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Feb. 22, 2007

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THE FACTS
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (1-1, 0-0 GWLL) is set for two games this weekend. The squad will face Wagner (0-0, 0-0 MAAC) at noon Friday on the Robert Morris campus in Pittsburgh. Sunday, the Buckeyes will host Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at noon at North Turf Field in Columbus.

A BUCKEYE SNAPSHOT
The Buckeyes are 1-1 on the year, with a season-opening win over Robert Morris at home Feb. 10 (13-5) and a loss to North Carolina last weekend (14-10).

Sophomore Joel Dalgarno leads the Buckeyes with seven goals and eight points, while junior Kevin Buchanan has a team-high four assists and is second with seven points. Jeff Ryan is second with four goals and ranks third with six points on the year. Senior Eric O’Brien has won 61 percent of his faceoffs this season and is first on the team with 15 groundballs.

Stefan Schroder started the first two games in the cage for the Buckeyes, with a 9.71 goals-against average and .541 save percentage.

Joe Breschi is in his 10th year at the helm of the Buckeyes. He has a school and career ledger of 73-53 and is the all-time leader in coaching wins at Ohio State. BUCKEYES VS. SEAHAWKS
The game Friday marks the first contest between Ohio State and Wagner.

OHIO STATE AND THE MAAC
The Buckeyes are 26-6 all-time against current teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: 10-1 vs. VMI, 5-2 vs. Canisius, 4-3 vs. Mount St. Mary’s, 3-0 vs. Marist and 2-0 vs. both Manhattan and St. Joseph’s. Ohio State has never played Providence, Siena or Wagner.

A LOOK AT WAGNER
Wagner will open the season vs. the Buckeyes. The squad was 0-15 last year and 0-8 in the MAAC. The team returns 13 letterwinners from that team, including seven starters.

Ryan Flanagan, a 2000 graduate of Maryland, is in his second season at the helm of the Seahawks.

BUCKEYES VS. CRIMSON
The game Sunday marks the first game between Ohio State and Harvard on the lacrosse field.

BUCKEYES VS. THE IVY LEAGUE
Ohio State is 3-5 all-time against the current teams in the Ivy League – 1-1 vs. Brown, Cornell and Dartmouth; 0-1 vs. Princeton; and 0-2 vs. Pennsylvania. Ohio State has never played Harvard or Yale.

A LOOK AT HARVARD
Harvard was 6-7 last year and tied for fourth in the Ivy League with a 3-3 ledger. The Crimson earned an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament before falling on the road to Syracuse in the opening round.

The squad is opening its 2007 campaign against the Buckeyes Sunday. The Crimson returns 23 letterwinners from the team last year, including six starters.

Scott Anderson, a 1973 graduate of Dartmouth, is entering his 20th year at the helm of the Harvard Program. He has a school and career record of 137-127.

STREAKERS
Junior Kevin Buchanan enters the weekend on a 13-game goal-scoring streak, dating back to March 4, 2006 vs. Hobart. He has a 17-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.

Sophomore Joel Dalgarno is on a 14-game point streak, with multiple points in each game. He had a game-high four goals in the loss to North Carolina after scoring three times vs. the RMU Colonials.

HAVE A GAME
Buckeye senior Eric O’Brien won 18-of-27 faceoffs in the squad’s loss to North Carolina last week. He scooped up a career-best 10 groundballs, breaking the mark of nine he set twice before (vs. Butler 2006, at UMBC 2005).

THE BEST
Sophomore Joel Dalgarno, the 2006 GWLL Newcomer of the Year, had a career-high four goals in the loss to North Carolina. All four goals were unassisted. Dalgarno, who was second on the team last year with 24 goals, has seven through two games this season.

The game vs. UNC was the fifth time in his career Dalgarno had four points and was one shy of the career-best five points he had vs. Quinnipiac and Butler last season.

AN IMPRESSIVE DAY
Buckeye junior Kevin Buchanan had six points, on two goals and four assists, against Robert Morris, marking 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.

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.

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.

A HIGH
Junior Chris Friel had a career-best five groundballs in the game vs. North Carolina. He scored vs. the Tar Heels, marking his second goal of his career and this season.

A LOOK BACK – OSU VS. UNC
Ohio State was defeated by No. 18-ranked North Carolina, 14-10, last Saturday (Feb. 17) at Calvert Hall College in Baltimore.

The Buckeyes scored twice in the first 1:11 of the game to take a 2-0 lead. Eric O’Brien set up Jeff Ryan just eight seconds into the game and Chris Friel tallied, assisted by Josh Funk, at 13:49. The Tar Heels then outscored the Buckeyes through the end of the quarter, 4-1, to end the first ahead, 4-3. Gavin Petracca scored back-to-back goals at 8:13 and 7:45 to tie the game at 2, followed by Ryan Walterhoefer’s extra-man score at 7:15 and Bart Wagner’s tally at 4:22. Joe Benson ended the UNC run with an extra-man goal, assisted by Steve McKinlay, with 37 seconds left in the quarter.

Each team scored three times in the second quarter to go into halftime with the Tar Heels ahead, 7-6. Petracca completed his hat trick with an extra-man goal at 13:51 of the quarter, putting UNC ahead, 5-3. The Buckeyes scored the next three goals to take a 6-5 lead. Joel Dalgarno recorded back-to-back goals at 10:54 and 8:59. Freshman James Green followed with an unassisted goal, the first tally of his career, at 6:29. Ben Hunt tied the game with a goal for the Tar Heels at 3:04 and David Ryan put UNC back ahead with a goal with 22 seconds left in the half.

UNC outscored the Buckeyes in the third quarter, 3-2. Brian Burke opened the scoring with a goal for UNC at 10:30, followed by Nick Tintle’s tally at 4:29. OSU then scored twice in five seconds to cut the Tar Heel lead to one (9-8). Dalgarno completed his hat trick at 1:58, followed by O’Brien’s score at 1:53. UNC’s Michael Burns closed out the quarter with a goal with just three seconds left.

After Dalgarno scored at 10:23 of the fourth quarter to again cut the UNC lead to one (10-9), the Tar Heels went on a three-goal run to take a 13-9 lead. Rob Driscoll tallied at 9:17, followed by Burns’ score at 7:36 and Petracca’s fourth goal of the game just 24 seconds later (7:14). Kevin Buchanan ended the UNC burst with a goal at 3:58 before Wagner scored the final goal of the game with 2:11 left for the 14-10 final.

The Buckeyes were outshot in the game, 37-27. Junior transfer Stefan Schroder played all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes, making 13 saves and allowing 14 goals. Grant Zimmerman had nine saves for UNC.

Ohio State converted 1-of-6 extra-man chances and UNC was 2-for-5.

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.

After facing Wagner Friday 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 host Bucknell at noon Saturday (March 3) in Columbus. It marks the team’s last home game until opening GWLL play against Quinnipiac March 31.