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Ohio State vs. Air Force
GWLL Tournament
May 1, 2009 – 7:30 p.m.
Seaholm High School, Birmingham, Mich.

Buckeye Lax Hits
This weekend is the second-annual Great Western Lacrosse League Tournament. Ohio State was the runner-up a season ago, downing Denver in the semifinals before falling to Notre Dame in the championship tilt.
Joining Ohio State in the 2009 GWLL tourney are Notre Dame, Air Force and Quinnipiac.
Ohio State will take on Air Force in the semifinals Friday night. It will be the team’s second night game this year, after downing Robert Morris, 19-13, March 13 under the lights in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
After sitting out the second half in the season opener vs. Detroit, junior goalie Brandon Freeman, in his first year as a starter, has played every minute in the cage for the Buckeyes.
Senior Joel Dalgarno tied the all-time goal scoring mark in Ohio State history with his 123rd career goals last week vs. Notre Dame. Earlier this year he became just the second Buckeye, and the first in 30 years, to cross the 200-point mark for his career with four goals last week.
Ohio State broke its own men’s lacrosse regular-season and on-campus attendance record last Saturday when 30,192 fans watched the Buckeyes take on Notre Dame in Ohio Stadium. Fans filed in throughout the game, with upwards of 50,000 in the stands by the end of the lacrosse game. A record 95,722 fans watched the Ohio State football spring game. 

Gametime
COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (7-7, 3-2/3rd GWLL) heads to Birmingham, Mich., for the second-annual Great Western Lacrosse League tournament this weekend. The No. 3 seed Buckeyes will take on No. 2 seed Air Force at 7:30 p.m. Friday, preceded by a game between No. 1 seed and regular-season champion Notre Dame and No. 4 seed Quinnipiac at 5 p.m. The semifinal winners will meet at noon Sunday with the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament on the line. All three games will be played at Maple Field at Seaholm High School.

Live stats from the Buckeyes’ tournament games can be accessed from the men’s lacrosse schedule page online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

Ticket Information
A weekend pass, which includes all three tournament games, is $20. Tickets are available online via TicketWeb.com and at Bloomfield Sports Shop and Detroit Lax stores. Sellouts are anticipated. Individual day tickets ($15 each) will be available at the door only if any seats remain unsold.

Tourney History
This is the second year the GWLL is holding a neutral-site tournament to determine the league’s automatic NCAA berth. Last year in Birmingham, Mich., Ohio State downed Denver and Notre Dame beat Quinnipiac in the semifinals. In the final, the Irish topped the Buckeyes, 9-2.

A New Look Next Year
This is the final year for the Great Western Lacrosse League. Next season, Ohio State, along with current GWLL teams Air Force, Bellarmine, Quinnipiac and Denver, will become members of the ECAC Lacrosse League, joining Hobart, Fairfield and Loyola. Notre Dame will become a member of the Big East as the league begins to sponsor the sport. Quinnipiac will join the newly formed NEC lacrosse league in 2011.

League Ledger
Notre Dame won the Great Western Lacrosse League regular-season title with a 5-0 ledger. Air Force was second with a 4-1 mark, followed by third-place Ohio State at 3-2 and Quinnipiac in fourth with a 2-3 mark. Denver was 1-4 and Bellarmine was 0-5.

Eyes on the Buckeyes
In Ohio Stadium last Saturday, 30,192 fans were in the stands to watch the Ohio State lacrosse game vs. Notre Dame, setting the national regular-season and on-campus attendance records for men’s lacrosse. It topped the mark of 29,601 set by the Buckeyes a season ago. By the end of the lacrosse game between the Buckeyes and Irish, the crowd was upwards of 50,000. A national record 95,722 fans filled the stands for the Ohio State football spring game that followed the lacrosse game.

Last Time Out
In front of an NCAA men’s lacrosse regular-season record crowd of 30,192, Ohio State lost to No. 3 Notre Dame, 14-8, in sunny, warm Ohio Stadium last Saturday.

Buckeye junior goalie Brandon Freeman made a career-best 18 saves in the defeat, while senior Jeff Ryan had four goals and an assist for his second-consecutive five-point game. Senior Joel Dalgarno’s goal in the first quarter was the 123rd of his career, as he tied the program record set by Terry Gilmore in 1979.

Ohio State led 3-0 in the first quarter but Notre Dame outscored the Buckeyes, 4-1, including a goal with one second remaining, in the second quarter to send the teams into halftime tied at 4. The Irish scored the next seven goals to take the lead and push the score to 11-4. Ohio State ended the run with a goal with 3:16 left in the third quarter. Each team scored three times in the fourth.

Buckeye Bio
Ohio State is 7-7 this year and finished 3-2 in Great Western Lacrosse League play, with conference wins over Denver, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine and losses at Air Force and vs. Notre Dame.

The team is averaging 10.24 goals a game, while allowing 8.53. The squad averages 33.4 shots a game, giving up 36.0. The Buckeyes have converted 34.6 percent of their EMO chances (18-of-52) and have stopped 31-of-48 opponent chances (.646).

Senior Joel Dalgarno is first on the team with 30 goals, 23 assists and 53 points. Classmate Jeff Ryan is second in goals (29), assists (16) and points (45). Junior Mario Ventiquattro stands third in both goals (20) and points (28). Sophomore Mike Pires is fourth with 16 tallies and ranks fifth with 21 points, behind junior James Green, who has 23 points to rank fourth, including 14 goals and nine assists. Green is first with six EMO scores.

Junior Brandon Freeman has started all 14 games in the cage and has 153 saves, with 119 goals allowed, for an 8.77 goals-against average and .562 save percentage.

Freeman is first with 39 groundballs, followed by senior Scott Matthews with 33. Senior Nick Carr has won a team-best 55.7 percent of his faceoffs this season.

Homecoming
Buckeye sophomore Conor David is the only Ohio State player to call the state of Michigan home. David hails from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and graduated from Brother Rice. He has played in all 14 games this year and has 12 groundballs, along with two assists for the first points of his Buckeye career.

An Exclusive Club
Senior Joel Dalgarno tied the Ohio State all-time record for career goals in the first quarter last Saturday, finding the back of the cage for the 123rd time in his career. He matches the mark Terry Gilmore had from 1976-79.

Dalgarno became just the second Buckeye in program history, and the first in 30 years, to pass the 200-point mark in his career, with four goals vs. Bellarmine April 4. Dalgarno is second in career points with 219, behind only Gilmore, who had 250 for the Scarlet and Gray.

Dalgarno is one of just 10 players from current GWLL teams to reach 200 or more points and the first since Quinnipiac’s Joe Baglio in 2002 (203).
 
Streakers
Ohio State players carry the following point streaks into the GWLL tournament. Joel Dalgarno’s 20-game point streak is the 10th-longest active streak in the nation.
Games/Goals
Dalgarno, 6/14
Ryan, 2/7
Ventiquattro, 2/4
Games/Assists
Dalgarno, 2/5
Pires, 2/3
Ryanm, 2/3
Hayes, 2/2
Ruhnke, 2/2
Games/G-A-P
Dalgarno, 20/49-34-83
Ruhnke, 6/6-4-10
Ryan, 2/7-3-10
Pires, 2/3-3-6
Ventiquattro, 2/4-0-4
Hayes, 2/0-2-2

In the Nation 
In the NCAA statistics released this week, Ohio State ranked in the Top 25 in seven team categories: assists per game (12th/6.64), points per game (16th/16.93), saves per game (18th/11.57), scoring margin (19th/+1.71), scoring offense (19th/10.29), man-up offense (21st/.346) and scoring defense (24th/8.57).

Attackman Joel Dalgarno is sixth in points per game (3.79), tied for 12th in assists per outing (1.64) and 26th in goals per game (2.07).Jeff Ryan is 22nd in points per outing (3.21) and 31st in goals per game (2.07). Goalie Brandon Freeman is 19th in save percentage (.563) and 26th in goals-against average (8.78).

Buckeyes vs. Falcons
Ohio State leads the series with Air Force, 13-11, and had an 11 game winning streak vs. the Falcons ended with a 9-6 loss in USAFA, Colo., April 18. In neutral-site games, Air Force leads, 5-0.

Senior Joel Dalgarno leads the Buckeyes with eight goals, seven assists and 15 points vs. Air Force. Junior Mario Ventiquattro (4g, 1a) and senior Jeff Ryan (3g, 2a) each have five points vs. AFA.
 
The Last Time – OSU vs. AFA

Ohio State lost to Air Force in a snowstorm, 9-6, two weeks ago (April 18) in USAFA, Colo., with junior goalie Brandon Freeman making a then-career best 15 saves.

Air Force scored the only goal of the first quarter and after Ohio State took a 2-1 lead early in the second, the Falcons scored three in a row to take a 4-2 lead into halftime. The teams traded goals early in the third quarter to make the score 5-3. Ohio State then got goals from seniors Joel Dalgarno and Doug Ruhnke, who each had two goals in the game, to tie the game at 5-all with 9:20 left in the third. The Falcons then went on a four-goal run to pull away, including three tallies to close out the third quarter.

Falcon File
Air Force is 7-6 overall this year and enters the GWLL tournament on a three-game winning streak, including a 10-7 win over Denver last week. Air Force was 4-1 in GWLL play to finish a program-best second in the league.

The Falcons are averaging 9.31 goals a game, while allowing 8.85. The squad has converted 16-of-51 (.314) man-up chances and has stopped 42-of-59 (.712).

Ridge Flick, the reigning GWLL Player of the Week, has a team-best 18 assists and 34 points and is third with 16 goals. K.J. Landgraf is second with 23 goals and 27 points. Griffin Nevitt is second in assists (12), third in points (26) and fourth in goals (14). Vinny Sandtorv is second with 20 goals and is fourth with 23 points.

Five goalies have started for the Falcons this year. Brian Wilson has played in 10 games, starting six (including the last three), with a 7.70 goals-against average and .531 save percentage, with a 3-2 record. Matt Sanders has played in six games, with three starts, with a 9.69 gaa and .472 svpct., while holding a 1-2 ledger.

Eric Seremet, a 1992 graduate of North Carolina, is in his first year as the interim head coach of the Falcons. He spent the past seven years as the top assistant at Air Force.

Vote for Joel!
Joel Dalgarno is a Top 10 finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Fans can vote for Dalgarno from now through the May 7 voting deadline, either online  at seniorclassaward.com or by texting the code “LAX5” to 839863.

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 award winner will be announced and presented with his trophy at the 2009 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship in Foxborough, Mass.

Save!
Junior goalie Brandon Freeman had a career-high 18 saves against Notre Dame last Saturday and has 14 or more in each of his last three games. He ranks second in the GWLL and 19th in the nation in save percentage (.563) and has an 8.78 goals-against average to rank second in the league and 26th nationally. Freeman has started all 14 games this year after spending the last two seasons backing up All-American Stefan Schroder. He has played every minute for the Buckeyes this year except for the second half vs. Detroit in the first game of the year.

Freeman had a then-career-best 15 saves vs. Air Force April 18 and followed that with 14 stops vs. Denver April 19. He has double-digit saves in 10 games this year.

Ryan Routine
Senior Jeff Ryan had his fourth game of the year with five or more points with four goals and an assist for five points vs. Notre Dame last Saturday. The four goals vs. the Irish tied his career high, set twice before, including vs. Robert Morris March 11. He has five career five-point games, including in each of his last two games.

Ryan, in his third year as a Buckeye, ranks 21st in program history with 120 career points, with 81 goals and 39 assists, two points behind Rob Grim and Kevin Johnson who share the 19th position. Ryan is second on the team with a career-best 29 goals, 15 assists and 45 points. He ranks second in the GWLL and 22nd nationally averaging 3.21 points a game. He has two or more points in all but two games this year.

Ruhnke on a Roll
Senior Doug Ruhnke is on a six-game scoring streak, with six goals, four assists and 10 points over the stretch. He now has a career-best seven goals and 13 points this year, topping the five goals he had in both 2007 and 08 and the 11 points he recorded in 2007.

Noting No. 16
Senior Joel Dalgarno is first on the squad with 30 goals, 23 assists and 52 points this year. It is the third time he has reached 50 points in a season as a Buckeye, after scoring 50 as a sophomore and 75 as a junior.

Dalgarno now has 219 career points, remaining second in program history. The all-time leader is Terry Gilmore, who had 250 points from 1976-79. Dalgarno has 123 goals to tie for first with Gilmore. Dalgarno is third in assists with 96, trailing Cliff Murray (1966-68) in second with 97 and Gilmore in first with 127.

Dalgarno, who has ranked in the Top 2 in the league in scoring each of the last two years, leads all GWLL players in points per game (3.79), ranking sixth nationally, and is tied for first with 2.14 goals an outing, standing 26th in the NCAA. He is first in the league in assists per game (1.64), ranking 12th in the nation.

No. 32
Junior Keith Lovett had a career-high tying five groundballs vs. Notre Dame, matching the total he had against Cornell May 10, 2008. He added an assist in the game, his second this season and of his career.
 
A Helpful Group

The Buckeyes are 12th in the nation in assists per game, averaging 6.64 an outing. The squad has 93 assists on 144 goals this year. The team had six on the eight goals scored vs. Notre Dame last Saturday. Twenty Buckeyes have at least one assist this year.

Fresh Face
Freshman Eddie Bambino has started each of the last five games. He scored his sixth goal of the year vs. Notre Dame and leads the Buckeye rookies in goals, sharing the freshman point lead with Brock Sorensen (4g, 3a) with seven points each.

Super Mario
Junior Mario Ventiquattro has at least one goal in all but one game this year, with two or more tallies in seven games. He has a career-best 20 goals, eight assists and 28 points this year, ranking third on the squad in both goals and points.He has two goals in each of his last two games. 

Sharp-Shooters
Ohio State has converted 30.8 percent of its shots this season, with 144 goals on 467 attempts. Jeff Ryan has scored on a team-best 45.3 percent of his attempts with 29 goals on 64 shots (among players with more than 10 shots this season). 

De-Fense!
The Buckeyes rank second in the GWLL and 13th nationally in scoring defense, giving up 8.57 goals an outing. The squad kept Detroit Mercy to just one goal in the season opener and held Quinnipiac to just two goals March 28.

It is the first time the team held opponents to three goals or fewer twice in a season since 2004, when Ohio State downed Marist, 11-3, and defeated Air Force, 9-2.

No. 43 on D
Senior Scott Matthews, who has started all 14 games this year, is second on the team with a career-best 33 groundballs and leads the squad with 15 caused turnovers.

Matthews scored his second career goal against Robert Morris March 11. It was his first since March 29, 2008 at Quinnipiac. He had his first unsuccessful shot at Bellarmine April 4 and now has three shots, and two goals, in his career. He was ranked sixth among the NCAA’s defensemen this season by Inside Lacrosse in ratings released earlier this season.

Up Next
The bracket for the 16-team NCAA tourney will be announced May 3 live on ESPNU from 9-10 p.m. and on ESPNEWS from 10-10:30 p.m.