Feb. 20, 2003
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The No. 19 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (0-0, 0-0 GWLL) opens its season at 1 p.m. Saturday when it plays host to No. 14 Navy (1-0, 0-0 ECAC) at the North Turf Field. Note the site has been moved from the squad’s regular competition field – Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes are ranked 19th in the Inside Lacrosse/Face Off Yearbook preseason poll. The team was tied for 19th in the final 2002 poll.
The Buckeyes are 19-30-1 all-time in season openers. The team lost to North Carolina on the road in triple overtime in the first game of the 2002 season.
Three Buckeyes – Curtis Smith, Tony Russo and Greg Bice – earned Inside Lacrosse Face Off Yearbook 2003 Preseason All-America Honorable Mention accolades prior to this season.
Seniors Mike Norton, Pete Dillon, Anthony Kelly and Matt Cafarelli are serving as the Buckeyes’ captains this season. Dillon, a fifth-year senior, is in his second season as a captain of the squad.
A QUICK LOOK BACK
The Buckeyes finished last season 9-5 overall and finished third in the Great Western Lacrosse League with a record of 3-2.
The Buckeyes return 29-of-44 letterwinners and 9-of-10 starters from the 2002 squad. Among the returnees are the Top 7 scorers.
The Buckeyes’ trio of senior Curtis Smith (38-12-50), junior Anthony Gilardi (32-14-46) and senior Mike Norton (12-25-37) led the squad in scoring last season.
THE TOP 10
Curtis Smith’s mark of 38 goals last season is tied for the 10th-most all-time in a season in OSU history. His 50 points tied for 16th-best in school history.
UP THE LADDER
Mike Norton and Curtis Smith are working their way up the career records at Ohio State. Norton enters the season seventh all-time in assists with 56, one behind Todd Walker in sixth place. Smith is tied for 19th in school history with 102 (69-33) points. He is one point behind Tim Johnson in 18th place.
Junior Tony Russo is entering his third year as the starter for the Buckeyes. He had a career year last season, starting all 14 games and ranking among the best in the nation in both goals-against average (7.16) and save percentage (.634).
The game Saturday marks the first time Ohio State and Navy will meet on the lacrosse field.
A LOOK AT THE NAVY MIDSHIPMEN
Navy enters the game vs. the Buckeyes 1-0 on the year after a 12-1 victory over Marist last weekend in a game shortened to three quarters because of weather conditions. Last season the squad was 8-5 overall and placed third in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Navy senior Greg Conklin, the school’s active leader in goals and points, was a preseason honorable mention All-America selection.
AT THE HELM
Richie Meade, a 1976 graduate of North Carolina, is in his ninth season at the helm of the Navy lacrosse team. He has an all-time school a record of 56-47 and a career mark of 83-70 in his 13th year of coaching overall.
Former Buckeye assistant coach Mark Goers now serves as an assistant coach for Navy.
JOINING THE CENTURY CLUB
Junior Curtis Smith is the 20th player in Ohio State history to reach the 100-point mark in his career. Smith is tied for 19th (with Bill Wolford) with 102 points, including 69 goals and 33 assists.
AT THE HELM
Joe Breschi, a 1990 graduate of North Carolina, is in his fifth season at the helm of the Buckeyes. A standout player for the Tar Heels, he was a two-time All-ACC selection, a two-time All-America honoree and a North-South All-Star Game participant in 1990. Breschi was a member of the U.S. National Team in 1994 and 1998. Prior to coming to Ohio State, Breschi served as an assistant coach at Brown (1993-97) and at UNC, his alma mater (1991-92). His career record stands at 38-29.
WHERE HE STANDS
With 38 career wins, Joe Breschi is tied for third place all-time at OSU for career coaching wins.
A TOUGH ROAD
Navy is the first of six teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 Ohio State will face this year. Also on the schedule are No. 9 North Carolina, No. 16 Penn State, No. 17 Notre Dame, No. 20 Army and No. 22 Fairfield.
The Buckeyes will play host to six games in Columbus this season, including four consecutive games. The squad’s next home games is against North Carolina March 12, followed by games against Army (March 22), Delaware (March 29), Notre Dame (April 6) and Fairfield (April 13).
THE NEWEST BUCKEYES
There are 18 freshmen on the Buckeye squad this season from eight states and one Canadian province (British Columbia). The state of Ohio leads the way with six, followed by New York with three and Maryland and Missouri with two. There is one new Buckeye from Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas. The newest Buckeyes: Karl Altenburger (Baltimore, Md.), Andrew Bender (Wooster, Ohio), Gary Bining (Delta, British Columbia, Justin Doran (Dix Hills, N.Y.), Timothy Duffy (Oak Park, Ill.), Patrick Dunleavy (Ballwin, Mo.), Jason Handrinos (Maplewood, N.J.), Drew May (St. Louis, Mo.), Paul Middleton (Morton, Pa.), Craig Nolan (Plano, Texas), Jared Olson (Columbus, Ohio), Christian Soult (Columbus, Ohio), Steven Tittl (Massapequa, N.Y.), Andrew Tunison (Horseheads, N.Y.), Nick Williams (Worthington, Ohio), Josh Wittenberg (Hudson, Ohio), Ben Wolff (Owings Mills, Md.) and Brian Yontz (Columbus, Ohio).
This season, Ohio State has 10 seniors, eight juniors, nine sophomores and 19 freshmen (including one redshirt).
Seven Buckeyes earned All-GWLL honors last season, with six honorees returning. Curtis Smith, then-senior John DiCamillo and Greg Bice all were named to the first team, while Mike Norton, Anthony Gilardi, Pat Myers and Tony Russo earned second-team honors.
SCOOP ‘EM UP
Senior Anthony Kelly will be shooting for his fourth consecutive team award for the most groundballs in a season. A faceoff specialist, he has won 57.4 of the draws in his career. He has 185 career groundballs, with a career-best 70 as a sophomore in 2001.
Senior Pete Dillon is back for a fifth season after receiving a medical hardship redshirt last season. He had played in three games before suffering a season-ending arm injury.
Last year, 16 Buckeye lacrosse players earned Ohio State Scholar-Athlete accolades. In addition, then-senior Kevin Stephan won the Big Ten Medal of Honor, given annually to the male and female student-athletes in the senior class who have attained the greatest proficiency in both athletics and academics.
The Buckeyes will travel to Baltimore to face the UMBC Retrievers at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1.