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Feb. 26, 2004

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READY TO GO
The No. 17 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (0-1, 0-0 GWLL) travels to face No. 18 Navy (1-0, 1-0 Patriot) at noon Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorials Stadium (Natural Grass/34,000) in Annapolis, Md.

THE RANKINGS
The Buckeyes were ranked 17th in the Face-Off Yearbook’s Division I Preseason Coaches Poll and held down the 20th spot in the Lacrosse Magazine 2004 Preseason College Rankings.

Navy is ranked 18th by Face-Off Yearbook and is 14th in the Lacrosse Magazine poll.

LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State was defeated by Penn State, 5-4, last Saturday at North Turf Field in Columbus. Navy easily beat Lafayette, 14-1, in Easton, Pa.

THE SERIES
Ohio State and Navy have met once, with the Midshipmen posting a 13-10 victory in Columbus last season (Feb. 22, 2003).

THE 2003 MEETING –
NAVY 13, OSU 10
The Buckeyes were defeated by Navy, 13-10, in their season opener Feb. 22, 2003 at the North Turf Field in Columbus. The Buckeyes led 7-5 at halftime but were outscored 6-2 in the third quarter as Navy regained the lead and went on to the win.

Pat Myers and Anthony Gilardi led the Buckeyes with four points each against Navy. Myers had a team-high four goals, while Gilardi had a goal and a game-high three assists. A LOOK BACK – PSU 5, AT OSU 4
The Buckeyes fell to the Nittany Lions, 5-4, Saturday, Feb. 21 at North Turf Field. PSU’s Edmond Perry scored less than three minutes into the game before the Buckeyes scored back-to-back goals by Anthony Gilardi and Tom Randisi (man-up) to end the first quarter with a 2-1 lead. The Nittany Lions scored the only goals of the second to take the lead into halftime, 3-2.

In the third, PSU’s Charlie Perry tallied the lone goal to but PSU up, 4-2. The Buckeyes scored twice, with Ben Wolff scoring at 11:01 and Randisi at 8:14, to tie the game at four. Greg Hale then scored the gamewinner for the Nittany Lions with 5:53 remaining.

The Buckeyes dominated the statistics in the game, outshooting the Nittany Lions, 40-20, and picking up 33 groundballs to PSU’s 20. OSU won 7-of-13 faceoffs.

A LOOK AT THE MIDSHIPMEN
Navy is 1-0 on the year after its 14-1 win over Lafayette Feb. 21. Against the Leopards, Ian Dingman led the squad with five goals and six points, Jon Birsner had four assists and Joe Bossi had three goals.

The Mids return 23-of-36 letterwinners from last season’s 6-7 team, including 70 percent of their goals and almost 80 percent of their assists. Sophomore attack Dingman, junior midfielder Graham Gill and senior long stick Thomas Morris were named to Face-Off Yearbook’s preseason All-America honorable mention squad.

AT THE HELM
Richie Meade, a 1976 graduate of North Carolina, is in his 10th year at the helm of Navy. He is 62-54 with the Mids and has a career ledger of 89-77 in his 14th year.

IN THE PATRIOT
Navy, a member of the ECAC since 2000, joined the Patriot League prior to this season. They are joined in the conference by Bucknell, Army, Colgate, Hobart, Lehigh, Holy Cross and Lafayette.

OSU VS. THE PATRIOT
Ohio State is 3-8 all-time vs. current Patriot League teams – 2-0 vs. Army, 1-4 vs. Hobart, 0-1 vs. Navy and Colgate and 0-2 vs. Bucknell. OSU never has faced Lehigh, Holy Cross or Lafayette.

LEADING THE WAY
Buckeye junior midfielder Tom Randisi led the Buckeyes with two goals against Penn State. It was his first multiple-goal game since scoring three against Notre Dame April 6, 2003.

OFF TO A GOOD START
Sophomore Ben Wolff scored his second career goal in the loss to the Nittany Lions. He had one goal in 10 games last season.

POSTING POINTS
Senior Anthony Gilardi is the Buckeyes’ leading returning scorer with 16-10-26 totals last season. Following his goal against PSU, he has 91 career points (58 goals). He should become the 22nd member of the OSU 100-point club this season.

THE SCHEDULE
Ohio State has seven ranked teams on the schedule this year. The squad opens with a stretch of three consecutive games vs. Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Top 20 opponents, starting off with No. 15 Penn State at home (a 5-4 loss), followed by No. 18 Navy and No. 19 UMBC on the road. The team then returns home to face Drexel before a four-game road swing to Quinnipiac, Marist, Hartford and GWLL-foe and No. 16 Notre Dame. The squad will then play four of the next five games at home, as it plays host to No. 9 Duke and GWLL opponent Butler in consecutive weeks and GWLL opponents No. 23 Denver and Air Force on the same weekend, sandwiched around a road game at Hobart. OSU ends the GWLL slate with a road game at Fairfield and then closes out the regular season at No. 8 North Carolina.

IN NET
Senior Tony Russo, the 2003 GWLL Player of the Year, returns as the Buckeyes’ starter in goal for the fourth year. Russo posted nine saves against PSU to move his career ledger to 487 and into seventh place in OSU history for career saves. He needs 42 to move past sixth-place Mike Abeles (528). Russo is 123 saves shy of the all-time mark of 610 set by Jim Hartnett from 1979-81.

BREAK IT DOWN
This season, the Buckeyes’ roster contains nine seniors, nine juniors, 15 sophomores and 22 freshmen.

The roster contains 17 players from Ohio, 10 from New York, eight from Maryland, three from Pennsylvania, two each from Missouri, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, British Columbia and New Jersey and one each from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts and Michigan.

PRESEASON HONORS
Buckeye senior defenseman Greg Bice was named to Face-Off Yearbook’s Division I Preseason All-America second team, while senior goalie Tony Russo earned honorable mention preseason All-America accolades. Each earned STX/USILA All-America honorable mention accolades last season.

THE CAPTAINS
Five Buckeyes were selected by a vote of their teammates to serve as captains for the squad this season – senior defensemen Greg Bice and Matt Cafarelli, senior attack Anthony Gilardi, senior goalie Tony Russo and junior midfielder Tom Randisi.

A LOOK BACK
Last year, the Buckeyes had one of the most outstanding years in program history. The squad shared the Great Western Lacrosse League title and earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. The appearance in the national tourney was the first in program history. The squad ended the year 9-5 overall and 4-1 in the GWLL.

NEW IN SCARLET AND GRAY
Four new Buckeyes saw their first game action at Ohio State against Penn State. Junior transfer Kyle Olson, as well as true freshmen Jason Lutz, Chris Li and Jeff Schneider, all played vs. the Nittany Lions, with Olson starting the game.

COME OUT TO SEE THE BUCKEYES
Against Penn State, 900 fans braved the cold weather to watch the game. It was the most fans at an Ohio State home game since 863 watched OSU defeat Notre Dame last April. The team last hit the 900-fan mark April 19, 2002 vs. Denver (903).

TAKING OVER
Josh Lesko has become the Buckeyes’ main athlete in the faceoff X this season following the graduation of four-year faceoff-man Anthony Kelly. Lesko took 11-of-13 draws vs. PSU, winning six. Nick Williams took two faceoffs against the Nittany Lions, winning one.

CLOSING IN
Buckeye head coach Joe Breschi is 10 wins shy of tying the Ohio State record for coaching victories (57) held by Paul Hartman (1961-66). Breschi is 47-35 at the helm for OSU.

IN A NEW ROLE
Former Buckeye standout Pat Myers, who graduated from Ohio State in Spring 2003, is serving as the squad’s volunteer assistant coach this season. Myers takes over for his brother, Nick, who joined the Butler staff over the summer.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes stay on the road, as they travel to Baltimore, Md., to take on UMBC at 1 p.m. March 6.

THEY’LL BE BACK
The Buckeyes will return to Columbus March 13 for a game against Drexel at noon. The teams are scheduled to meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.