COLUMBUS, Ohio — After five-consecutive road games, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (6-5, 2-2 ECAC) returns to Columbus for a three-game homestand, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday when the Buckeyes take on Denver (8-4, 3-0 ECAC) in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Links to a pay-per-view video webstream through Buckeye Vision and a link to live stats can be found on the men’s lacrosse schedule pages at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. An audio broadcast can be found at OhioStateSports.net, with Evan Winkofsky and Sam Obermyer on the call.
One Week Till the Showdown
A week from Saturday (April 24) the Buckeyes will host Air Force in the third-annual “Showdown in the Shoe.” The game, held at 11 a.m. in Ohio Stadium before the Ohio State football team’s spring game, has set national regular-season and on-campus attendance records each of the last two years, including 30,192 fans in attendance at halftime to watch the Buckeyes and Notre Dame last season.
Tickets may be purchased at the Athletics Ticket Office, online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com, and through Ticketmaster. Tickets, which include both the lacrosse and football games, are $5 in advance or $10 on the day of the game (cash only), with Ohio State students who show a valid BuckID and children 6 and under admitted free.
Last Time Out
A team game that saw 14 Buckeyes post a point and a strong effort on defense helped Ohio State to a 14-6 win over Hobart last Saturday. Leading the way offensively for the Buckeyes was freshman Jeff Tundo with a team season-high five assists, while seniors Mario Ventiquattro and James Green each had a hat trick and freshman leading scorer Logan Schuss had two goals and an assist.
Three long poles scored for the Buckeyes – Joe Bonanni, Keenan Ochwat and Brock Sorensen – with Bonanni also chipping in a team-high three caused turnovers.
Ohio State is 6-5 this year, with non-conference wins over Villanova, Detroit, Penn State and Albany. The squad is 2-2 in ECAC play, downing Quinnipiac and Hobart and falling at Fairfield and Loyola. The squad is averaging 9.73 goals a game, while allowing 8.73 an outing.
Freshman Logan Schuss has a team-high 18 assists and 35 points this year. Senior James Green is first with 20 goals and ranks fourth with 22 points. Rookie Jeff Tundo ranks second in goals (18), assists (9) and points (27). Senior Mario Ventiquattro stands third with 23 points and is tied with Schuss for third with 17 goals, ranking third with six assists.
Senior Brandon Freeman has started 10 games in goal and has 109 saves for a .571 save percentage. Freshman Ryan Brant has four appearances, including a start at Notre Dame, and has made 23 saves on 37 shots.
Freeman is first with 30 groundballs, followed by freshman Trey Wilkes, who has taken a team-high 159 faceoffs, who second with 26 groundballs. Sophomore Keenan Ochwat is third with 24.
Ohio State vs. Denver
Ohio State is 11-4 all-time vs. Denver and has won the last four matchups. Last year the Buckeyes posted a 16-10 victory in Denver.
The squads last met in Columbus in 2008 when Ohio State won 20-13 in Ohio Stadium in front of more than 29,000 fans. In Columbus, the Buckeyes own a 6-1 lead in the series with the Pioneers.
Denver, 8-4 overall and 3-0 in ECAC play, enters the game with the Buckeyes on a five-game winning streak, including home victories over Bellarmine (12-8) and Quinnipiac (14-10) last weekend.
The Pioneers are 14th in the country in scoring offense (11.25) and allow 10.58 goals per game. The sharp-shooting team ranks fifth nationally with a .355 shooting percentage.
Alex Demopoulos has a team-best 26 goals and 41 points and is second with 15 assists. Charley Dickenson is first with 16 assists and is tied for third with 21 points. Mark Matthews is second in goals (22) and points (29). Cameron Flint ranks third with 19 goals and is tied with 21 points. Colin Scott has 10 goals and assists to rank fifth with 20 points. Dillon Roy is first with 55 groundballs and 26 caused turnovers.
Peter Lowell has played nine games in the cage and is 5-1 with a 10.93 goals-against and .492 save percentage. Zander Buteux is 3-3 with a 9.66 GAA and .538 svpct.
Ohio State has received seven conference player of the week accolades this season, including a Rookie of the Week honor in five of the first eight weeks of the year. Jeff Tundo is a three-time honoree, including picking up freshman honors each of the last two weeks. Freshman Logan Schuss also is a three-time honoree with two rookie of the week honors (March 1, co-March 8) and an offensive player nod March 29. Senior Brandon Freeman has been the league’s defensive player of the week (March 29), while classmate Mario Ventiquattro picked up co-offensive honors March 8.
Ohio State has had five players named to the league’s player of the week honor roll – Freeman (March 8, March 15), Scott Foreman (March 22) and James Green (March 22, April 12).
Tundo Rookie of the Week Again
Ohio State attackman Jeff Tundo has picked up back-to-back ECAC Lacrosse League Rookie of the Week honors after a career-high five assists and points vs. Hobart last week. Tundo is a three-time honoree this season, first winning the award March 15.
A native of Orchard Park, NY., Tundo had a team season-high and career-best five assists against Hobart, setting a career high in points. He had three assists in the first half, including helpers on goals with seven seconds left in the first quarter and three seconds left in the second. He had two assists in the second half, including one on a Mario Ventiquattro man-up goal in the fourth. Tundo had three shots and a groundball in the contest vs. the Statesmen.
Tundo’s five-assist game ties for the sixth-best single-game performance for the Buckeyes in program history, last set by Kevin Buchanan April 6, 2008 vs. Air Force.
Ohio State is seventh nationally and first in the ECAC in man-up offense, converting 17-of-35 chances (.455). The squad was a season-high 5-for-10 vs. Detroit Feb. 27 and was 2-for-2 at Hobart last week.
Senior Mario Ventiquattro shares the ECAC lead with eight man-up goals this year and scored both for the Buckeyes last week.
The Buckeye squad is allowing 8.73 goals on the year to rank 14th nationally. The squad held both Hobart and Albany to six goals, while allowing just seven to Notre Dame and Detroit.
Senior Scott Foreman has started the last 45 games for the Buckeyes. Freshmen Logan Schuss, Jeff Tundo and Dominique Alexander have started all 11 games this season, joined by senior Mario Ventiquattro. Joe Bonanni has started the last 10 games on defense.
Seniors Mario Ventiquattro and James Green both recorded their 75th career points vs. Detroit Feb. 27 and enter the game vs. Denver with 93 points for the Scarlet and Gray. Green has 67 goals and 26 assists, while Ventiquattro has 69 goals and 24 assists. Green has played in a team-high 57 games for the Scarlet and Gray, starting 49. Ventiquattro and Scott Foreman are next with 51 games played each, with Foreman recording 46 starts.
Senior James Green and freshman Logan Schuss both have at least one point in all 11 games for the Buckeyes this season, with Green posting a goal in all 11 outings. Mario Ventiquattro carries five-game goal and point streaks into the matchup with Denver. Jeff Tundo has 12 points in his last three games combined after going scoreless the previous two outings.
Zach Rodgers has assists in his last two games, with Dan Wertz posting a 1-2-3 line in his last two outings.
That’s a First
At Hobart, freshman Joe Bonanni and sophomore Scott Morell both scored their first career goals, while junior Paul Beery had his first assist as a Buckeye.
Junior Tyler Dolphin had his first assist and point of the year and his first point since Feb. 7, 2009 vs. Detroit. Sophomore Brock Sorensen’s goal was his first of the season and the fifth of his career.
Freshman Logan Schuss leads the Buckeyes with 18 assists and 35 points this season. He is second in the ECAC and 26th nationally with 1.64 assists a game and is third in the league with 3.18 points an outing.
Schuss has at least one point in all 11 games this year, with multiple points in nine. He has two six-point games, with two goals and four assists at Quinnipiac March 27 and three goals and three assists vs. Detroit Feb. 27. A three-time ECAC player of the week, Schuss also had a five-point game vs. Penn State March 6, including the overtime winner. He has two hat tricks and two four-assist outings as a rookie.
After he was held scoreless for back-to-back games, freshman Jeff Tundo has combined for 12 points, with seven goals and five assists, in his last three outings. He had a hat trick at Quinnipiac March 27 and posted a career-high four goals at Loyola April 3 before recording a career-best five assists at Hobart last week.
He is second on the team with 18 goals, nine assists and 27 points. He has a point in 9-of-11 games, with multiple points in eight. Tundo has three hat tricks this year and posted four points, with three goals and an assist, in his first career game vs. Villanova Feb. 13.
Tundo is 30th nationally in shooting percentage with his 18 goals coming on 42 shots (.486).
Senior James Green ranks first for the Buckeyes with 20 goals, with two or more goals in seven games and at least one goal in all 11 outings. He ranks eighth in the ECAC with 1.82 goals a game and is fourth averaging 6.82 shots a game. He is first in the league with three game-winning goals this season. Green had 15 goals a season ago and a career-best 22 as a sophomore in 2008.
Mario Ventiquattro is third for the Buckeyes with 23 points, ranking third with six assists and tied for third with 17 goals. He has a point in all but two games on the year, with two or more points in seven games. He had back-to-back four-point games vs. Detroit (2g, 2a) and Penn State (4g) and had his second hat trick of the year last Saturday vs. Hobart.
Ventiquattro is 12th nationally with a .486 save percentage, with 23 goals on 35 shots.
In the Cage
Senior goalie Brandon Freeman, who has started 10 games this season, ranks 11th in the NCAA with a .571 save percentage. He recorded his 100th save of the season at Loyola and is third in the ECAC with 10.90 saves per game.
Have a Game
Sophomore defenseman Joe Bonanni had a career high three caused turnovers, two groundballs, held Hobart’s leading scorer off the scoresheet and scored his first career goal at Hobart last week. A starter in the last 10 games, he now has 14 groundballs this year (two in each of his last three games) and 11 caused turnovers to lead the squad.