April 10, 2014

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The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (4-6, 1-0 ECAC) will take on Michigan (4-8, 1-2 ECAC) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Showdown in the Shoe. The game precedes the Ohio State football team’s 2014 LifeSports Spring Game presented by Nationwide, which is set to begin at 1:30 p.m.

The game between Ohio State and Michigan will be televised by BTN and available through BTN2Go online and mobile. Tom Werme and Buckeye All-American and MLL All-Star Greg Bice will call the action. Links for tv/video, audio and live stats (when applicable) are also on the Buckeye lacrosse gameday page:, with in-game updates on Twitter @OhioState_MLAX.

Tickets Lowered to $5, Parking is Free
General admission tickets for Saturday, which include both the lacrosse and football games, have been lowered to $5. Children 6 and under are free in the general admission sections and current Ohio State students get in free with a valid BuckID. The forecast for the day calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s.

Proceeds from all ticket sales support both the LiFE Sports program and the Boys and Girls Club. These two programs benefit some 700 of Columbus’ underprivileged youth during four weeks in the summer with athletic camps, clinics and two meals a day on Ohio State’s campus. Fans who purchased general admission tickets in advance will have the price difference donated to the LiFE Sports program and the Boys and Girls Club, or they may choose to get a refund for the difference by returning their tickets to their point of purchase beginning Monday, April 14. Fans who purchased tickets at Donatos can get their refund at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office beginning Monday. Complete information is here:

Saturday marks the sixth edition of the Showdown in the Shoe, a doubleheader featuring an Ohio State lacrosse game, followed by the Buckeye football spring game. The 2010, 2009 and 2008 editions of the game mark the Top 3 attendance records for a regular-season game in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse history.

The first Showdown was April 19, 2008, as Ohio State set then-NCAA men’s lacrosse regular-season and on-campus attendance records when 29,601 fans watched the Buckeyes down Denver. By the end of the lacrosse game, more than 50,000 fans were in the ‘Shoe as the Buckeyes closed out a 20-13 victory over the Pioneers in a Great Western Lacrosse League contest. The following year, the Buckeyes broke their own record when 30,192 were on hand when attendance was taken during the contest between the Buckeyes and Notre Dame April 25, 2009 (a 14-9 Irish win). The football spring game went on to set a national attendance record of 95,722, with many of those fans in the seats before the lacrosse game ended.

The 2010 edition again broke the national records, as 31,078 watched the Buckeyes down Air Force, 10-6, in an ECAC Lacrosse League game April 24, 2010. The contest was televised live on the Big Ten Network, marking the first men’s lacrosse game broadcast live on the network. The 2011 and ‘12 editions of the game were both played on rainy, cool days and again televised by BTN. The attendance was 19,213 when the Buckeyes defeated the Falcons 14-4 April 21, 2012 (ranking 14th all-time for a men’s lacrosse regular-season game) and April 23, 2011 Ohio State fell to Fairfield, 11-9, in front of 12,317. The Showdown in the Shoe was not held in 2013 because of construction in Ohio Stadium.

The game Saturday is the first between the Buckeyes and Wolverines as varsity programs in Columbus. Since Michigan moved to a full varsity program in 2012, Ohio State has won both matchups between the teams. The Buckeyes posted a 12-9 win in 2012 and a 17-8 victory last year, with both games in Michigan Stadium following the Wolverine football team’s spring game. The Buckeyes are 12-3 all-time vs. Michigan in the series, which dates to 1966 and was discontinued in 1988.

The game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines is part of the competition for the Creator’s Trophy, an annual traveling award among the three Big Ten schools that sponsor men’s lacrosse (OSU, PSU, Michigan) that was established in 2012. The trophy is awarded when a team is 2-0 against the other schools; on years the teams are all 1-1, the trophy will not be awarded. Penn State won the 2014 trophy with a 22-7 win over Michigan at home and an 11-8 victory over Ohio State in Columbus. The Buckeyes captured the 2013 title with road wins against the Wolverines and Nittany Lions.

Ohio State is coming off a 15-9 win at Delaware Sunday and is now 4-6 on the year. The team is averaging 9.40 goals a game, while allowing 8.70 an outing to rank 14th in the NCAA. The squad has converted 10-of-34 man-up chances (.294) and is 18-for-30 on man-down defense. The Buckeyes are 171-for-183 (.934) on clears and entered the week second in the nation in clearing percentage.

Junior Jesse King leads the Buckeyes with 19 goals, 20 assists and 39 points and is first in the ECAC with 4.33 points per game, ranking 10th nationally. Sophomore Carter Brown is second with 15 goals and 25 points and third with 10 assists. Junior Turner Evans is second with 14 helpers and third with 23 points. Junior David Planning is third with 12 goals, followed by classmate Reegan Comeault with 11. Senior goalie Scott Spencer has started the last three games and has an 8.47 goals-against average and .500 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 47 groundballs and leads the team with 73 faceoff wins, winning 49.7 percent of his draws. Sophomore Robby Haus and senior Dominic Imbordino are second and third with 25 and 24 groundballs, respectively and the duo are tied for first with 12 caused turnovers each.

Michigan is 4-8 on the year and is coming off a 9-8 loss at home vs. Fairfield. The squad averages 10 goals a game and allows 12.58 an outing. The man-up offense is 17-for-43 (.395) and the man-down defense has stopped 28-of-41 chances. Ian King leads the Wolverines with 24 goals and 25 points, with Kyle Jackson second in goals (17) and tied with Thomas Para, who has a team-best 10 assists, for second in points with 22 each. Paras is third with 12 goals, followed by David McCormack with 11. Brad Lott has won 125-of-222 faceoffs and has a team-high 70 groundballs. Goalie Robbie Zonino is 4-8, with a 12.33 goals-against average and .442 save percentage.

The No. 13-ranked Buckeyes claimed the 2013 Creator’s Trophy after downing Michigan, 17-8, April 13, 2013 in Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. In the victory, Logan Schuss had five goals, a career-high five assists and a career-high tying 10 points and became the all-time leading goal scorer in Ohio State history. Turner Evans had a career-best four goals, while Jesse King had two goals and three assists for five points and Carter Brown netted a hat trick. Junior goalie Scott Spencer had 10 saves in the Buckeye cage. The Buckeyes won 22-of-28 faceoffs, led by Trey Wilkes who won 13-of-18 and had a team-high six groundballs. The Buckeyes held a 4-2 lead after the first quarter and were ahead 8-3 at halftime. Ohio State pulled away in the third, outscoring the Wolverines, 6-3, before each team scored three times in the fourth quarter.

The Buckeyes’ game vs. Michigan opens a stretch of three-consecutive ECAC Lacrosse League games before Ohio State hosts the ECAC Tournament. The next Saturday (April 19), Ohio State will take on Air Force on Senior Day in Ohio Stadium. The regular season ends at Fairfield April 26.

Ohio State, Air Force, Fairfield and Michigan will compete in the ECAC Tournament beginning with the semifinals May 1 (5 and 8 p.m.). The championship game is slated for 5 p.m. May 3, with the tournament winner claiming the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Fox College Sports will televise all three games in the tournament.

Fairfield and Air Force are both 2-0 in ECAC play, with wins over Bellarmine and Michigan. Ohio State is 1-0, with a victory over Bellarmine, and Michigan is 1-2, with its victory against the BU Knights. Bellarmine, which has ended conference play, has been eliminated from the league tournament and final seeds will be determined among Air Force, Fairfield, Michigan and Ohio State.

This week, Ohio State hosts Michigan and Fairfield travels to Air Force, closing the conference slate for the Wolverines. The final league games are Air Force at Ohio State April 19 and Ohio State at Fairfield April 26.

Ohio State downed Delaware, 15-9, Sunday afternoon on the road in Newark, Del. Buckeye junior Jesse King led Ohio State with seven assists and eight points and was one of 10 Buckeyes with at least one point in the game. The Buckeyes led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter (for the second game in a row) and 10-2 at halftime en route to the victory over the Blue Hens. Sophomore Ryan Hunter had four points on two goals and two assists, while juniors David Planning and Reegan Comeault each had three points on two goals and an assist. Freshman J.T. Blubaugh had his first career two-goal game and sophomore Carter Brown also scored twice. Chris Mahoney, making his first start at close defense, scored his first career goal, while senior Michael Italiano and sophomore Kacy Kapinos each netted their first goal of the season. Senior goalie Scott Spencer made nine saves in the win.

Junior midfielder Jesse King has a team-high 19 goals, 20 assists and 39 points, ranking first in the ECAC and 10th in the NCAA in points per game (4.33), second in the league and 10th nationally in assists per game (2.22) and fifth among conference players in goals per game (2.11). King has 15 points in his last two games combined. 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 Sunday at Delaware. 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. He is one of five players in the NCAA this season with seven or more assists in a single game.

King is on a 32-game point streak, with 59 goals, 49 assists and 108 points, in the stretch. King’s first-quarter assist at Hofstra March 8 was the 100th point of his Buckeye career and he now has 119 points on 67 goals and 52 assists, to rank 23rd in school history. His 20 assists this year are just three shy of the career-high 23 he had as a sophomore last season.

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 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 10 games for the Buckeyes this season at close defense and has nine groundballs and eight caused turnovers, helping Ohio State rank in the Top 15 nationally in team defense (8.70 goals allowed per game). A team captain for 2014, Meurer has played in 57 career games for the Scarlet and Gray and has 99 groundballs and 40 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.

• Ohio State is 14th in the NCAA in scoring defense, giving up 8.70 goals a game, and has allowed seven or less goals in four of the last eight games.
• Five 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. 5 Denver, No. 8 Johns Hopkins, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 14 Hofstra and No. 16 UMass. The five were listed in this week’s USILA rankings as well – No. 5 Denver, No. 9 Johns Hopkins, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 14 UMass and No. 16 Hofstra. Ohio State is receiving votes in the USILA poll this week.
• Ohio State was 2-for-2 on man-up chances at Delaware Sunday and 4-for-8 in the game vs. Jacksonville March 29. The only other game with more than one EMO goal on the year was a 2-for-3 night vs. Bellarmine March 21. The squad is 10-for-34 (.294) this season. Carter Brown is first on the team with four man-up goals, while Turner Evans and David Planning each have two EMO tallies.
• The Buckeyes were 15-for-16 on clear attempts at Delaware and are now 171-for-183 on the year, ranking second nationally in clearing percentage (.934). Maryland is first in the NCAA at .937.
• Ohio State scored a season-high 15 goals at Delaware Sunday, a game after scoring 13 in a win over Jacksonville. The squad is now averaging 9.40 goals a game on the year.
• The Buckeyes had 11 assists on 15 goals Sunday at Delaware and are second in the league and 20th nationally with 6.70 assists per game. On the year, 67 of the squad’s 94 goals (71.3 percent) have been assisted.
• As a team, the Buckeyes have 67 caused turnovers this season, while their opponents have 45. Dominic Imbordino and Robby Haus share the lead with 12 each, while Joe Meurer and Evan Mulchrone each have eight and Chris Mahoney has seven.
• Ohio State had a season-high 47 shots vs. Jacksonville March 29 and 39 at Delaware Sunday to now average 31.6 shots per game this year. The team is allowing 30.0 shots per game on the year, including holding the JU Dolphins to an opponent season low 15. It was the first time an Ohio State opponent had fewer than 20 shots since Detroit had 16 Feb. 10, 2011.

• Sophomore Ryan Hunter made his first career start Sunday at Delaware and responded with two goals and two assists for four points. He had two goals and a helper March 29 vs. Jacksonville the game prior for his first career points.
• Freshman J.T. Blubaugh had the first two-goal game of his career against the Blue Hens. He leads the Buckeye rookies with six goals this season, with five in the last five games combined.
• In his first start at close defense, sophomore Chris Mahoney had a groundball and a caused turnover, as well as the first goal of his Buckeye career Sunday at Delaware. He has seven groundballs and seven caused turnovers this season.
• Junior Reegan Comeault has at least one point in all 10 games this season, including two goals and an assist for three points at Delaware. He has a career-high 19 points this year, with 11 goals and eight assists, both career highs.
• Sophomore Carter Brown has at least one goal in eight of 10 games on the year (including two goals at Delaware) and has been held off the scoresheet completely just one time. Brown has 15 goals and 25 points to rank second on the team and is third with 10 assists. Brown is in the top 12 in the ECAC in points (11th/2.50), goals (12th/1.50) and assists (8th/1.00) per game this year.
• Junior Turner Evans is eighth in the ECAC in points per game (2.56) and fourth in the league with 1.56 assists per outing. He is third on the team with 23 assists and second with 14 assists.
• Senior Scott Spencer has started the last three games and has an 8.47 goals-against average, a mark that ranks second in the ECAC, but he has not played in enough games to qualify for the official statistics. He has a .500 save percentage, standing third among league goalies.
• Defenseman Robby Haus had a career-high tying five groundballs at Delaware Sunday. He has 25 this year to rank second on the team, along with a team-high tying and personal-best 12 caused turnovers.
• D-middies Michael Italiano and Kacy Kapinos both scored their first goals of the year Sunday against the Blue Hens. Italiano now has 13 career goals, including four last season, while Kapinos marked his second goal as a Buckeye and first since scoring in the NCAA game vs. Towson May 12, 2013.
• Senior Rick Lewis scored the first goal of his Buckeye career March 21 vs. Bellarmine and now has four on the year, with two vs. Jacksonville March 29 and a tally at Delaware Sunday.
• Junior David Planning had his fourth multiple-goal game of the season Sunday with two tallies. He has 12 goals this year after posting 17 in all 17 games last season.

Logan Schuss, who ended his Buckeye career in 2013, has been named one of five male finalists for the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor. Each year, the Scholar-Athlete Dinner is capped with the presentation of the Big Ten Medal of Honor. Each member institution in the conference gives the award annually to the male and female student-athletes in the graduating class who have attained the greatest proficiency in both academics and athletics. This is the 100th anniversary of the honor, as the Big Ten Conference office established the award in 1914 for men and an additional award for the top female was instituted in 1982. The award includes a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship.

Schuss, from Ladner, British Columbia, is the first three-time USILA All-American and four-time all-conference selection in Ohio State history. He ended his career as the team’s all-time leader in goals (146, 20 more than second place) and is second all-time with 237 points. The ECAC Offensive Player of the Year in both 2012 and ’13 and the league’s 2010 Rookie of the Year, he captained the Buckeyes to the ECAC tournament title and a spot in the NCAA quarterfinals as a senior captain in 2013. As a senior, he was named a second team All-American, becoming the first Buckeye to be named to the first or second team more than once, after posting a career-high 44 goals, 28 assists and 72 points. Schuss has gone on to play professionally both in the indoor NLL, where he was the No. 1 overall draft pick, and in the outdoor MLL, where he was the Ohio Machine Rookie of the Year. A USILA Scholar All-American, Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, Academic All-Big Ten and ECAC All-Academic Team honoree, Schuss is planning a career teaching at the secondary level.

Twenty-one members of the men’s lacrosse program have earned invitations to this year’s Department of Athletics’ Scholar-Athlete Dinner, which will be held Monday: 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.

Attackman J.T. Blubaugh has been named the ECAC co-Rookie of the Week, the ECAC Lacrosse League announced Monday. Blubaugh, from Galena, Ohio (Columbus DeSales H.S.), scored twice in the Buckeyes’ win at Delaware Sunday. Against the Blue Hens, Blubaugh marked the first two-goal game of his Buckeye career. He scored in the first quarter for a 2-0 Buckeye lead and then added a goal early in the third for an 11-2 Ohio State advantage. He also picked up a groundball.

Blubaugh has five goals in his last five games combined and has six goals on the year. He has played in all 10 games, starting two (including at Delaware), and has seven groundballs.

Ohio State will serve as host for the 2014 ECAC Tournament, slated for May 1 and 3 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Top 4 teams in the final ECAC standings qualify for the event, with the winner receiving the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Tickets for the tournament went on sale Monday and are available online:

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).