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Feb. 15, 2007

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THE FACTS
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team will face off against No. 18-ranked North Carolina at 1 p.m. Saturday in their second game of the year. The game will be held at Calvert Hall College in Baltimore.

A BUCKEYE SNAPSHOT
The Buckeyes opened the 2007 campaign with a 13-5 victory over Robert Morris at home last Saturday.

Ohio State finished the 2006 season 7-6 overall and was 3-2 in the Great Western Lacrosse League to tie for second.

The Buckeyes return their Top 2 scorers from a season ago, as sophomore Joel Dalgarno, the GWLL Newcomer of the Year, and junior Kevin Buchanan, a first-team all-conference selection, tied for the team lead with 41 points each. Buchanan had a team-best 26 goals, followed by Dalgarno with 24. Dalgarno was second on the team with 17 assists, one behind then-senior Andrew Bender.

FROM CHC TO OSU
Ohio State and North Carolina will play at Calvert Hall College Saturday. Three Buckeyes attended CHC before coming to Ohio State – junior Kevin Buchanan, sophomore Nick Carr and freshman Scott Foreman. BUCKEYES VS. TAR HEELS
North Carolina has won all 12 meetings with the Buckeyes. The squads opened the 2006 campaign with a neutral-site game at Calvert Hall, with UNC posting a 14-5 win Feb. 18, 2006.

The Buckeyes and Tar Heels have met six of the last eight seasons, including twice in 2004 (regular-season and NCAA tournament).

UNC leads the series in Chapel Hill, 8-0, and has a 2-0 lead in games both in Columbus and at neutral sites.

THE ALMA MATER
Ohio State head coach Joe Breschi, the Buckeyes’ all-time coaching wins leader (73), played for North Carolina from 1987-90. He was a two-time All-ACC selection, as well as a first team All-American in 1990 and an honorable mention All-America selection in 1989. Breschi, UNC’s captain as a senior, was named to the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Men’s Lacrosse Team in 2002.

In addition, Breschi spent two seasons as an assistant coach at North Carolina. The squad captured two ACC titles and a national championship, posting a 28-3 record, during his tenure.

A LOOK AT UNC
North Carolina was 4-10 was 0-3 in ACC action in 2006. The squad returns 26 letterwinners, including five starters, from a year ago. Top returnees include attack Bart Wagner, who led the squad with 29 (15g, 14a) points last year, two-year starter on defense Tim Kaiser and midfielder Shane Walterhoefer, who won 54.5 percent of his faceoffs last season and had a team-best 64 groundballs.

John Haus, a 1983 graduate of North Carolina, is in his seventh year at the helm of the Tar Heels. He has a school record of 40-40 and in 12 years as a collegiate head coach, has a 107-68 ledger.

THE ACC
North Carolina is joined in the Atlantic Coast Conference by Duke, Maryland and Virginia. OSU’s last win over an ACC squad came vs. Duke, 16-9, April 3, 2004, in Columbus.

A LOOK BACK
Ohio State opened the 2007 campaign with a 13-5 victory over Robert Morris last Saturday (Feb. 10) at North Turf Field in Columbus.

Buckeye junior Kevin Buchanan led the squad with six points and four assists, while sophomore transfer Jeff Ryan had a hat trick and five points in his first game as a Buckeye. Sophomore Joel Dalgarno had four points, including three goals. Sophomore Doug Ruhnke had two goals and three points.

The Buckeyes opened the scoring just over a minute into the game on a Dalgarno goal. The Colonials responded with two goals in less than a minute to go ahead, 2-1, as Andrew Watt scored at 12:01 and Alex Sewell tallied at 11:25. The Buckeyes then scored the next three goals and 12 of the next 13, to take control of the game. Dalgarno scored his second goal of the contest, assisted by Ryan, with 10:56 remaining in the first quarter to tie the score at 2 and Ryan tallied back-to-back goals at 8:43 (assisted by Dalgarno) and 5:20 (set up by Buchanan), to put the Buckeyes ahead. OSU held a 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After the Colonials opened the scoring in the second quarter on Watt’s goal at 13:54, the Buckeyes scored four times and held Robert Morris scoreless, to take a 8-3 lead into halftime. Ryan, assisted by Buchanan, completed his hat trick at 10:20 and then set up Ruhnke at 5:53. Buchanan set up the final two goals of the quarter in just 23 seconds, with Ben Drake tallying at 4:20 and Chris Friel scoring at 3:57.

The Buckeye defense continued to hold the Colonials scoreless through the third quarter, as the Buckeyes outscored Robert Morris, 5-0. Buchanan scored at 11:49, followed by Dalgarno’s man-up tally, assisted by senior Jon DeCanio. Buchanan scored again at 3:50, on an assist from senior transfer Joe Benson. Ruhnke added his second goal of the game at 2:34 and assisted on sophomore Corey Bentine’s first career goal at 1:23.

The Colonials scored the only two goals of the fourth quarter, with Lee Davis tallying at 9:50 and Carlo Sunseri adding a man-up goal at 8:27.

The Buckeyes outshot the Colonials in the game, 32-25. Junior transfer Stefan Schroder started the game and played the first three quarters, making seven saves and allowing three goals. Sophomore John Bolen started the fourth quarter and played 10:05, allowing two goals and making one save. Freshman Brandon Freeman closed out the game and did not see any shots.

Ohio State converted 1-of-4 extra-man chances and held Robert Morris scoreless on 5-of-6 opportunities.

Senior Eric O’Brien won 7-of-14 faceoffs for the Buckeyes and had a team-best five groundballs. Sophomore Nick Carr was 3-for-5.

SHUTTING THEM DOWN
Against Robert Morris last week, the Buckeye defense held the Colonials scoreless for 34:04, stretching from the 13:54 mark of the second quarter until the 9:50 point of the fourth quarter.

CARRYING ON
Buckeye junior Kevin Buchanan had six points, on two goals and four assists, against Robert Morris to extend his goal-scoring streak to 12 games, dating back to March 4, 2006 vs. Hobart. He has a 16-game point streak that began with two games remaining in the 2005 season (May 1, 2005 vs. Fairfield).

The six-point performance vs. RMU was the third six-point game of his career. His career high for points in a game is eight, set vs. Air Force April 23, 2006. His four assists vs. the Colonials tied his career high, also set in the game last season vs. the Falcons.

CARRYING ON – PART II
Sophomore Joel Dalgarno had three goals and four points vs. Robert Morris and is on a 14-game point streak, with multiple points in each of the last 13 games. After beginning his Buckeye career last season with a goal in the season opener, he has had at least two points in each game since. Dalgarno has been held without a goal just twice in his Buckeye career.

Dalgarno’s hat trick vs. the Colonials tied his career high, set three times (vs. Marist, Quinnipiac and Butler) last season. The four points were one shy of the career-best five points he had vs. Quinnipiac and Butler last season and was the fourth four-point game of his career.

GAMETIME IN SCARLET AND GRAY
Two true freshmen started the game vs. Robert Morris for the Buckeyes – midfielder James Green and defenseman Chris Lowery.

Freshmen Patrick Hansen, Brandon Freeman, Paul Beery, Steve Smith and Scott Foreman also saw action vs. the Colonials.

Other Buckeyes seeing their first game action for the Scarlet and Gray included sophomores Corey Bentine and Andrew Pace and redshirt-freshman Keith Lovett.

Transfers Jeff Ryan, Stefan Schroder and Joe Benson all started the game vs. the Colonials for their first playing time for the Buckeyes.

MORE FIRSTS
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.

Junior Chris Friel tallied his first career goal.

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

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 neutral-site match-ups against North Carolina Feb. 17 in Baltimore and Wagner Feb. 23 in Pittsburgh.

Ohio State then returns home to faceoff against Harvard Feb. 25. 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 will face two teams next week, with a neutral-site game vs. Wagner at noon Feb. 23 on the Robert Morris campus in Pittsburgh and a home game vs. Harvard at noon Feb. 25.