State and Penn State are the only Big Ten Conference schools with varsity men’s lacrosse programs.

Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
Ohio State is 2-10 all-time vs. Penn State, with wins in the last two meetings. Ohio State won, 17-6, in Columbus March 8, 2008 and in State College, 10-8, March 20, 2007.

This marks the seventh-consecutive season the teams are facing off and it is the fourth time in State College over the stretch.
 
Ohio State and the ECAC Lax League
Penn State is the second-consecutive ECAC Lacrosse League team Ohio State will face after downing Fairfield, 11-6, last weekend. The Buckeyes are 11-29 all-time vs. current ECAC schools – 5-2 vs. Fairfield, 2-6 vs. Hobart, 2-10 vs. Penn State, 1-2 vs. Georgetown, 1-6 vs. Rutgers and 0-3 vs. Loyola. Ohio State has never faced St. John’s or Massachusetts.

Ohio State will join the ECAC Lacrosse League next season, while Penn State will become a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Ohio State vs. Penn State in 2008
The Buckeyes downed Penn State, 17-6, March 8, 2008 on the indoor turf field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Kevin Buchanan had a team-best six points and Mario Ventiquattro and Joel Dalgarno each posted four points.

Against the Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Penn State tied the game with 2:01 remaining in the first quarter, but Ohio State outscored PSU, 6-1, to close out the half and 8-2 in the second half for the non-conference victory.

Lion Look
Penn State is 0-3 this year, with losses to Robert Morris (12-11 2 OT), Notre Dame (13-8) and Loyola (8-7) in its ECAC opener. The squad is closing out a three-game homestand, with all three games against ranked opponents.

Chris Hogan has a team-high 10 points, including nine goals. Jack Forster is second with eight points, with a team-best four assists. Rob Forster is second with five goals, followed by his brother, Jack, with four. In net Drew Adams, who is on the 2009 Tewaarton Award Watch List and is a three-time ECAC Goalie of the Year, has played all 185 minutes and has 39 saves, allowing 33 goals, for a .542 save percentage.

Glenn F. Thiel, a 1966 graduate of Penn State, is in his 32nd year at the helm of his alma mater and in his 42nd year as a collegiate head coach overall.

The Keystone State
Seven Buckeyes hail from Pennsylvania – freshman Eddie Bambino (Yardley), sophomores Zach Boyt (Pittsburgh), Packy Campbell (Berwyn), Scott Gerland (Wayne) and Dillon Sheehy (Downingtown), juniors James Green (Doylestown) and Andrew Stimmel (Murrysville).

Streakers
Ohio State players carry the following point streaks into the game Saturday.
              Games/Goals
Ryan         6/12
Ventiquattro 3/7
Lalley       2/2 
             Games/Assists
Dalgarno     10/18
Ventiquattro 2/4
Sorensen     2/2
             Games/G-A-P
Dalgarno     10/28-18-47
Green        6/7-7-14
Ryan         6/12-5-17
Ventiquattro 6/9-7-16
Sorensen     2/1-2-3

A CLASS Player
Senior attackman Joel Dalgarno has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2009 Lowe’s 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: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence.

The list of 30 student-athletes will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot. The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the “Four C’s” of Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. The award winner will be announced and presented with his trophy at the 2009 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship in Foxborough, Mass.

Moving Up the Charts
With three assists against Fairfield last Saturday, senior Joel Dalgarno now has 183 career points, remaining in second in program history. The all-time leader is Terry Gilmore, who had 250 points from 1976-79.

Dalgarno has 103 goals to tie for third in program history with Thomas Holzer (1991-94), four behind Bill Rodgers (1978-81) in second with 107. Gilmore ranks first with 123.

Dalgarno is third in assists with 80. Cliff Murray (1966-68) is second with 97 and Gilmore leads with 127.

Save!
Sophomore goalie Brandon Freeman has double-digit saves each of the last three games, with 10 last week against Fairfield, 10 vs. Bucknell Feb. 12 and a career-high 12 at Navy Feb. 14. He has started all three games this season, the first starts of his career. He has 37 saves on the year. Freeman is fifth nationally in goals-against average (6.5) and ninth in save percentage (.617).

Super Mario
Junior Mario Ventiquattro had his fourth career four-point game with two goals and two assists vs. Fairfield last week. He has nine points in his last two games combined and is third on the team with 12 points, including seven goals.

14 Rolls On
Senior Jeff Ryan has three or more points in each game this year, with three hat tricks. He had a season-best five points vs. Detroit in the season opener. Ryan is tied for first on the team with 10 goals and ranks second with 15 points.

Green Gets Going 
Junior James Green had a season-high three goals and four points against Fairfield last week. It was the third four-point game of his career and first since April 27, 2008 at Notre Dame. It was his fifth-career hat trick. Green now has four goals, six assists and 10 points on the season.

On the Board
Sophomore Scott Lathrop scored his first goal of the season and second of his career against Fairfield last week.

Posting Points
Freshman Brock Sorensen has at least one point in three of four games this year and had a career-high two points vs. Fairfield, along with his first career goal.

D-Fense!
The Buckeye defense has held opponents for long stretches of time in the last two games. Against Bucknell, Ohio State held the Bison off the board from the 12:04 mark of the first quarter until the 5:03 mark of the second quarter, a stretch of 22:01.

Against Fairfield, Ohio State’s defense held the Stags off the board from the 13:38 mark of the third quarter until the 1:17 mark of the fourth quarter, a stretch of 27:21.

The squad held Detroit to just one late fourth-quarter goal in the season opener.

One to Watch
Senior captain Joel Dalgarno was named to the 2009 Tewaaraton Watch List, the group announced. The 60 players on the list were nominated by coaches across all three divisions and are early season hopefuls for the 2009 Tewaaraton Trophy. He is one of three GWLL players on the list, joining Ryan Hoff from Notre Dame and Jamie Lincoln from Denver.

Pires Honored
Sophomore midfielder Mike Pires was named the Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week Feb. 9. Pires, a native of Saanichton, British Columbia, had a team-best five goals in the Buckeyes’ 21-1 season-opening win vs. Detroit-Mercy Feb. 7.

Against Detroit-Mercy, Pires needed just six shots to tally his career-high five goals, marking the first multiple-point game of his career. He opened the scoring at 9:25 of the first quarter with a man-up goal and added a second tally at 12:45 of the second quarter. He scored twice in the third (14:17, 8:38/man-up) and closed out his day with a man-up goal just 26 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Three of Pires’ five goals vs. the Titans were man-up tallies, tying for the most by a Buckeye in a single game since 2003. His five goals in the game tie for the fifth-most over that time span. Pires had four goals and five points while playing in nine games a year ago.

Highs and Lows
The 21 goals scored by the Buckeyes vs. Detroit were the most since beating Northwood, 22-6, in 1996. The squad reached the 20-goal mark against both Bellarmine (20-4) and Denver (20-13) last season. The 20-goal win ties for the fifth-largest margin of victory in OSU history and is the biggest since downing Wittenberg by 26, 29-3, in 1989.

The Ohio State defense limited Detroit Mercy to just one goal late in the fourth quarter in the win last Saturday. It was the fewest since downing Wagner, 19-1, Feb. 23, 2007. The team’s last shutout was March 2, 2002 vs. VMI.

Welcome to the Show
Thirteen Buckeyes played in their first games for the Scarlet and Gray vs. Detroit Mercy: senior Peter Coluccini, juniors Justin Hayes and Andrew Reinhardt, sophomores Ryan Keneally and Dillon Sheehy and freshmen Mike Smail, Joe Bonanni, Stephen Tepsick, Scott Morell, Eric Smith, Brock Sorensen, Eddie Bambino and Keenan Ochwat.

Over the Summer
Junior James Green wona gold medal with Team USA at the ILF Under-19 World Championship in British Columbia. Green scored the gamewinning overtime goal vs. Canada in a comeback victory in the final game of pool play. The United States was 7-0 in the tournament and Green contributed seven goals and at least two assists.

Freshman Brock Sorensen was a team captain as Canada won the silver medal. Sorensen earned a spot on the tournament’s All-World team.

At the Helm
Nick Myers is in his first season as the Ohio State head coach. Myers, a graduate of Springfield College, spent the past three seasons as the top assistant coach for the Buckeyes. Myers began his coaching career as the volunteer coach for the Buckeyes for two seasons (2002, ’03) before joining the Butler squad as the top assistant for 2004 and ’05. He is the 13th head coach in the 60 years of the Ohio State men’s lacrosse program. 

Live All Year Long
This year, all six Ohio State men’s lacrosse home games will be available online through the Buckeye Vision subscription package. There are both monthly and yearly subscription packages. For more information or to sign up, click on Multimedia located on the upper right-hand corner on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Ohio State’s student radio station will provide commentary on the games.

Welcome Aboard
Joining the Buckeye coaching staff for 2009 was Andrew Baxter, who came to Ohio State after four seasons as the first assistant at Drexel and five years overall with the Dragons. Baxter serves as the team’s offensive coordinator and leads the squad’s recruiting efforts.

Bill Katsaros, who was the Buckeyes’ volunteer coach a season ago, was hired as the team’s full-time assistant coach in the fall. Katsaros concentrates on work with the goalies and offensive personnel and is the director of the Buckeye lacrosse camps.

Mark Bergey joined the team as the volunteer assistant coach for 2008-09. A graduate of Western New England College in 2006, he focuses on working with the Buckeye defense and special teams.

A Look Back
Ohio State finished 2008 11-6 overall and shared the Great Western Lacrosse League regular-season title with a 4-1 league ledger. The squad reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament for the first time after defeating Cornell on its home field in the first round, 15-7. The team ranked third nationally in scoring offense (13.18 goals a game) and man-up offense (.457).

The Buckeyes return seven starters from that team, including honorable mention All-American and first-team All-GWLL attackman Joel Dalgarno and first team All-GWLL selection defenseman Scott Matthews. Second-team all-conference honorees midfielder James Green and defenseman Keith Lovett also are back for the squad. In all, five of the top seven scorers on the team return.

A Special Game
Ohio State will take on Notre Dame in the Showdown in the Shoe at 11 a.m. April 25 prior to the football team’s spring game in Ohio Stadium. Tickets, which include both the lacrosse and football games, are on sale now. All tickets are $5, with children 6 and under free. Tickets are available for groups of 50 or more for $4 each. See the note above for how to purchase tickets.

Celebration of 60
The 2009 campaign marks the 60th season of varsity lacrosse at Ohio State. The team is celebrating the anniversary all season, highlighted by a recognition at the game vs. Notre Dame in Ohio Stadium.

Honors Already
Led by senior attackman Joel Dalgarno’s first-team selection, Ohio State had three players named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook 2009 Preseason All-America Team. Junior midfielder James Green and senior defender Scott Matthews were second-team choices.

Dalgarno, Green and Matthews also were named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook preseason All-Great Western Lacrosse League team. The Buckeyes were picked to finish third in the magazine’s poll.

Leading the Charge
Seniors attackman Joel Dalgarno and defenseman Scott Matthews were named team captains for the squad for 2008-09 after a vote by their teammates in the fall.

A New Look
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team has entered into agreements with both STX and Cascade to provide equipment and helmets, respectively, for the Buckeyes, beginning in the 2008-09 campaign. Ohio State is one of seven schools to be fully sponsored by STX, joining Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Cornell, Navy and Hofstra.

As a department, Ohio State athletics is in the second year of a seven-year contract with Nike, who will continue to provide uniforms, workout gear and more for the lacrosse players.