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Ohio State vs.
No. 3 Notre Dame
Saturday, April 25 – 11 a.m. ET
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Buckeye Lax Hits
The weather forecast for Columbus Saturday is a high of 86 degrees, with no chance of rain. Wear sunscreen!
For those unable to make the game, a free webcast will be available online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Click on the Buckeye Vision link in the upper right corner of the home page for more information.
This marks the second doubleheader for Ohio State men’s lacrosse and the football spring game. Last year the lacrosse attendance was an NCAA regular-season record crowd of 29,601, with a crowd of more than 50,000 fans in the stands by the end of the lacrosse game. The football spring game attendance that day was 76,346.
A win over Notre Dame Saturday would give the Buckeyes a share of their second-consecutive Great Western Lacrosse League title.
Senior Joel Dalgarno is two goals shy of becoming the all-time leading goal scorer in Ohio State history. 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 is 5-0 in Columbus this year. The game Saturday is the first at home for the Buckeyes after four-consecutive games on the road.
The game Saturday is the final regular-season game for the nine Buckeye seniors – Corey Bentine, Nick Carr, Peter Coluccini, Joel Dalgarno, Brian Lalley, Scott Matthews, Andrew Pace, Doug Ruhnke and Jeff Ryan.

Gametime
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (7-6, 3-1 GWLL) closes out its regular season in the “Showdown in the Shoe” Saturday vs. Notre Dame. The Buckeyes and No. 3-ranked Irish (12-0, 4-0 GWLL) will meet at 11 a.m. in Ohio Stadium in Columbus, prior to the Ohio State football spring game.

The lacrosse game will be televised live around the state of Ohio on The Ohio News Network. Dan Fronczak and former Buckeye captain Anthony Kelly will call the action for ONN.

A live webcast will be available for free through Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, with Ohio State student radio providing commentary.

Live stats can be accessed through the men’s lacrosse schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

The doubleheader is part of the second annual Scarlet and Gray Days, which includes a three-game baseball series vs. Northwestern Friday-Sunday and a softball doubleheader Sunday vs. Oakland.

How to Go
Tickets, which include both the lacrosse and football games, are $5 each, with Ohio State students (with valid Buck ID) and children 6 and under free. Tickets are available for groups of 50 or more for $4 each.

Tickets are available online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com (click on TICKETS), through Ticketmaster by phone at 800-745-3000, in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Ohio State ticket office in the southeast corner of the Schottenstein Center. Tickets may also be purchased at Columbus area McDonald’s restaurants and also will be available at the gate the day of the game (cash only).

The group rate is only available prior to game day in person at the Ohio State ticket office, in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or by phone through the Ohio State group sales department (614-247-1984).

Eyes on the Buckeyes
This marks the second-consecutive season the Buckeye men’s lacrosse and football programs are hosting a doubleheader.

The attendance at the lacrosse game last year was 29,601, setting the national regular-season and on-campus attendance records. By the end of the lacrosse game, more than 50,000 fans were in the Shoe as the Buckeyes closed out a 20-13 victory over Denver.

On the Line
A Buckeye win Saturday over Notre Dame would give Ohio State a share of its second-consecutive Great Western Lacrosse League regular-season title. The team has four GWLL titles – 1999, 03, 04 and 08.

Celebration of 60
The 2009 campaign marks the 60th season of varsity lacrosse at Ohio State. The men’s lacrosse alumni will be honored in a ceremony at halftime Saturday.

League Ledger
Notre Dame is in first place in the GWLL with a 4-0 ledger, followed by Ohio State and Air Force at 3-1 each. Notre Dame has clinched at least a share of the title. A Buckeye win would give Ohio State a share of the regular season title.

Ohio State, Notre Dame and Air Force already have clinched spots in the GWLL tournament May 1/3. The final spot is up for grabs between Denver and Quinnipiac, who are 1-3 each, and Bellarmine, who is 0-4.

If teams are tied the first tiebreaker is head-to-head. If teams still remained tied the next tiebreaker is goals allowed among teams that are tied.

The league slate wraps up Saturday when Notre Dame travels to Ohio State, Bellarmine plays at Quinnipiac and Air Force hosts Denver.

Last Time Out
Ohio State split two games in Colorado last weekend, falling to Air Force in a snowstorm, 9-6, Saturday before rebounding to down Denver, 16-10, Sunday.

Against the Falcons, despite a career-best 15 saves from junior goalie Brandon Freeman, Ohio State lost to Air Force, 9-6, in USAFA, Colo.

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.

Playing its second road game in 24 hours, Ohio State dropped Denver, 16-10, at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium in Denver.

Four Buckeyes had five points in the win. James Green had a game-high four goals and added an assist, Jeff Ryan and Mike Pires each had a hat trick and two assists and Dalgarno had a game-high four helpers, along with a goal. Ruhnke added two goals and an assist, while Mario Ventiquattro had two scores. Freeman had 14 saves in the cage in the win.

The Buckeyes trailed 3-1 in the first quarter before a five-goal run gave the squad a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter. The Pioneers were able to cut the lead to one (6-5) at 8:19 of the second, but the Buckeyes responded with three-consecutive goals to go into halftime up, 9-5. Denver drew within two early in the third quarter, but the Buckeyes outscored the Pioneers, 7-3, the rest of the way, including shutting DU out for the final 11:12.

An Exclusive Club
Senior Joel 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 217, behind only Terry Gilmore, who had 250 from 1976-79.

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).

Dalgarno is just two away from becoming Ohio State’s all-time leading goal scorer, entering the game vs. the Irish with 122 career goals. Gilmore set the standard with 123 during his career.
 
Buckeye Bio
Ohio State is 7-6 this year and stands 3-1 in Great Western Lacrosse League play, with conference wins over Denver, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine and a loss at Air Force.

The team is averaging 10.41 goals a game, while allowing 8.11. The squad averages 33.5 shots a game, giving up 34.8. The Buckeyes have converted 34 percent of their EMO chances (17-of-50) and have stopped 28-of-43 opponent chances (.651).

Senior Joel Dalgarno is first on the team with 29 goals, 22 assists and 51 points. Classmate Jeff Ryan is second in both goals (25), assists (15) and points (40). Junior Mario Ventiquattro stands third in both goals (18) and points (26). Sophomore Mike Pires is fourth with 16 tallies and ranks fifth with 20 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 13 games in the cage and has 135 saves, with 105 goals allowed, for an 8.36 goals-against average and .562 save percentage.

Freeman is first with 36 groundballs, followed by senior Scott Matthews with 31.

In the Nation 
In the NCAA statistics released this week, Ohio State ranked in the Top 25 in seven team categories: assists per game (11th/6.69), points per game (15th/17.15), scoring margin (16th/+2.31), scoring offense (18th/10.46), scoring defense (19th/8.15), saves per game (t-22nd/.11.08) and man-up offense (25th/.340).

Attackman Joel Dalgarno is fifth in points per game (3.92), tied for 11th in assists per outing (1.69) and tied for 22nd in goals per game (2.23).Jeff Ryan is 31st in points per outing (3.08). Goalie Brandon Freeman is 21st in goals-against average (8.36) and 20th in save percentage (.563).

In Columbus
Ohio State remained undefeated at home with its 8-2 win over Quinnipiac March 28, improving to 5-0 on the year. The team had three wins inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center (Detroit 21-1, Bucknell 10-9 OT, Fairfield 11-6) before downing Robert Morris, 19-13, March 13 and the Bobcats in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The final game in Columbus, and the final game of the regular season, is Saturday when the Buckeyes take on Notre Dame.
 
Streakers

Ohio State players carry the following point streaks into the weekend.
Games/Goals
Dalgarno, 5/13
Ruhnke, 4/6
Green, 3/7
Games/Assists
None
Games/G-A-P
Dalgarno, 19/48-33-81
Ruhnke, 5/6-3-9
Green, 3/7-1-8

Buckeyes vs. Irish
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Notre Dame, 21-25, and is looking to stop a five-game losing streak against the Irish. The Buckeyes’ last win over Notre Dame was March 31, 2004 in South Bend (9-8).

Last season, the teams met twice. In the regular-season finale April 27 the Irish won 17-12 on their home field. The teams faced off the next week in the GWLL tournament championship game, with Notre Dame winning, 9-2.

In Columbus, Ohio State leads, 11-10. The teams last met in Columbus April 28, 2007, when Notre Dame won, 12-6. Ohio State’s last win over the Irish in Columbus was April 6, 2003 (11-5).
 
Eye on the Irish

Notre Dame is 12-0 this year, the only undefeated team in Division I, with a 4-0 ledger in GWLL play to already clinch at least a share of the league regular-season title. The team won at Quinnipiac last Saturday (10-2) and returned home to down St. John’s, 12-2, last Sunday.  The Irish rank first nationally in team defense, holding opponents to 6.08 goals a game while scoring 11.33 to rank 10th in the nation. The squad is in the Top 15 nationally in man-up offense (.400) and man-down defense (.737).

Duncan Swezey has a team-best 34 points and shares the assist lead with Peter Christman with 14 each. Grant Krebs has a team-high 24 goals and is tied with Neal Hicks (19g, 13a) for second with 32 points each. Ryan Hoff is second with 23 goals, followed by Swezey with 20. Andrew Irving has a team-best 41 groundballs. Trever Sipperly (.541) and Jake Marmul (.528) both rank in the Top 30 nationally in face-off win percentage.

In net, Scott Rodgers leads the nation in goals-against average (6.11) and save percentage (.665).

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 ranks second in the GWLL and 21st in the nation with an 8.36 goals-against average. He has a .562 save percentage, ranking 20th in the NCAA and second among league goalies. Freeman has started all 13 games this year after spending the last two seasons backing up All-American Stefan Schroder.

Freeman had a career-best 15 saves Saturday vs. Air Force and followed that with 14 stops vs. Denver Sunday. He has double-digit saves in each of his last three games and in nine total games this year.

Ruhnke on a Roll
Senior Doug Ruhnke is on a five -game scoring streak, with six goals, three assists and nine points over the stretch. He had two goals against both Air Force and Denver to match his career best (set three times before) and added an assist at Denver to set a season high.

Ruhnke now has a career-best seven goals and 12 points this year, topping the five goals he had in both 2007 and 08 and the 11 points he recorded in 2007.

Green in a Groove
Junior James Green had four goals and five points at Denver last Sunday, marking a career best. He has five career hat tricks and three four-point games as a Buckeye. He is on a three-game goal-scoring streak with seven goals over the stretch, and now has 14 goals, nine assists and 23 points this year.

A Helpful Group
The Buckeyes are 11th in the nation in assists per game, averaging 6.69 an outing. The squad has 87 assists on 136 goals this year. The team had 11 on the 16 goals scored at Denver last Sunday after scoring all six goals unassisted at Air Force last Saturday. Twenty Buckeyes have at least one assist this year.

Back to Back
Ohio State played twice in 24 hours last weekend, with a 1 p.m. game at Air Force Saturday and 1:30 p.m. game at Denver Sunday. It was the first time the team played games on back-to-back days since taking on the same teams in Colorado April 5-6, 1997. That year, the Buckeyes lost to the Falcons, 14-13, and downed the Pioneers, 17-10.

Have a Game
Sophomore Mike Pires had two assists at Denver to mark a career best. He added a hat trick for a five-point performance to tie his career high, matching the total he had in the season opener vs. Detroit. Pires has 16 goals and 20 points this season.

Noting No. 16
Senior Joel Dalgarno is first on the squad with 29 goals, 22 assists and 51 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. He had four assists and five points at Denver Sunday, his third five-point game of the year. 

Dalgarno now has 217 career points, remaining second in program history. The all-time leader is Terry Gilmore, who had 250 points from 1976-79. Dalgarno has 122 goals to stand in second place in program history, one behind Gilmore who ranks first with 123. Dalgarno is third in assists with 95, 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 (3.92), ranking fifth nationally, and is first with 2.23 goals an outing, standing 22nd in the NCAA. He is tied for first in the league in assists per game (1.69), ranking 11th in the nation.

Ryan Routine
Senior Jeff Ryan, in his third year as a Buckeye, ranks 21st in program history with 115 career points, with 77 goals and 38 assists. He is second on the team with 25 goals and a career-best 15 assists and 40 points. Ryan is second among GWLL players with 3.08 points a game this season and is tied for fourth in goals per contest (1.92).

Ryan had a 13-game scoring streak stopped at Air Force last Saturday but rebounded with five points, on a hat trick and two assists, at Denver Sunday. He has two or more points in all but two games this year.

Super Mario
Junior Mario Ventiquattro was held scoreless at Air Force last Saturday, ending his 13-game scoring streak, but responded with two goals vs. Denver Sunday. He is third on the team in goals (18) and points (26), matching his career best point total he had a year ago, and has a career-high eight assists. Ventiquattro has multiple points in seven of 13 games this season.

Sharp-Shooters
Ohio State has converted 31.3 percent of its shots this season, with 136 goals on 435 attempts. Jeff Ryan has scored on a team-best 43.9 percent of his attempts (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 8.15 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 was ranked sixth among the NCAA’s defensemen this season by Inside Lacrosse in ratings released earlier this season.

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. Matthews has a career-high tying 31 groundballs this year, along with a team-best 13 recorded caused turnovers. He had a personal-high tying five groundballs at Denver last Sunday, matching the five he had vs. Brown March 25, 2006.

Start Me Up
Freshman Eddie Bambino has started each of the last four games and joins Brock Sorensen (1 start) as the only rookies with a start for the Buckeyes this year. Sorensen leads the Buckeye freshmen with seven points this year on four goals and three assists, followed by Bambino with six points on five goals and a helper.

Up Next
Ohio State will travel to Birmingham, Mich., for the Great Western Lacrosse League tournament, with the tourney champion earning the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.