May 25, 2017

No. 3 Buckeyes Head to Foxboro for NCAA Semifinal Matchup vs. Towson

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May 25, 2017

Ohio State vs Towson – NCAA Championship semifinals
Saturday, May 27 | Noon ET | Gillette Stadium | Foxboro, Mass.

Ohio State NCAA Semifinal Game Notes
Watch: Thursday media and Team Send Off
TV: ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN SkyCam
Radio: Westwood One (SiriusXM 84, NCAA.com, TuneIn app)
Live Stats
📷 Practice Day Photos from Foxboro
Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

For the first time in program history, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team has earned a spot in NCAA Championship Weekend. The No. 3-ranked Buckeyes (15-4, 3-2 B1G) will travel to Boston for the 2017 NCAA Championship, with the semifinals and final held in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

Ohio State, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, will face Towson (12-4, 4-1 CAA) in the semifinals at noon Saturday. The second semifinal, set for 2:30 p.m., includes No. 1 seed Maryland (13-3, 4-1 B1G) taking on No. 5 Denver (13-3, 5-0 Big East). The final will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday.

ESPN2 will televise all three games in Foxboro. Anish Shroff, Quint Kessenich and Paul Carcaterra will be on the call. The broadcast will also be available online and for mobile devices through WatchESPN.

The games can also be heard through Westwood One radio, available on Sirius XM 84, online via westwoodonesports.com or ncaa.com or through the TuneIn mobile app.   Dave Ryan, Mark Dixon and Jason Horowitz will be calling the action.

Live stats and periodic ingame Twitter updates at @OhioState_MLAX are also available.

 NCAA Tourney Talk

  • Ohio State earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament and is making the sixth appearance in program history, including the third in five years.
  • The squad advanced to the semifinals for the first time with a 16-11 win over Duke Saturday in Hempstead, N.Y.
  • To open this year’s NCAA Tournament, Ohio State hosted the program’s second NCAA Tournament game, defeating Loyola 7-4 in the first round in Ohio Stadium.
  • The Buckeyes’ last appearance in the NCAA Tournament was in 2015 as an at-large selection, when it defeated Duke on the road in the first round, 16-11, before falling to eventual national champion Denver in the quarterfinals, 15-13, in Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High in Denver.
  • Ohio State reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2013 after earning the ECAC’s automatic berth into the field with the league’s tournament title. Ohio State was an at-large selection in 2008 (when it reached the quarterfinals for the first time) and 2003 and received the Great Western Lacrosse League’s automatic berth as the regular-season champion in 2004.

 Buckeyes vs the Teams in Boston

  • Ohio State had six regular season/conference tournament wins over teams in the 2017 NCAA bracket — No. 1 Maryland, No. 5 Denver, No. 6 Johns Hopkins (twice), Marquette and Towson.
  • The Buckeyes defeated the three semifinalists during the regular season, topping Towson on the road 6-3 March 15, Denver at home 16-7 March 19 and Maryland 11-10 in overtime in Columbus, April 22. The Buckeyes lost to the Terps in the Big Ten Tournament final, 10-9, May 6 in Columbus.
  • Ohio State has faced all three semifinal teams in NCAA play. The squad fell to Maryland in the first round of the 2003 tournament (the first NCAA game for the program), topped Towson in the first round of the 2013 tourney (the first NCAA home game for the Buckeyes) and lost to Denver in the 2015 quarterfinals.

 In the Record Book

  • The Buckeyes are 15-4 overall, tying the program record for wins in a season first set by the 1965 squad. The 1966 and 1978 teams had 14 wins to tie for third in a single campaign. The 2017 team was 12-3 at the end of the regular season, the first time since 2004 the team had at least 12 wins before the postseason.
  • Tre Leclaire has 45 goals and 59 points this season, the most goals and points for a Buckeye rookie all-time.
  • Leclaire’s goals are the sixth-most for a Buckeye in a single year and are the most since Logan Schuss had 44 in 2013 when the Buckeyes reached the quarterfinals. The last Buckeye with 45+ goals in a season was Tim McCabe, who had 47 in 1988. Leclaire’s 59 points rank 16th for a Buckeye in a single season.
  • Senior Eric Fannell has 29 assists this year, one shy of tying for 10th in school history. He has a team-best 63 points this year, tying for 12th in a single campaign and the fifth-most since 2000 (Jesse King, 77/2015; Kevin Buchanan, 76/2008; Joel Dalgarno, 75/2008; Logan Schuss, 72/2013).
  • Senior goalie Tom Carey, who made his 50th start as a Buckeye vs. Loyola in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, is ninth in Ohio State history with 478 career saves, five back of Jack Strapp, who had 483 from 1960-62, in eighth. He has 31 wins, behind four-year starter Tony Russo, who had a 38-20 mark from 2001-04.
  • Senior Jake Withers set the program record for career groundballs earlier this season and now has 334 groundballs for the Scarlet and Gray, leading Buckeyes since at last 2000 with 5.39 per game (Anthony Kelly is second with 4.25; they are the only two better than 4.0 a game). Withers has 142 groundballs this season, the most since at least 1999 (passing Christopher May who had 133 in 2015). Withers had 110 groundballs last season and is the first Buckeye with 100+ in more than one season.
  • Withers has won 591 faceoffs for the Scarlet and Gray to lead all Buckeyes since at least 2000 and is first since that time with a .598 faceoff winning percentage (one of only four at 50 percent or better for his career).
  • Senior JT Blubaugh has played in a Buckeye-record 67 games in the Scarlet and Gray, passing Robby Haus and Carter Brown who both played in 65 from 2013-16.
  • The Buckeye senior class has 40 wins to tie the program record set by the 1966 group that recorded 40 wins in a three year span (before freshmen were eligible). It is the most over a four-year span for a class since that time. The 2015, 2004 and 1979 senior classes all had 38 victories.

 New Englanders

  • Buckeye head coach Nick Myers, in his ninth season at the helm, is a native of Kennebunk, Maine, about a two hour drive from Gillette Stadium.
  • Buckeye redshirt freshman Lukas Buckley hails from Walpole, Mass., about 15 minutes from Gillette Stadium. Freshman Josh Kirson is a native of Newton, Mass., and his classmate Caleb Mahoney calls Holliston, Mass., home. Both are about a 30 minute drive to the site of the NCAA Championships.
  • Starting goalie Tom Carey hails from New Canaan, Conn.
  • In all, the Ohio State roster includes players from 17 U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

 Ohio State and the NCAAs

  • The Buckeye men’s lacrosse team was one of three Ohio State teams last weekend to reach the NCAA semifinals.
  • The men’s tennis team reached the semifinals before it fell to Virginia, while the women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the first time and suffered a close 4-3 loss to Stanford. Both semifinals were held Monday in Georgia.
  • The Buckeye men’s volleyball team won its second consecutive NCAA title in early May. The women’s rowing team is at the NCAA Championships this weekend and is looking for its fourth NCAA title in five years.
  • In the Learfield Directors’ Cup, Ohio State was in second place in the standings after winter sports were complete.

 In the Rankings

  • Ohio State was ranked third in the USILA coaches poll and Inside Lacrosse media rankings entering the NCAA Tournament, standing fifth in the US Lacrosse Magazine poll.
  • Duke was No. 6 in the coaches and media polls and fifth in the US Lacrosse Magazine rankings.
  • Starting with Towson and Denver over spring break, the Buckeyes are in a stretch of 11 of 12 games against teams currently in the Top 20 in the USILA poll, with Michigan the lone exception (current rankings): No. 1 Maryland, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 6 Duke, No. 7 Denver, No. 8 Penn State, No. 9 Johns Hopkins, No. 11 Towson and No. 12 Rutgers. In the Inside Lacrosse rankings, seven teams are in the Top 20: Maryland is No. 1, Denver No. 5, Notre Dame No. 7, Duke No. 6, Penn State No. 8, Johns Hopkins No. 11, Towson No. 12 and Rutgers No. 15.

 Buckeyes vs. Tigers

  • Ohio State leads the all-time series with Towson, 5-3. The game Saturday will be the first on a neutral field. Ohio State has won three of the last four meetings between the teams.
  • The teams have met each of the last three years in the regular season. This year, Ohio State won 6-3 on the road March 15. Last season, Towson won in overtime in Columbus, 10-9. The Buckeyes claimed the 2015 game, 7-6, on the road.
  • The first four games between the squads were prior to 1967. The Buckeyes lost the first meeting, 6-3, March 24, 1962. Ohio State then won the next three games, with an 8-7 overtime win March 23, 1963, a 13-3 victory March 27, 1965, and an 8-6 win March 25, 1966.
  • The teams also met in Columbus May 12, 2013 in Ohio Stadium, a 16-6 Buckeye victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and March 20, 2007, a 10-8 win by the Tigers in Towson, Md.
  • Redshirt senior Tyler Pfister has played in the last four games between the teams, while seniors JT Blubaugh and Jake Withers and junior Freddy Freibott have played three games vs the Tigers. Senior Eric Fannell has a team-high four goals vs Towson, with Blubaugh scoring three times.

 LOOK BACK: BUCKEYES vs. Tigers in 2017

  • The Buckeyes topped No. 10 Towson, 6-3, March 15 in Maryland. Ohio State scored the only goals of the first quarter. Each team scored once in the second for a 3-1 Ohio State lead at halftime. The Tigers tied the game at three with two goals in the third. In the fourth, Ohio State went ahead 4-3 less than two minutes into the quarter and added goals at 7:35 and 2:39, while holding the Tigers scoreless for the final 16:18, for the victory.
  • The Buckeyes had six goal scorers in the game. Jake Withers won 11-of-13 faceoffs in the win and had six groundballs, while Ben Randall picked up five.

 The Towson Tigers

  • Towson, making its first NCAA semifinal appearance since 2001, is 12-4 this season and was 4-1 in CAA play. The squad won 12-8 at Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Championship and downed No. 2 Syracuse in Newark, Del., last week 10-7 to advance.
  • The Tigers are third in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing 7.44 goals a game, and average 9.5 goals scored per contest. The man-up unit is 15-for-41 (.366) and the man-down unit is 30-for-45 (.667). The team is ninth nationally in faceoff winning percentage (.587).
  • Ryan Drenner leads the Tigers with 28 assists and 55 points, with Joe Seider first with 32 goals and second with 42 points. Mike Lynch is second in goals (21) and third in points with 27.
  • Alex Woodall has won 179-of-298 faceoffs (.601) and is first with 90 groundballs. Tyler Mayes has a team-high 39 caused turnovers, ranking fourth in the NCAA with 2.44 a game. In goal, Josh Miller is 5-3, with a 7.92 goals-against average and .500 save percentage. Matt Hoy is 7-1, posting a 6.99 goals-against average and .536 save percentage.