April 25, 2014
Ohio State Lacrosse This Week
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (6-6, 3-0 ECAC), which has won its last four games and five of its last six, takes on No. 14/17-ranked Fairfield (10-3, 2-1 ECAC) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lessing Field in Fairfield, Conn. The game closes the regular season for both squads.
What’s At Stake
A win by the Buckeyes over Fairfield would give Ohio State the outright ECAC title. A win by Fairfield would mean a three-way tie for the regular season crown between the Buckeyes, Stags and Air Force, who all would have matching 3-1 records. Ohio State has ECAC wins over Bellarmine, Michigan and Air Force, while the Falcons topped BU, UM and Fairfield and the Stags have defeated Bellarmine and Michigan.
The game between Ohio State and Fairfield will be streamed online through FairfieldStags.com, with live stats also available. Links for tv/video, audio and live stats (when applicable) are also on the Buckeye lacrosse gameday page: go.osu.edu/mlaxgameday2014, with in-game updates on Twitter @OhioState_MLAX.
ECAC Tourney A Week Away
Ohio State will host the 2014 ECAC Tournament, with the semifinals at 5 and 8 p.m. May 1 and the championship May 3 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Tickets for the tournament are now on sale: go.osu.edu/ecacchamptix2014.
Ohio State will be joined in the tournament by Air Force, Fairfield and Michigan. Final seeds will be determined after the game between Ohio State and Fairfield. Michigan (1-3 ECAC) will be the No. 4 seed. A win by Ohio State would give the Buckeyes the No. 1 seed, with Air Force (3-1 ECAC) No. 2 and Fairfield No. 3. A win by Fairfield would have seeding come down to tiebreakers, as Ohio State, Air Force and Fairfield would all have matching 3-1 records. The winner of the tournament receives the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
Ohio State has won its last four games, including an 8-6 win over Air Force Saturday. The squad is averaging 9.75 goals a game and is allowing 8.25 to rank 11th nationally in scoring defense. The squad has converted 12-of-42 (.286) man-up chances and is 21-for-33 (.636) on man-down defense. The Buckeyes are 199-for-217 (.917) on clears, ranking fifth nationally.
Junior Jesse King leads the Buckeyes with 25 goals, 22 assists and 47 points and is first in the ECAC with 4.27 points per game, ranking eighth nationally. Sophomore Carter Brown is second with 20 goals and 31 points and fourth with 11 assists. Junior Turner Evans is second with 18 helpers and third with 29 points, tying classmate Reegan Comeault for fifth with 11 goals each. Comeault is third with 13 assists and fourth with 24 points and junior David Planning has scored 12 goals to tie for third with sophomore Ryan Hunter. Senior goalie Scott Spencer has started the last five games and has a 7.42 goals-against average and .568 save percentage. Senior Greg Dutton started the first six games and has 54 saves and freshman Nick Doyle made nine saves vs. Bellarmine March 21 in his first career start. Freshman Jake Withers is first with 60 groundballs and leads the team with 99 faceoff wins, winning 52.4 percent of his draws. Sophomore Robby Haus is second with 28 groundballs and leads the team with 14 caused turnovers, with senior Dominic Imbordino third in groundballs (26) and second in caused turnovers (12), followed by junior Evan Mulchrone with 11 caused turnovers.
Buckeyes vs. Stags
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Fairfield, 7-5, with a 3-2 ledger in Fairfield, Conn. The Buckeyes won the 2013 meeting in Columbus, 14-8. In 2012, Ohio State won at Fairfield (8-3) before falling to the Stags the next week in the ECAC semifinals. The teams have met each year since 2009, with each team winning three times in that stretch. The Buckeyes and Stags faced off as members of the Great Western Lacrosse League from 2000-05 and have been conference foes in the ECAC since 2010. Next year, Ohio State will compete in the Big Ten, while Fairfield is moving to the CAA.
Fairfield, with a 10-3 ledger, is ranked 14th in the USILA poll and 17th in the Inside Lacrosse poll and has won eight of its last nine games. The squad is coming off a 15-10 win over Quinnipiac April 15. In ECAC play, the Stags topped Bellarmine (9-3) and Michigan (9-8) and fell on the road to Air Force (16-8). The Stags are averaging 11.85 goals a game and allowing 8.92 an outing. The squad’s man-up is 15-for-40 (.375) and the man-down defense is 26-for-36 (.722).
TJ Neubauer is first with 29 goals and third with 34 points, with Eric Warden second with 28 tallies and Tristan Sperry, who is second with 39 points and 17 assists, third with 22 goals. Colin McLinden has a team-best 26 assists and 41 points. In goal, Jack Murphy has an 8.82 goals-against average and .523 save percentage, with a 10-3 record. Michael Roe has won 88-of-193 (.456) of his faceoffs and Louie DiGiacomo has won 51-of-115 (.443). Roe is first with 40 groundballs, with Neubauer second with 38.
The Last Time – Ohio State 14, Fairfield 8
Ohio State broke open a game tied after the third quarter to defeat Fairfield, 14-8, April 27, 2013 on Senior Day in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Ohio State trailed 7-6 late in the third quarter but used an eight-goal run to take command of the final regular-season game. Fairfield led 3-2 after the first quarter before Ohio State outscored the Stags, 3-0, in the second quarter to head into halftime with a 5-3 lead. An early Buckeye goal in the third quarter made it a 6-3 game but Fairfield went on a four-goal run to take a 7-6 lead. Buckeye senior Nick Liddil tallied with 3:13 left in the third quarter to tie the game and the Buckeyes scored the next seven goals en route to the lead and the win, extending the advantage to 14-7. Fairfield scored the game’s final goal with 19 seconds remaining. Buckeye senior co-captains Logan Schuss and Dominique Alexander both had two goals and an assist for three points, while Turner Evans led the Buckeyes with three goals and an assist for four points. Carter Brown and David Planning each scored twice and Jesse King had two points on a goal and an assist. Greg Dutton had a career-high 15 saves for the second game in a row.
Last Time Out – Ohio State Tops Air Force, 8-6
Behind 14 saves from senior goalie Scott Spencer, Ohio State defeated Air Force, 8-6, Saturday in front of 2,386 fans on a beautiful day in Ohio Stadium. The game between the Buckeyes and Falcons was tied five times but a late goal from sophomore Ryan Hunter – his fourth of the game – lifted the Buckeyes to the win. The Buckeye defense held Air Force, which came into the game averaging 12.55 goals per game, to six tallies and kept the team’s two leading scorers, who had 58 goals entering the game combined, to just one goal.
Ohio State and Air Force were tied at one after the first quarter and the Buckeyes carried a 3-2 lead into halftime. Ohio State scored early in the third quarter for its first two-goal advantage of the day but Air Force scored the next two goals for a 4-4 game with 8:26 left and the teams traded goals to close the third quarter deadlocked at five. A man-up goal from Jesse King put Ohio State ahead 6-5 early in the fourth quarter but the Falcons tied the game with 4:16 left in regulation. Just over a minute later Turner Evans set up Hunter for the eventual gamewinner and sophomore Carter Brown sealed the win with a goal at 1:46 with the goalie out of the crease. Hunter had his second four-goal game in a row while Brown had two goals and an assist for three points. Evans and Reegan Comeault both had two assists and King had a goal and an assist. Freshman Jake Withers won 10-of-17 faceoffs in the game and had seven groundballs.
Hunter, Spencer and Withers Honored
Sophomore attackman Ryan Hunter, senior goalie Scott Spencer and freshman midfielder Jake Withers were all been recognized by the ECAC for their play in the Buckeyes’ 8-6 win over Air Force Saturday. Hunter was the co-offensive player of the week, Spencer was named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row and Withers was tabbed as the league’s rookie of the week for the fourth time.
Hunter scored half of the Buckeyes’ goals in their win against Air Force, including the gamewinning goal in the fourth quarter. He tallied to give Ohio State a 2-1 lead in the second and his third goal came with 5:15 left in the third and put Ohio State up, 5-4. In the fourth quarter, Hunter’s goal with 3:04 remaining broke a six-all tie, giving Ohio State the lead for the last time. He also had two groundballs in the win. Hunter has 12 goals and 15 points this season, all in the last four games (with at least three points in each outing).
Spencer had a career-high 14 saves, allowing just six goals, in the victory. He had five saves in the first quarter, allowing just one goal, and then made four stops in the second quarter to help Ohio State to a 3-2 halftime lead. Spencer made two saves in the third quarter and had another three stops in the fourth quarter, allowing just one goal as Ohio State came away with the win. He has started the last five games, with a 4-1 record, 7.42 goals-against average and .568 save percentage.
Withers won 10-of-17 faceoffs (.588) and picked up seven groundballs against Air Force. He won 5-of-7 face-offs in the first half and 5-of-10 in the second half as Ohio State outscored the Falcons 5-4 in the half for the win. After the Falcons had tied the game at six with 4:16 left, Withers won the next faceoff, giving Ohio State possession. The Buckeyes went on to score at 3:04 and he then won the draw after the goal as well. Withers has a team-high 60 groundballs and has won 99-of-189 (.524) of his faceoffs this season.
Tewaaraton Candidate King Posts 23 Points in Last Four Games Combined
Junior midfielder Jesse King has a team-high 25 goals, 22 assists and 47 points, ranking first in the ECAC and eighth in the NCAA in points per game (4.27), second in the league and 16th nationally in assists per game (2.0) and third among conference players in goals per game (2.27). King has 23 points in his last four games combined (5.75 points per game), with 10 goals and 13 assists in the stretch. He had a goal and an assist vs. Air Force Saturday and his second five-goal game of the season vs. Michigan April 12, adding an assist for six points. Against Jacksonville March 29, King had a then-career high seven points, with a hat trick and four assists. He followed that with a goal and seven assists for a career-best eight points at Delaware April 6. The seven assists were the most for a Buckeye since Joel Dalgarno had a program-record eight in 2009 and was the fourth seven-assist game for a Buckeye all-time. King has six games with six or more points this season.
King is on a 34-game point streak, with 65 goals, 51 assists and 116 points, in the stretch and is on a 21-game assist streak (38 assists).
His first-quarter assist at Hofstra March 8 was the 100th point of his Buckeye career and he now has 127 points, on 73 goals and 54 assists, to rank 19th in school history, one point back of 18th-place Jim Ash (128, 1985-88). King’s 22 assists this year are just one shy of the career-high 23 he had as a sophomore last season and he is seven goals behind the 32 he had in 2013. He had a career-high 55 points a season ago.
Meurer Senior CLASS Top 10 Finalist; Vote4Joe
Senior defenseman Joe Meurer is one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 20 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote daily through May 12; Ohio State fans can vote for Meurer by visiting go.osu.edu/Vote4Joe. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore May 24-26.
Meurer has started all 12 games for the Buckeyes this season at close defense and has 12 groundballs and nine caused turnovers, helping Ohio State rank 11th nationally in team defense (8.25 goals allowed per game). A team captain for 2014, Meurer has played in 59 career games for the Scarlet and Gray and has 102 groundballs and 41 caused turnovers, along with two goals and 10 faceoff wins and was a First Team All-ECAC and USILA Honorable Mention All-American in 2013. He was drafted by the Florida Launch in the second round of the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft with the 10th overall pick, the second-highest pick in Ohio State history. A finance major, he is a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and will be a three-time Academic All-Big Ten choice who is on pace to graduate this spring.
Noting the Buckeyes
As a team …
• Ohio State clinched at least a share of the ECAC regular season title with its win over Air Force Saturday. The team last won a league regular season title in 2008, when it shared the GWLL title. The squad’s last outright regular season championship was the 2004 GWLL crown.
• After starting the season 1-5, Ohio State has won five of its last six games (and four in a row) to even its record at 6-6.
• Ohio State is 11th in the NCAA in scoring defense, giving up 8.25 goals a game, and has allowed seven or less goals in six of the last 10 games, including six in each of its last two games.
• Four of the six teams the Buckeyes have lost to this season were ranked in the Top 20 in the Inside Lacrosse poll released Monday – No. 3 Denver, No. 5 Johns Hopkins, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 11 Hofstra, with UMass receiving votes. Four were listed in this week’s USILA rankings as well – No. 3 Denver, No. 7 Johns Hopkins, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 12 Hofstra, with UMass receiving votes. Ohio State is receiving votes in both polls this week.
• The Buckeyes were 15-for-19 on clear attempts vs. Air Force and are now 199-for-217 on the year, ranking fifth nationally in clearing percentage (.917).
• Ohio State scored a season-high 15 goals in back-to-back games, with a 15-9 win at Delaware April 6 and a 15-6 victory over Michigan April 12. The squad has scored double-digit goals in four of the last six games, winning all four. On the year, Ohio State is averaging 9.75 goals per game. The 8-6 win over Air Force was the team’s first this year when scoring less than 10 goals.
• The Buckeyes have 82 assists on 117 goals this season (70.1 percent) and are 17th nationally in assists per game (6.83). Against Air Force, six of the team’s eight goals were assisted.
• Ohio State has scored on 30 percent of its attempts this season, ranking 19th nationally in shooting percentage. Carter Brown is third in the ECAC and 14th in the NCAA, scoring on 45.5 percent of his shots (20 goals, 44 shots).
• As a team, the Buckeyes have 79 caused turnovers this season, while their opponents have 51. Robby Haus is first with 14, while Dominic Imbordino has 12, Evan Mulchrone has 11, Joe Meurer has nine and Chris Mahoney has eight.
• Ohio State won the groundball battle against Air Force, 28-26, Saturday. The Buckeyes are 6-0 this season when recording more groundballs than their opponent.
• Sophomore Ryan Hunter has 12 goals and 16 points in his last four games combined, marking the first points of his Buckeye career. After scoring twice and adding an assist vs. Jacksonville March 29, he had a two goal, two assist day at Delaware in his first career start. He scored four goals in each of the last two games, with six groundballs in the two outings combined.
• Senior Scott Spencer has started the last five games and has a 7.42 goals-against average, a mark that ranks first in the ECAC, but he has not played enough minutes to qualify for the official NCAA statistics. He has a .568 save percentage, standing first among league goalies. Spencer is 4-1 on the year and has 12 groundballs.
• Junior Reegan Comeault has at least one point in all 12 games this season, including two assists vs. Air Force. He has three multiple-assist games as a Buckeye, with two in his last three outings (three assists vs. Michigan April 12, two vs. Air Force Saturday). He has a career-high 24 points this year, with 11 goals and 11 assists, both career highs. Comeault has two or more points in six games this season and is seventh in the ECAC with 1.08 assists per game this year.
• Sophomore Carter Brown has at least one goal in 10 of 12 games on the year (including two goals vs. Air Force) and has been held off the scoresheet completely just once. Brown has 20 goals and 29 points to rank second on the team and is fourth with 11 assists. He is in the top 10 in the ECAC in points (9th/2.58), goals (10th/1.67) and assists (9th/.92) per game this year. As a freshman last season, Brown had 27 goals, 16 assists and 43 points.
• Freshman J.T. Blubaugh leads the Buckeye rookies with seven goals and eight points this season, playing in all 12 games. He has at least one point in each of his last four games (4g, 1a).
• Junior Turner Evans is seventh in the ECAC with 2.64 points per game and ranks fourth in the league with 1.64 assists per outing. He is second on the team in assists (a career-high 18) and third in points (29). Evans had two assists vs. Air Force and has at least one point in nine of 11 games on the year, including eight multiple-point outings.
• Freshman Jake Withers won 10-of-17 faceoffs against Air Force, his fifth game with double-digit faceoff wins this season. He is second in the ECAC in faceoff winning percentage (.524) and ranks second among league players with 5.0 groundballs the game, picking up a Buckeye-best 60 groundballs this season.
• Sophomore Chris Mahoney, starting his third game at close defense, had a career-high tying three groundballs in the win over Air Force, along with a caused turnover.
• Junior Evan Mulchrone had three groundballs and two caused turnovers in the win vs. Air Force. He now has 15 groundballs on the year, along with 11 caused turnovers. He has at least one groundball in all but two games.
In the MLL
Eight Buckeyes are on Major League Lacrosse active rosters as the season starts this weekend. Greg Bice, Dominique Alexander, Eric O’Brien, Stefan Schroder and Logan Schuss are on the Ohio Machine opening day roster, with Kevin Mack and Matt Cafarelli on the practice squad for the Machine. Kevin Buchanan is with the Boston Cannons, Anthony Kelly returns to the Denver Outlaws and Mario Ventiquattro is playing for the Florida Launch.
Twenty-one members of the men’s lacrosse program were honored at this year’s Department of Athletics’ Scholar-Athlete Dinner: Lucas Bailey, Ryan Borcherding, Carter Brown, Nick Diegel, Kevin Duffy, Turner Evans, Sean Giampietro, Robby Haus, Kacy Kapinos, Gordie Koerber, Rick Lewis, Joe Meurer, Evan Mulchrone, Johnny Pearson, Tyler Pfister, Jake Sharick, Danny Simonetti, Scott Spencer, Cameron Stephens, Brian Ward and Jake Withers. In addition, 2013 senior Logan Schuss was a finalist for the Big Ten Medal of Honor and 2013 senior Dominique Alexander was the recipient of the Corwin Fergus scholarship for postgraduate studies.
Follow the Buckeyes
Keep up with Ohio State men’s lacrosse all season long through social media, including facebook (OhioStateMensLacrosse) and Instagram (@OhioState_MLAX). The team’s official Twitter feed is @OhioState_MLAX and you can keep up with Coach Myers (@MyersJMZ), Coach Dobbins (@DobbinsDave), Coach Koesterer (@squirerockwell), Coach Hall (@judsonhall) and Coach Bergey (@MBergey11).