April 20, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for today’s game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Virginia Military Institute. The Buckeyes are sporting a 6-3 overall record, 1-1 in the Great Western Lacrosse League. VMI comes into Columbus with a 5-7 record.

In the latest editions of the National Lacrosse polls, for the first time ever, Ohio State is in the Top 20. In the STX/USILA poll, the Buckeyes are 20th receiving 12 votes. In the Face-Off Magazine National Media Poll OSU is tied for 19th with Yale and Lehigh. The Baltimore Sun has Ohio State at 15 in their weekly Top 15 poll. The Buckeyes have won two straight, three of their last four, and are riding a wave of momentum after the 5-4 upset of Notre Dame. Ohio State made their first appearance ever in a national poll on March 15 when they were 21st in both the Face-Off and STX/USILA poll.

The Keydets are not a team to be taken lightly. They have a two potent goal scorers in Matt Gallienne and Mason Ayers who have scored 31 and 25 goals, respectively. The Keydets are also solid on faceoffs winning 166/286 good for 58%. The Buckeyes will have to keep the ball out of Gallienne and Ayers hands much like they did with Chris Dusseau and David Ulrich of Notre Dame. Only Ulrich was able to record a point. Fred Koury and James Campbell will have to be sharp on faceoffs to prevent the Keydet offense from dictating the pace of the game. Goalie Mike Abeles must again face several hard shooters and continue his hot play that earned him GWLL Player of the Week honors this past week.

This Saturday and Monday, the Buckeyes will face their final two GWLL opponents of the season in Air Force and Denver. With wins over each squad, the Bucks would tie for the GWLL conference championship for the first time since joining the conference in the early 90’s. Butler and Notre Dame have already finished league play at 3-1 while both Air Force and Denver have yet to win a league game.

GWLL STANDINGS GWLL OVERALL Butler 3-1 7-5 Notre Dame 3-1 6-5 Ohio State 1-1 6-3 Denver 0-2 3-7 Air Force 0-2 2-9

Ohio State is 13th in the nation in Man-Down situations. They have stopped their opponents 45 times in 59 tries, good for 76.3%. OSU is also 11th in the country in winning percentage at .667.

As Ohio State moves up the polls, so does Abeles and attacker Kevin Johnson. Abeles has cracked the top 10 in the country in save percentage. He has 143 saves for a percentage of .624 good for a tie for 10th. Meanwhile, with two more assists against Stony Brook, Johnson moved into a tie for seventh place on the all-time assist chart at Ohio State. He needs one more for sixth place and five more for sole possession of fifth place.