May 10, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State, the 2004 Great Western Lacrosse League champion, claimed a number of postseason league awards, the conference announced Monday. Buckeye senior goalie Tony Russo and senior defenseman Greg Bice shared GWLL Player of the Year honors, while seventh-year head coach Joe Breschi was named the coach of the year. In addition, senior attack Anthony Gilardi, senior midfielder Shaun Lyons, Bice and Russo were named First Team All-GWLL. Junior midfielder Tom Randisi and junior defenseman Peter Frantz were second-team honorees.

Russo, a Fallston, Md., native (Calvert Hall) picked up GWLL Player of the Year and first-team all-league honors for the second year in a row. He has started all 15 games in net for the Buckeyes, leading the league and ranking in the Top 3 in the nation with a 6.84 goals-against average. He earned GWLL Player of the Week accolades April 5 after leading the squad to wins over Notre Dame and Duke. Russo became OSU’s all-time leader in career saves earlier this season and his career total now stands at 638. He was a second-team all-league honoree as a sophomore in 2002 and earned STX/USILA Honorable Mention All-America accolades last season.

Bice, from Helotes, Texas, (St. Mary’s Hall) is making his third consecutive appearance on the All-GWLL First Team, while earning his first league player of the year honor. Bice has started all 15 games for the Buckeyes and is first on the team with 63 groundballs. He anchors the Buckeye defense that has been among the nation’s leaders in fewest goals allowed per game all season. Bice received STX/USILA Honorable Mention All-America accolades last season.

This marks the second year in a row and third time in his career Breschi has been named GWLL Coach of the Year. Breschi led the 2004 Buckeye squad to the outright league title and the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The squad’s 12 wins this season are the most under Breschi and the highest total for a Buckeye team since OSU posted 12 in the 1988 campaign. Breschi, with a 59-37 ledger, is one win shy of the OSU record for career coaching wins. He was the GWLL Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2003 as well.

Baldwin, N.Y., (Baldwin H.S.) native Gilardi is making his first appearance on the all-league first team. He was a second-team honoree in 2002. Gilardi leads the Buckeyes with 24 assists and 41 points this season and is the only Buckeye with at least a point in every game. Gilardi has 131 career points to rank 13th in program history, while his 57 helpers are tied for seventh. Gilardi had a career-best five assists and six points in OSU’s win over Air Force and had a season-best four goals vs. Hobart. He was the league player of the week April 28.

Lyons, a Hicksville, N.Y., native (Hicksville H.S.), leads Ohio State with 23 goals on the year and is second in points with 31. He is on a nine-game goal-scoring streak and has at least one tally in all but two games this season. Lyons entered the year with just six career goals and eight career points in his first three seasons with the squad.

Randisi, from Towson, Md., (Calvert Hall) has earned second-team All-GWLL honors for the second consecutive year. He is fourth on the squad with a career-best 20 goals and 26 points. He has started 14 games this season and has at least one point in all but four games.

Frantz, a Glenview, Ill., (Loyola Academy) native, has been honored by the league for the first time in his career. He has started all 15 games, picking up 17 groundballs, and is part of the Buckeye defense that is among the nation’s leaders in fewest goals allowed per game.

The No. 6/7-ranked Buckeyes (12-3, 5-0/1st GWLL) earned the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The bracket will be announced at 3:40 p.m. Monday live on ESPNews.