COLUMBUS, Ohio – After battling through a schedule that was rated the 16th-toughest entering 2010, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team will go up against what could be an even harder slate in 2011. For the Buckeyes, who played the second-strongest schedule among ECAC teams in 2010, the 2011 campaign includes regular-season contests with five NCAA tournament teams from a season ago, including two national semifinalists.
“We are excited about the 2011 schedule and the challenges it will bring to this year’s team,” Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. “The non-conference schedule will test our men every week and provide the opportunity to play the very best competition in the country as we prepare for league play.”
Seven games in Columbus are on the docket for the Buckeyes. Top games include a matchup with North Carolina and the fourth annual ‘Showdown in the Shoe’ April 23 when the Buckeyes will take on Fairfield . Ohio State will again look to break the national regular-season attendance mark. Last season 31,078 fans were on hand to watch the Buckeyes defeat Air Force.
“We are looking forward to the fourth ‘Showdown in the Shoe,’” Myers said. “Coach Tressel and Gene Smith have again provided our men the opportunity to be a part of a record-setting day in one of the most historic venues in all of college athletics. It is an experience our players never forget.”
Ohio State, now in its second year as a member of the ECAC Lacrosse League, will play six conference games, and the Top 4 teams in the standings will earn a spot in the league’s postseason tournament.
“From top to bottom, the ECAC is one of the most competitive conferences in the country,” Myers said. “The addition of the conference tournament will showcase the Top 4 teams in the league as they compete for the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.”
The Buckeyes open the year with a scrimmage at defending NCAA champion Duke Feb. 5, putting three of the four ACC teams on the Ohio State slate in 2011.
Home games with Detroit and Mercer Feb. 10 and 12 begin the campaign for the Buckeyes. The games are scheduled to be played inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where seating is limited. Fans should secure tickets early, as the matchups are expected to sell out before game day.
North Carolina, under the direction of former Ohio State head coach Joe Breschi and a 2010 NCAA tournament participant, comes to town Feb. 19. The Buckeyes and Tar Heels are scheduled to meet outdoors in Ohio Stadium, marking the third lacrosse game in the historic football venue in recent memory, in addition to the ‘Showdown in the Shoe’ games each of the last three years.
A road game at UMass on legendary Garber Field follows Feb. 26. The Minutemen, the 2006 national runner-up and an NCAA tournament team in 2009, and Buckeyes will be meeting for the first time on the lacrosse field. The Buckeyes then will head to Penn State March 5, where the squads will face off for the unofficial “Big Ten Title.” Ohio State downed the Nittany Lions in overtime last season, 10-9, in front of a sold-out crowd inside Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus.
The Buckeyes will return home for a mid-week contest with Lehigh March 8 in the first game between the squads, meeting under the lights in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes will make a trip to Albany March 12 after defeating the Great Danes in Columbus last season.
The schedule continues with back-to-back road games at Virginia and Notre Dame, who both advanced to the NCAA tournament semifinals last season. The Buckeyes will go up against the Cavaliers March 19 in Charlottesville before taking on the Fighting Irish, the 2010 NCAA runner-up, March 23 in South Bend, Ind.
The Buckeyes close out the regular season with six-consecutive ECAC Lacrosse League games, beginning with home games against Loyola, a 2010 NCAA squad, and Hobart April 2 and 9, respectively.
The team will then make a trip to Colorado, taking on the Denver Pioneers, the defending ECAC champs, at Invesco Field, home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, April 16. A night game at Air Force follows the next day.
After hosting Fairfield in Ohio Stadium April 23 in the fourth edition of the record-setting ‘Showdown in the Shoe,’ the Buckeyes will close out the regular season with a game at Bellarmine April 30.
The ECAC will host a tournament this season, with the Top 4 teams in the regular-season standings qualifying and the winner earning the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. Denver will host the tourney May 6-8.
All home games are expected to be streamed live online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com through the Buckeye Vision service.
Ticket and Group Information Single-game tickets for all home games outside of the “Showdown in the Shoe” will go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 5. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, with Ohio Sate students and children under 6 admitted free. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are $2 each; to purchase contact group sales at 614-247-1984.
Space is limited when games are played inside Woody Hayes Athletic Center and tickets are expected to be sold out before game day. For the Ohio State vs. North Carolina game in Ohio Stadium a limited number of tickets will be pre-sold, pending the weather conditions. The confirmed location will be announced the week of the game and additional tickets will be made available should the game be played in Ohio Stadium.
Again this season, youth (eighth grade and younger) lacrosse teams are scheduled to play at halftime of each Buckeye home game. For more information, coaches should contact Beth Malafa (Malafa.firstname.lastname@example.org/614-247-2643) as soon as possible.
Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse 2011 Schedule Feb. 5 at Duke (scrimmage), TBA Feb. 10 DETROIT, 7 p.m. Feb. 12 MERCER, 1 p.m. Feb. 19 NORTH CAROLINA, Noon Feb. 26 at Massachusetts, Noon March 5 at Penn State, 1:30 p.m. March 8 LEHIGH, 7 p.m. March 12 at Albany, Noon March 19 at Virginia, TBA March 23 at Notre Dame, 4 p.m. April 2 LOYOLA, 1 p.m. April 9 HOBART, 1 p.m. April 16 at Denver, 3 p.m. April 17 at Air Force, 7 p.m. Showdown in the Shoe, Ohio Stadium April 23 FAIRFIELD, 11 a.m. April 30 at Bellarmine, TBA
ECAC Tournament, Denver. Colo. May 6 ECAC Semifinals May 8 ECAC Championship