May 11, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (13-4, 3-2/t-2nd B1G) hosts No. 13/11 Loyola in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Championship at 5 p.m. Sunday in Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes, an at-large selection, are the tournament’s No. 3 seed and are hosting an NCAA first round game for the second time in program history.
ESPNU will televise the game, also available on WatchESPN, with Joe Beninati and Ryan Flanagan calling the action. Live stats and periodic ingame Twitter updates at @OhioState_MLAX are also available.
Tickets are available at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office and online through OhioStateBuckeyes.com, as well as at the stadium on game day. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and free for children under 2. Ohio State students with a valid BuckID will receive free admission. Ticket sales and player pass lists will be located at Gate 5. Fans who already have their tickets can enter through Gate 16. All seating will be on the east side of the stadium. Parking is free in designated lots around the stadium.
NCAA Tourney Talk
• Ohio State earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament and is making the sixth appearance in program history, including the third in five years.
• The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and Greyhounds will advance to the quarterfinals to take on the winner of the matchup between No. 6 seed Johns Hopkins and Duke May 20 in Hempstead, N.Y. The 2017 NCAA Championship semifinals and final will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., May 27 and 29.
• The team’s last appearance in the NCAA Tournament was in 2015 as an at-large selection, when it defeated Duke on the road in the first round, 16-11, before falling to eventual national champion Denver in the quarterfinals, 15-13, in Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High in Denver.
• Ohio State reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2013 after earning the ECAC’s automatic berth into the field with the league’s tournament title. Ohio State was an at-large selection in 2008 (when it reached the quarterfinals for the first time) and 2003 and received the Great Western Lacrosse League’s automatic berth as the regular-season champion in 2004.
• Ohio State has six wins over teams in the 2017 NCAA bracket — No. 1 Maryland, No. 5 Denver, No. 6 Johns Hopkins (twice), Marquette and Towson.
• Ohio State is one of four Big Ten teams in the NCAA field, who all earned a Top 8 seed. In addition to the No. 3 seed Buckeyes hosting Loyola, No. 1 Maryland hosts Bryant, No. 6 Johns Hopkins hosts Duke and No. 7 Penn State plays host to Towson.
• Ten Buckeyes have NCAA Tournament appearance. John Kelly leads the current Buckeyes with seven points in NCAA games (3g, 4a), while Colin Chell has five goals in NCAA action. Jake Withers won 16-of-52 draws in NCAA games and Erik Evans has four groundballs and three caused turnovers. Other Buckeyes who have appeared in NCAA games include Johnny Pearson, JT Blubaugh, Trevor Hodgins, Brendan Barger, Tyler Pfister and Tom Carey.
Last Time Out
• Ohio State hosted the Big Ten Tournament last weekend in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes defeated Johns Hopkins in the semifinal, 15-13, before falling in the championship game to Maryland, 10-9.
• Against Johns Hopkins, Ohio State jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than five minutes into the game and was ahead 5-2 after the first quarter. The lead stretched to 9-3 at 3:56 of the second quarter and Ohio State carried a 10-5 advantage into halftime. The Buckeyes scored two of the first three goals in the second half for a 12-6 advantage but the Blue Jays went on a four-goal run, with three in the final 3:11 of the third quarter, to make it a two-goal game for the first time since the first stanza. Ohio State scored back-to-back for a 14-10 advantage at 11:28 of the fourth quarter. Hopkins scored three of the final four goals, making it a two-goal game with 1:24 remaining, but the Buckeyes held on for the win.
• Freshman Tre Leclaire had a game-high six goals in the win, while Eric Fannell had a goal and three assists for four points. Senior Tyler Pfister scored twice. Jake Withers won 20-of-31 faceoffs and picked up 11 groundballs.
• Against Maryland in the final, the game was back and forth throughout. Maryland opened the scoring before three straight Ohio State goals for a 3-1 lead at 8:16. Maryland notched the next three for a 4-3 lead at 9:41, but the Buckeyes scored the final goal of the first half for a 4-4 game at halftime. Each team scored once in the third quarter, deadlocking the score at five. Maryland opened the scoring in the fourth quarter before back-to-back Buckeye goals put Ohio State ahead 7-6 at 11:27. Maryland answered on the next play and added a second goal less than two minutes later to push ahead 8-7. The Buckeyes scored twice more, but Maryland answered each time. Ohio State tallied at 5:53, but the Terps notched the eventual gamewinner at 3:27.
• Leclaire had a hat trick and an assist for four points for the Buckeyes, while Fannell scored twice. Withers won 13 faceoffs and had 10 groundballs and Tom Carey made 11 saves in the cage.
• Leclaire, Withers, LSM Freddy Freibott and defenseman Ben Randall were named to the All-Tournament Team at its conclusion.
In the Rankings
• Ohio State is ranked third in the USILA coaches poll and Inside Lacrosse media rankings this week, standing fifth in the US Lacrosse Magazine poll.
• Loyola is No. 13 in the coaches poll and US Lacrosse Magazine rankings and No. 11 in the IL rankings.
• Starting with Towson and Denver over spring break, the Buckeyes are in a stretch of nine of 10 games against teams currently in the Top 20 in the USILA poll (current rankings): No. 1 Maryland, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 7 Denver, No. 8 Penn State, No. 9 Johns Hopkins, No. 11 Towson and No. 12 Rutgers. In the Inside Lacrosse rankings, seven teams are in the Top 20: Maryland is No. 1, Denver No. 5, Notre Dame No. 7, Penn State No. 8, Johns Hopkins No. 11, Towson No. 12 and Rutgers No. 15.
Buckeye B1G Honorees
• Five Buckeyes were recognized with Big Ten honors, with two player of the year awards and five players on the all-conference first and second teams combined.
• Senior Jake Withers earned Big Ten Specialist of the Year accolades for the second year in a row and Tre Leclaire was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Withers is the first Big Ten player to earn two player of the year awards. Leclaire is the first Buckeye named a conference rookie of the year since Carter Brown in 2013.
• Senior goalie Tom Carey and senior attackman Eric Fannell joined Withers, a faceoff specialist, on the All-Big Ten First Team, while Leclaire, an attackman, and junior defenseman Ben Randall are both Second Team All-Big Ten.
• In addition, senior Tyler Pfister was the recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State men’s lacrosse.
• Withers earned his second consecutive spot on the All-Big Ten First Team, while Carey was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten choice in 2015.
Buckeyes vs. Greyhounds
• Ohio State and Loyola, who faced off as members of the ECAC from 2010-13, have met eight times, with the series dating to 1961. The Greyhounds lead the series, 7-1.
• The last matchup was an 18-11 victory by the Buckeyes in the semifinals of the 2013 ECAC Tournament in Geneva, N.Y. (en route to the Buckeyes’ first league tournament crown).
• Loyola claimed both meetings in Columbus in 2013 (9-4) and 2011 (12-9), with the games in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
• Loyola won the Patriot League Championship, downing Army 13-4 April 30, to earn the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
• The Greyhounds are averaging 12.93 goals a game to rank ninth nationally, while allowing 8.47 a game to rank 12th in the NCAA. The man-down defense is fifth nationally at 78.8 percent and the man-up unit has converted 38.5 percent of its chances. The squad has won 56.8 percent of its faceoffs.
• Pat Spencer, a Tewaaraton finalist, leads Loyola and is third in the NCAA with 5.47 points per game, including an NCAA-best 3.67 assists per outing. Spencer has 27 goals, 55 assists and 82 points on the year. In all, five Greyhounds have 20 or more goals. Alex McGovern and Brian Sherlock are tied for second with 24 goals each and McGovern is second with 20 assists and 44 points.
• Graham Savio has won 197-of-338 faceoffs (.583) and has 101 groundballs to lead the squad. In goal, Jacob Stover is in the Top 10 in the NCAA in goals-against average (7.80) and save percentage (.556).
• Loyola played in the 2016 NCAA Quartefinals in Ohio Stadium in Columbus, defeating Towson, 10-8.