April 24, 2002
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The No. 16 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (8-4, 2-1 GWLL) plays host to Butler (5-6, 1-3 GWLL) Saturday in its regular season home finale. The squads will face off at 7 p.m. Saturday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Admission is free for anyone holding a ticket stub from the OSU football Spring Game.
The game Saturday marks the last home game for 10 Ohio State seniors – Collis Boyce, John DiCamillo, Preston Dickerson, Mark Engel, Sung Hwang, Mark Marion, Toby Mink, Brandon Paul, Dan Savage and Kevin Stephan. The 11th member of the class – Peter Dillon – was injured early in the season and will use a medical redshirt this season and return next season to complete his eligibility.
About the Seniors
The Buckeye senior class was the first recruiting class head coach Joe Breschi brought to Ohio State. The seniors won the Great Western Lacrosse League title as freshmen in 1999. Entering the game this weekend, the seniors have been a part of 32 wins and 21 losses.
Breschi on the Seniors
“These guys are our first recruiting class at Ohio State – this is a special group,” Ohio State head coach Joe Breschi said. “They have been terrific role models from day one, both on and off the field, leading this program to the next level.”
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 16 this week in Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. In the STX/USILA coaches poll, the squad is 18th.
Scouting the Butler Bulldogs
Butler enters the game Saturday with a record of 5-6 overall and 1-3 in the GWLL. Like the Buckeyes, the Bulldogs faced Denver and Air Force last weekend. Butler beat the Falcons, 13-8, but fell in overtime to Denver, 9-8.
The Bulldogs are led in scoring by Ryan Ward, who ranks first in goals (17), assists (13) and points (30). Adam Cichostepski is second with 10 goals, 10 assists and 20 points. In goal, Brandon Winkler has played in all 11 games, posting 159 saves while allowing 96 goals.
A Familiar Face
Craig Kahoun (Butler ’96), Butler’s all-time leading scorer, is in his first season at the helm for his alma mater. Kahoun served as an assistant coach at Ohio State for two seasons before going to Butler. A four-time All-GWLL honoree, Kahoun earned All-America honors and was the GWLL Player of the Year in 1996. He is a native of Worthington, Ohio, and was a three-time all-state honoree at Thomas Worthington High School.
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Butler, 1-8, and has lost the last eight meetings.
The Last Win
The Buckeyes’ only win over Butler came April 7, 1993, as Ohio State won, 15-14, at Butler.
Ohio State and Butler have met every season since 1993. Five of the nine games have been decided by one goal, including each of the last two meetings. The previous meetings:
Date W/L Score H/A 3/28/01 L 12-13 A 3/11/00 L 8-9 H 3/27/99 L 8-16 A 4/11/98 L (OT) 8-9 H 4/26/97 L 6-16 A 3/30/96 L (OT) 4-5 H 4/12/95 L 7-14 A 4/2/94 L 7-13 H 4/7/93 W 15-14 A
The Last Meeting
The Buckeyes lost to Butler, 13-12, March 28, 2001 in Indianapolis, in the GWLL opener for both schools.
Ohio State fell behind early, 5-0, and rallied for nine goals in the second half, but it was not enough, as the Bulldogs pulled out the one-goal win.
Ohio State, battled back to tie the game at 7-all after trailing, 6-1. Toward the end of the third quarter, the teams traded goals, as they went into the final stanza tied at nine. Ohio State went up by one on a Bryan Mulford goal early in the fourth quarter and held the lead for over five minutes. However, the Bulldogs responded with three consecutive goals to retake the lead for good.
Player of the Week – Again
The Great Western Lacrosse League announced Tuesday Curtis Smith has been named its player of the week for the week ending April 21. Smith led the Buckeyes in scoring in their wins over Denver and Air Force over the weekend.
Smith had three goals in the Buckeyes’ 8-4 win over Denver Friday. Against Air Force Sunday, he again scored three times and also added two assists, as OSU won, 9-3.
This marks the second time this season Smith has been named GWLL Player of the Week. He also earned the honor Feb. 26 after leading Ohio State in scoring in its first two games.
The Buckeyes’ 8-4 win over Denver was their second such victory this season. The squad also topped Drexel, 8-4, at home in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium March 17.
The Best in a While
Curtis Smith’s 36 goals this season (in 12 games) are the most scored by a Buckeye since Timothy Johnson scored 39 in 1997. His 46 points are the most since Johnson’s 63 in 1997.
Junior Curtis Smith has 98 points in his career, ranking him 20th all-time in OSU program history. In 40 career games, Smith has recorded 67 goals and 31 assists.
In the Books
With three assists against Denver and one against Air Force, junior Mike Norton moved into seventh all-time in OSU history for career assists with 55. His 24 assists this season are a career high, surpassing his total of 21 last season.
Anthony Gilardi has been on fire this season, posting at least two goals in all but two games and at least one point in every game. He scored a season-high four goals against Delaware and had a season high five points, including four assists, against Air Force. Gilardi’s only one-point game was against Denver, when he was held to one goal.
The Buckeyes have allowed just two extra-man goals in their last three games, including two perfect games. Ohio State held Denver scoreless on its three chances and was 4-for-4 on extra-man defense against Fairfield. Against Air Force, OSU was 2-for-4. The squad has stopped 40-of-57 opponent chances this season (70.2 percent).
A Buckeye has posted four assists in a game twice this season. Mike Norton had four helpers against Delaware, while Anthony Gilardi had four against Air Force.
At The Helm
Joe Breschi, a 1990 graduate of North Carolina, is in his fifth season at the helm of the Buckeyes. A standout player for the Tar Heels, he was a two-time All-ACC selection, a two-time All-America honoree and a North-South All-Star Game participant in 1990. Breschi was a member of the U.S. National Team in 1994 and 1998. Prior to coming to Ohio State, Breschi served as an assistant coach at Brown (1993-97) and at UNC, his alma mater (1991-92). His career record stands at 37-28.
Tony Russo has been outstanding for the Buckeyes all season. He has two 20-save games (UNC, Army) and also posted 18 saves vs. Fairfield. He has 135 saves this season.
Freshman Tom Randisi has been held scoreless in just one game this season (VMI). He enters the contest vs. Butler on a nine-game scoring streak.
Shutting Them Down
Ohio State allowed just seven goals in its two games combined last weekend. OSU held Denver to four goals and the Falcons were able to score just three goals.
Too Close for Comfort
Four of the Buckeyes games have been decided by one goal this season, with OSU going 2-2 in those contests. The Buckeyes’ two one-goal losses both came in overtime, as they fell in three overtimes at North Carolina and in double overtime at Fairfield.
Among the Best
The NCAA released the fifth edition of the 2002 national rankings Tuesday (through games of April 21) and the Buckeyes were ranked in almost every category.
On offense, Curtis Smith is tied for 8th in goals-per-game (3.00) and 17th in points-per-game (3.83). Mike Norton is tied for 10th in the nation with 2.00 assists per game.
Saves and More Saves
Buckeye goalie Tony Russo ranks third in the nation in save percentage (.632). He is seventh in goals-against average (7.37).
On the Draw
Ohio State is 10th in the nation in face-off winning percentage, winning 57.7 of its draws. Josh Lesko is 11th in the nation at 60.2 percent. Anthony Kelly is just outside the Top 20 (57.4).
It’s a Team Thing
As a team, Ohio State is ranked in a number of areas. The squad is tied for fourth in the nation in scoring defense, holding its opponents to 7.33 goals per game, and 14th in scoring offense (11.33). The squad ranks seventh in the nation in scoring margin (4.00). The team is ranked third in man-up offense (.464).
The Trio to Watch
Ohio State’s offense is spearheaded by the trio of Curtis Smith, Anthony Gilardi and Mike Norton. They lead the team with 46, 42 and 35 points, respectively. Smith holds the team lead in goals with 36, while Norton leads the squad in assists with 24. Gilardi is second in goals (28) and assists (14).
Greg Bice, a preseason honorable mention All-America selection by Face-Off Yearbook, is third on the team with 42 groundballs, including a team-best eight against Fairfield. He already has exceeded his mark of 33 set last season.
Three in a Row?
Junior Anthony Kelly won the Buckeyes’ award for most groundballs in a season in his first two seasons with the squad and he leads the team with 53 this season. The next-highest total is 44, recorded by Josh Lesko. Kelly is the first player at Ohio State to win the groundball award in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.
One More Note about Groundballs
Ohio State had 86 groundballs in its two games combined against Denver and Air Force last season, while its opponents scooped up just 53.
In the First Half
Ohio State has outscored its opponents, 82-38, in the first half this season. It has shut out its opponents in the first quarter four times (Manhattan, Delaware, Fairfield, Air Force). The Buckeyes allowed just one goal each by Denver and Air Force last weekend.
Curtis Smith leads all Buckeyes (who have taken five or more shots this season) in shooting percentage. The Buckeyes’ leading goal scorer, he has posted 36 goals on 80 shots, scoring on 45 percent of his chances. His 80 shots also lead the team.
Junior Bryan Mulford has career highs for goals (5) and points (6) this season. He entered the 2002 season with just three goals in his first two seasons. He has scored a goal in three of the Buckeyes’ last four games.
Junior Pat Donohue has 13 points this season, just one shy of his total for his first two seasons at Ohio State. He has 10 goals this season, along with three assists. He entered the season with 10 goals, three assists and 14 points in his career. Donohue has been held without a point in just three of the squad’s 12 games this season.
When OSU Scores
Ohio State has scored the most goals in the second quarter this season, outscoring its opponents, 46-22. In the first stanza, the squad has scored 36 times, allowing just 16 scores.
Curtis Smith has scored at least two goals in 11 of the Buckeyes’ 12 games this season and has not been held scoreless in a game all season. He scored six against Delaware, four against North Carolina, Georgetown and Manhattan, three at Army, vs. Denver and vs. Air Force and two against VMI, Quinnipiac, Drexel and Fairfield. His only single-goal game was vs. Johns Hopkins.
Home Sweet Home
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium opened its doors in Fall 1999. Since then it has been home to the Ohio State men’s and women’s soccer teams in the fall and the men’s and women’s lacrosse and track teams in the spring. The stadium is one of the finest collegiate lacrosse facilities in the nation. The playing surface is Kentucky bluegrass. Since last season, construction was completed on an elevated grandstand-with seating available for an additional 8,000 spectators-concourse level and a working press box. Surrounded by a wrought iron fence with brick piers, the stadium also houses locker rooms and offices for the men’s and women’s soccer, men’s tennis, men’s and women’s lacrosse, field hockey and softball programs.
The Buckeyes end the regular season at Notre Dame. The squads will face off at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in South Bend, Ind.