March 24, 2014

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Ohio State Lacrosse This Week
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (2-5, 1-0 ECAC) hosts No. 7 Notre Dame (3-2, 2-0 ACC) at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The non-conference matchup is game two of a three-game homestand for the Buckeyes.

Follow Along
The game between Ohio State and Notre Dame will be televised by Fox College Sports, with Eric Frede and Kevin Boland calling the action. Live stats will be available through, with in-game updates on Twitter @OhioState_MLAX. Updated links for TV/video, audio and live stats (when available) are on the Buckeye lacrosse gameday page: prior to each game this season.

Busy Buckeyes
The game vs. Notre Dame Tuesday is part of a stretch of three games in nine days for the Buckeyes, who host Jacksonville at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in JOMS to wrap up a three-game homestand. The team opened the stretch with a 10-7 win over Bellarmine Friday to open its ECAC schedule.

Special Visitors
A special group will be at the Buckeyes’ game vs. Notre Dame Tuesday. A few alumni of the Ohio State program provided tickets to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus for an outing to see the Buckeyes take on the Irish.

Buckeye Bio
Ohio State is coming off a 10-7 win over Bellarmine in its ECAC opener Friday night in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The team is averaging 8.43 goals a game, while allowing 9.00 an outing. The squad has converted 4-of-21 man-up chances and is 9-for-17 on man-down defense. The Buckeyes lead the nation in clearing percentage at 97.5 percent (117-for-120).

Junior Jesse King leads the Buckeyes with 14 goals and 22 points, with classmate Turner Evans second with 19 points and first with 12 assists. Sophomore Carter Brown is third with 18 points, with nine goals and nine helpers. Junior David Planning has eight goals to rank third and is fifth with 11 points. Junior Reegan Comeault has 14 points to stand fourth on the team, tying Evans for fourth with seven goals and adding seven assists. Senior goalie Greg Dutton started the first six games and has 54 saves, while freshman Nick Doyle made nine saves Friday in his first career start. Freshman Jake Withers is first with 32 groundballs and leads the team with 48 faceoff wins, winning 52.7 percent of his draws. Senior Dominic Imbordino is first with 11 caused turnovers, sophomore Robby Haus is second with nine and senior Joe Meurer is third with seven.

Freshmen Withers and Doyle Honored
Buckeye freshmen Jake Withers and Nick Doyle both received ECAC Player of the Week honors for their play in the win over Bellarmine. Withers was named the league’s specialist of the week, while Doyle picked up player of the week honors.

Against Bellarmine, Withers won 71.4 percent of his faceoffs, winning a career-best 15 (of 21), including 9-of-10 in the first half as the Buckeyes took a 5-3 lead into halftime. He had 10 groundballs in the contest, his second game with double-digit ground balls this year. He also scored his first career goal, giving Ohio State a 5-3 lead with a goal with just two seconds left before halftime. On the year, Withers has won 48-of-91 (.527) faceoffs, ranking second in the ECAC in winning percentage, and is first on the squad and tied for second in the ECAC with 32 groundballs (4.6 per game). Withers was named the league’s co-rookie of the week Feb. 25.

In his first collegiate game and start, Doyle stopped 9-of-16 shots, allowing just seven goals, to backstop the Buckeyes to a 10-7 ECAC win over Bellarmine. He had two saves in the first quarter as Ohio State took a 2-1 lead and three stops in the second to lead the Buckeyes to a 5-3 halftime advantage. He added three more saves in the third and one stop in the fourth en route to the victory. He also picked up three groundballs vs. the Knights.

Scholar-Athletes Abound
Twenty-one members of the men’s lacrosse program have earned invitations to 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.

Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
Ohio State and Notre Dame have met each year since 1981, with the series dating back to 1964. All-time the Irish lead the series, 31-21, with a 12-11 advantage in Columbus. The teams faced off as members of the Great Western Lacrosse league for a number of years before remaining on the schedule as non-conference foes when Notre Dame joined the Big East and Ohio State moved to the ECAC in 2010. Notre Dame is now a member of the ACC. Three of the last four games have been one-goal wins by the Irish, with 8-7 wins in Columbus in 2012 and South Bend in 2011. Notre Dame won the 2010 contest on its home field in overtime, 7-6. In 2013, the Irish posted a 9-4 victory over the Buckeyes in South Bend.

The Last Time – Ohio State vs. ND in 2013
Ohio State lost a midweek road game to No. 3 Notre Dame, 9-4, March 20, 2013 inside the Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Ind. The Irish scored just 49 seconds into the game and Reegan Comeault tied the game at 12:14. Notre Dame then went on a five-goal run to close out the first half with a 6-1 lead, scoring twice in the first quarter and three times in the second stanza. The teams were scoreless in the third quarter and combined for six fourth-quarter tallies. Ohio State scored three times – with goals from Comeault, David Planning and Jesse King (and two assists from Logan Schuss) – but the Irish responded each time. Ohio State was outshot 42-27 in the game and junior goalie Greg Dutton had 10 saves.

Irish Info
The Irish, ranked No. 7 nationally, are 3-2 on the year, with wins over Jacksonville, North Carolina and Virginia and losses to Penn State and Denver. Notre Dame averages 12.4 goals a game and holds opponents to 8.8 goals a game, ranking in the Top 6 nationally in both categories. The squad is first nationally in faceoff winning percentage (.696) and man-up offense (.684).

Notre Dame last played March 16, defeating the Cavaliers, 18-9, in an indoor game in South Bend, Ind. Matt Kavanagh had four goals and six points in the contest, while Nick Ossello scored three goals and Shane Doss made nine saves in the cage. Liam O’Connor won 19-of-24 faceoffs and had 11 groundballs.

Kavanagh leads the Irish with 13 goals, 10 assists and 23 points, with John Scioscia second with eight goals and tied with Conor Doyle (7g, 3a) for second with 10 points each. O’Connor is second in the country in faceoff winning percentage (.701) and has a team-high 49 groundballs this year. Doss has played in four games, with a 9.03 goals-against average and .500 save percentage. Conor Kelly has played in three games, with an 8.43 gaa and .407 sv%.

Tewaaraton Candidate King Among ECAC Leaders
Junior midfielder Jesse King is first in the ECAC with 3.67 points per game, and second with 2.33 goals per outing. He has a team-high 14 goals this season to tie for eighth among conference players and is tied for sixth with 22 points. He has three six-point outings this season, including a five-goal game at Johns Hopkins and four-goal days vs. Marquette and Penn State.

King carries a 29-game point streak, with 54 goals, 37 assists and 91 points, into the game vs. Notre Dame. King’s first-quarter assist at Hofstra March 8 was the 100th point of his Buckeye career and he now has 102 points on 62 goals and 40 assists. He is the 28th Buckeye to hit triple digits.

Buckeye This and That
• Ohio State leads the NCAA in clearing percentage, completing 117-of-120 (.975) percent of its chances. The team was 16-for-17 vs. Bellarmine Friday.
• Sophomore Carter Brown had a hat trick and added two assists for a five-point day Friday vs. Bellarmine. It was his fifth career hat trick and 17th career multiple-point day (but first career five-point outing, after ). Brown is 10th in the ECAC with 2.57 points per game and sixth with 1.29 assists per outing. He has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points this year.
• All five teams the Buckeyes have lost to this season were ranked in the Top 20 in the Inside Lacrosse poll released Monday – No. 6 Denver, No. 10 Johns Hopkins, No. 13 UMass, No. 19 Hofstra and No. 20 Penn State. All five were listed in this week’s USILA rankings as well – No. 6 Denver, No. 9 Johns Hopkins, No. 14 UMass and No. 17 Penn State, with Hofstra receiving votes.
• Ohio State has allowed nine or fewer goals in four of its last five games.
• The Buckeyes have 48 caused turnovers this season, while their opponents have 33. Dominic Imbordino has a team-best 11, while Robby Haus has nine (including two vs. Bellarmine) and Joe Meurer has seven. The squad is averaging 6.86 caused turnovers per game. Imbordino is first in the conference with 1.57 caused turnovers per game.
• Freshman Jake Withers scored his first career goal Friday vs. Bellarmine, the fourth Buckeye rookie to score this season. J.T. Blubaugh leads the freshmen with three goals and has scored in each of the last two games, while John Kelly has a 1-2-3 line in his last two outings combined. Sean Giampietro recorded his first goal March 8 at Hofstra.
• Withers had 10 groundballs vs. Bellarmine Friday, his second game with double-digit groundballs this year. He had 11 vs. Marquette Feb. 22, the most for a Buckeye since Eric O’Brien had 10 in 2007.
• Junior Reegan Comeault has a career-high 14 points this season, with seven goals and seven assists, both career highs. He has at least one assist in all but one game this season and has at least one point in all seven games, with five multi-point days.
• Junior Turner Evans had three points, with a goal and two assists, against Bellarmine. Evans is second in the ECAC with 1.71 assists per game and is eighth in the league with 2.71 points per outing. He has a point in 13 of his last 14 games and has a career-best 12 assists this year, adding seven goals for nine points.
• Junior Rick Lewis scored his first career goal Friday vs. Bellarmine, tallying in his 18th career game.
• Junior David Planning had his fourth multiple-point game of the year Friday vs. Bellarmine with a goal and an assist and has a 4-2-6 scoring line in his last two games combined. This season, he has eight goals and 11 points.
• Sophomore Robby Haus, who has started all 24 games of his Buckeye career at close defense, has nine caused turnovers this season to match the total he had in 17 games a year ago. He has 16 groundballs this year.
• The Buckeyes are second in the league with 6.29 assists per game this season. On the year, 44 of the squad’s 59 goals have been assisted.