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Feb. 28, 2007

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THE FACTS
The No. 19-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (3-1, 0-0 GWLL) plays host to No. 17 Bucknell (2-0, 0-0 Patriot League) at noon Saturday at North Turf Field in Columbus.

SUPPORT THE TROOPS
This season, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team has joined with America Supporting Americans (www.asa-usa.org) to sponsor the infantrymen of B Company of the first battalion in the 506th infantry unit of the 101st Airborne. The team will have a special guest on gameday this Saturday as CPT John McLaughlin, the former commander of the unit, will join the team for breakfast and on the sideline during the game.

The team has been sending care packages including books, magazines, Ohio State apparel and boxes of Gatorade drink mix, to the infantrymen of the unit made famous by the Battle of the Bulge during World War II and depicted in the HBO television series “Band of Brothers.” Because of the unit, the Ohio State team has adopted “Band of Brothers” as its team motto this season.

America Supporting Americans (ASA) is an organization that puts people in contact with soldiers serving overseas. The ASA has been bringing together people on the home front and soldiers overseas since the Vietnam War.

Bucknell, the Buckeyes’ opponent Saturday, was the first men’s lacrosse team in the nation to sponsor a unit through ASA.

IN THE RANKS
The Buckeyes were ranked in the first USILA coaches’ poll of the season, holding down the No. 19 spot. In the Inside Lacrosse media poll, the Buckeyes are among the others receiving votes. LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes were 2-0 last weekend, with a 19-1 neutral-site victory over Wagner Friday and 13-4 home win against Harvard Sunday. Bucknell downed Hobart in overtime, 11-10, in its last time out.

A BUCKEYE SNAPSHOT
The Buckeyes are 3-1 on the year, including a 2-0 mark at home in Columbus.

Junior Kevin Buchanan leads the Buckeyes with 12 assists and 16 points. Sophomore Jeff Ryan has a team-best 11 goals, followed by sophomore Joel Dalgarno with 10. Dalgarno is second on the squad with 15 points and Ryan ranks third with 13. Senior Eric O’Brien has won 56.7 percent of his faceoffs this season and is first on the team with 20 groundballs. Junior Ricky Pages is second with 13 groundballs.

Stefan Schroder started the first four games in the cage for the Buckeyes, with a 7.42 goals-against average and .577 save percentage.

Joe Breschi is in his 10th year at the helm of the Buckeyes. He has a school and career ledger of 75-53 and is the all-time leader in coaching wins at Ohio State.

HONORED
Ohio State junior midfielder Kevin Buchanan has been named the Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 19-25, the conference announced Wednesday. It is the second player of the week award in his career.

Buchanan, from Cockeysville, Md., (Calvert Hall) had a game-high six assists and seven points in the Buckeyes’ 13-4 win over Harvard last Sunday. The six assists were a career best, while the seven points were one shy of his career high. He also had two assists last Friday in the Buckeyes’ 19-1 neutral-site win over Wagner.

Buchanan, a 2006 All-GWLL First Team selection, leads the Buckeyes with 16 points and 12 assists this season. He enters the weekend on a 19-game point streak that began with two games remaining in the 2005 season (May 1, 2005 vs. Fairfield). In his career, Buchanan has 36 goals, 31 assists and 67 points in 31 games.

BUCKEYES VS. BISON
Ohio State is 0-2 all-time vs. Bucknell. The teams met April 13, 1991 in Lewisburg, Pa., a 19-8 Bison win. The last meeting was April 11, 1993, when Bucknell won, 20-8, in its home tournament.

OHIO STATE AND THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
The Buckeyes have a record of 5-6 against the current members of the Patriot League: 4-0 vs. Army, 1-3 vs. Navy, 0-1 vs. Colgate and 0-2 vs. Bucknell. Ohio State has never played Holy Cross, Lehigh or Lafayette.

Ohio State will take on Army May 6 to close out the 2007 regular season.

A LOOK AT BUCKNELL
Bucknell is 2-0 on the year, with an 11-10 overtime win against Hobart and a 10-4 victory over St. John’s to open the season. Austin Winter is first on the team with six assists and seven points. Tim Brandau is second with six points and is tied for second with four goals. Perry Menzies has a team-high five goals. Joe Mele is tied for second with four goals.

In the cage, Matt Antonelli has started both games. He has a 6.84 goals-against average and a .650 save percentage.

Frank Fedorjaka, a 1989 graduate of Hobart, is in his second season at the helm of the Bison. He has a school and career ledger of 8-8.

A FAMILIAR FACE
Former Buckeye Pat Myers (2000-03) is in his second season as an assistant coach for Bucknell. He was a four-year letterwinner at Ohio State and was named the GWLL Rookie of the Year in 2000.

He was a volunteer assistant coach at Ohio State in 2004 when the squad won the outright GWLL title and participated in the NCAA tournament and most recently was an assistant at Cornell.

Myers’ brother, Nick, is in his second season as an assistant coach at Ohio State.

HAVE A GAME
Junior Kevin Buchanan had a team-best six assists and seven points in the win over Harvard. The six helpers marked a career high, while his seven points were one shy of his career best mark. He had four assists and eight points at Air Force April 23, 2006 to set his previous career highs.

STREAKERS
Junior Kevin Buchanan enters the game vs. Bucknell on a 19-game point streak that began with two games remaining in the 2005 season (May 1, 2005 vs. Fairfield). Buchanan opened the year with six points, including four assists, vs. Robert Morris and then scored a goal against North Carolina. He had two assists vs. Wagner but did not score a goal to end his goal-scoring streak at 13, dating back to March 4, 2006 vs. Hobart.

Sophomore Joel Dalgarno is on a 17-game point streak that began in the first game last season (his first game as a Buckeye), with multiple points in each game.

STREAKERS PART TWO
The following are the scoring streaks the Buckeyes bring into the series this weekend.

Goals Games Goals During Streak
Dalgarno 5 (began 5/6/06) 12
Ryan 4 11
Benson 3 5
Pages 2 2
Assists Games Assists During Streak
Buchanan 2 8
Dalgarno 2 4
Ruhnke 2 3
Points Games G-A-P During Streak
Buchanan 19 (began 5/1/05) 32-27-59
Dalgarno 17 (began 2/18/06) 34-22-56
Ryan 4 11-2-13
Benson 4 5-1-6
McKinlay 3 1-2-3
Pages 2 2-0-2
Ruhnke 2 2-3-5

THREE FOR TWO
Against Wagner, freshman Patrick Hansen and sophomore Jeff Ryan each had three goals. The goals were the first for Hansen in his Buckeye career.

FIRSTS
Against Wagner last Friday, Patrick Hansen, Andrew Pace and Paul Beery each scored the first goal of their Buckeye careers.

Ryan Lowe had an assist vs. the Seahawks for his first career point.

Brian Lalley started the game vs. Wagner, marking his first career start.

Ben Drake had two points vs. Harvard, on a goal and an assist, for the first multiple-point game of his career.

Doug Ruhnke had a 2-2-4 line against Wagner, marking career highs for assists and points.

ROLLING
Sophomore Jeff Ryan, a transfer from Hobart, has at least three goals in three of his first four games as a Buckeye. He opened the year with five points, including a hat trick, vs. Robert Morris and scored three goals vs. Wagner. Against Harvard, Ryan had a career-best four goals.

In 14 games for the Statesmen last year, Ryan had 13 points, including seven goals and six assists.

OTHER FIRSTS
Freshman James Green scored against North Carolina to mark the first goal of his Buckeye career and came in his second career game.

Against Robert Morris, sophomore Corey Bentine had a goal, marking the first point of his Buckeye career.

Sophomore Doug Ruhnke had two goals and an assist for his first points as a Buckeye vs. the Colonials.

Junior Chris Friel tallied his first career goal vs. RMU.

Sophomore transfer Jeff Ryan (3-2-5) and senior transfer Joe Benson (0-1-1) also had their first points as Buckeyes in the game against Robert Morris.

A LOOK BACK – OSU 13, HARVARD 4
Buckeye junior Kevin Buchanan had six assists and seven points to lead Ohio State to a 13-4 victory over Harvard Feb. 25 at North Turf Field. Jeff Ryan added four goals for the Buckeyes, who improve to 3-1 on the year. The game opened the season for the Crimson, an NCAA tournament participant last season. Joel Dalgarno had three points, including two scores, Joe Benson had two goals and Ben Drake had two points on a goal and an assist.

Ohio State led 2-0 after the first quarter. Benson scored his first of two goals at 13:05, scoring with the Buckeyes on an extra-man chance, assisted by Dalgarno. Buchanan scored unassisted at 5:38.

The Buckeyes extended their lead to 7-1 at halftime, outscoring Harvard, 5-1, in the second quarter. The Buckeyes scored the first five goals of the quarter. Ricky Pages scored on a fast break at 10:19. Benson scored his second man-up goal, assisted by Buchanan, at 6:10, followed by Drake’s goal, assisted by Doug Ruhnke under a minute later (5:17). Buchanan set up James Green at 4:38. Dalgarno scored a man-up goal, assisted by Steve McKinlay, at 2:09. Harvard got on the board and ended the Buckeye run with a man-up goal by Carle Stenmark with six seconds remaining.

The teams combined for nine goals in the third quarter. Ryan opened the scoring at 10:43 before Harvard responded just six seconds later, as Liam Griff tallied. Max Motschwiller tallied for the Crimson at 9:19. The Buckeyes then went on a three-goal run, with Ryan scoring at 8:19 and 5:22, Dalgarno scoring at 7:15 and Eric O’Brien adding a goal at 6:55. Griff posted his second goal of the game with 5:14 remaining and Ryan added his fourth goal at 3:57.

The teams did not score in the fourth quarter.

Each team had 33 shots in the game. Buckeye goalie Stefan Schroder started and played the first 57:15, making 10 saves and allowing four goals. Brandon Freeman closed out the game and did not see a shot on goal.

BUCKEYES EARN PRESEASON HONORS
Longstick midfielder Ricky Pages was a preseason honorable mention All-America selection and junior attackman Kevin Buchanan joined Pages on the Preseason All-Great Western Lacrosse League team, released by Inside Lacrosse/Face-Off Yearbook for the 2007 season.

Pages, a native of East Rockaway, N.Y., (Lynbrook), was a first team All-GWLL choice last season and co-winner of the Buckeyes’ team defensive MVP award. He played in all 13 games and scored one goal while ranking second on the team with 33 groundballs. In 2005, Pages shared Ohio State’s Outstanding Freshman honor.

Buchanan, from Cockeysville, Md., (Calvert Hall College), was a first team all-conference selection and the Buckeyes’ Offensive MVP last season when he had a team-best 26 goals and tied for the team lead with a career-best 41 points. He had at least one point in every game and at least one goal in each of his last 11 outings. Buchanan, who has started 26-of-27 games for the Buckeyes, is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and shared the team’s Outstanding Freshman award with Pages in 2005.

LEADERS OF THE PACK
Senior midfielders Chris Li and Jason Lutz were selected by their teammates as team captains for the 2007 season.

Li, from Dix Hills, N.Y., (Half Hollow Hills East H.S.), has played in 35 games for the Buckeyes. He was limited to just nine games in 2006 because of injury after playing in all 14 games in 2005. He was the co-winner of the team’s Unsung Hero Award in 2006.

Lutz, a native of Carlisle, Pa., (Carlisle H.S.), has played in 41 games for the Buckeyes and has 20 goals, 10 assists and 30 points in his career. He is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten selection. He started 12-of-13 games last season posting career highs in goals (8), assists (6) and points (14).

THE SCHEDULE
After facing one of the toughest schedules in program history in 2006, the 2007 schedule is well balanced to prepare Ohio State for a run at conference and national titles.

The Buckeyes welcomed Robert Morris to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to kick off the season Feb. 10 (W 13-5) before heading to a neutral-site match-ups against North Carolina (L 14-10) in Baltimore and Wagner (W 19-1) in Pittsburgh. Ohio State returned home to faceoff against Harvard Feb. 25 (W 13-4). Breschi’s squad stays at home for a game against Bucknell March 3 and then travels to challenge Penn State March 10. The team remains on the road for contests against Towson and UMBC before opening conference competition against Quinnipiac on home turf March 31.

From this point out, the Buckeyes play all GWLL members with the exception of a final home game against Army. The team travels most of April, making trips to face Bellarmine, the newest member of the GWLL, Air Force and Denver.

The 2007 season comes to a close with an April 28 match up against conference rival Notre Dame and concludes May 6 as the Buckeyes challenge Army.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes hit the road for their next three games, beginning with a game at Penn State March 10 at 1 p.m.