Feb. 4, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team was ranked 17th in the Face-Off Yearbook’s Division I Preseason Coaches Poll and held down the 20th spot in the Lacrosse Magazine 2004 Preseason College Rankings. In addition, senior defenseman Greg Bice was named to Face-Off Yearbook’s Division I Preseason All-America second team, while senior goalie Tony Russo earned honorable mention preseason All-America accolades.

Last year, the Buckeyes had one of the most outstanding years in program history. The squad shared the Great Western Lacrosse League title and earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. The appearance in the national tourney was the first in program history. The squad ended the year 9-5 overall and 4-1 in the GWLL.

Bice, an honorable mention All-American in 2003, earned First Team All-GWLL honors for the second consecutive season last year. He started all 14 games and ended the 2003 season second on the squad with a career-best 48 groundballs. He had two goals and an assist on the year and earned GWLL Player of the Week accolades after a nine-groundball and two-point performance against Fairfield. He helped the Buckeyes hold opponents to just 7.86 goals a game this season.

Russo, who also earned honorable mention All-America accolades at the end of last season, was the 2003 GWLL Player of the Year and received first-team all-league accolades as the Buckeyes’ starting goalie for the third year. He was a two-time league player of the week honoree and ranked second in the GWLL with a goals-against average of 7.76. Russo was a 2002 Second-Team All-GWLL selection. Russo’s 478 career saves rank eighth in OSU history.

The team, under seventh-year head coach and 2003 GWLL Coach of the Year Joe Breschi, opens it season at home against Penn State at 1 p.m. Feb. 21.

Face-Off Yearbook’s Division I Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Virginia
2. Syracuse
3. Hopkins
4. Princeton
5. Maryland
6. Georgetown
7. UMass
8. North Carolina
9. Duke
10. Towson
11. Hofstra
12. Cornell
13. Loyola
14. Rutgers
15. Penn State
16. Notre Dame
17. Ohio State
18. Navy
19. UMBC
20. Dartmouth
21. Army
22. Yale
23. Bucknell
24. Denver
25. Harvard
The poll is compiled from the Face-Off Yearbook surveys returned by all 53 Division I lacrosse programs. One of those surveys did not contain a poll.

Lacrosse Magazine 2004 Preseason College Rankings
1. Johns Hopkins
2. Virginia
3. Maryland
4. Syracuse
5. Princeton
6. Rutgers
7. North Carolina
8. Georgetown
9. Cornell
10. Massachusetts
11. Notre Dame
12. Duke
13. Towson
14. Navy
15. Hofstra
16. UMBC
17. Penn State
18. Dartmouth
19. Loyola
20. Ohio State
On the Bubble: Harvard, Army, Denver, Villanova, Yale