April 3, 2002
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Returning Home
The No. 15 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (6-2, 0-0 GWLL) returns home looking to extend its six-game unbeaten streak when it plays host to No. 4 Johns Hopkins (6-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 15 this week in both the STX/USILA coaches poll and the Inside Lacrosse ratings. Johns Hopkins is fourth in both polls.
A Look at the Blue Jays
Johns Hopkins is 6-1 on the year and is coming off a 10-7 victory over Villanova Tuesday. That win was the 800th victory in program history, as JHU became the first school to reach that win mark. Hopkins’ only loss this season was to Virginia, 12-6, March 23.
Conor Ford leads Johns Hopkins in assists (10) and points (18). Adam Doneger ranks first on the team with 13 goals, while Kevin Boland and Bobby Bonson are tied for second with 10 goals each. Nick Murtha has played every minute in goal, posting a save percentage of .901 and a goals-against average of 7.80. Kyle Harrison is first with 37 groundballs.
At The Helm
Dave Pietramala, a 1990 graduate of Johns Hopkins, is in his second season at the helm for the Blue Jays. Prior to becoming the head coach at his alma mater, Pietramala spent three seasons at the helm for the Cornell Big Red and also was an assistant coach at JHU, Loyola and Penn. Pietramala was a three-time All-American as a defenseman for the Blue Jays and received the Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award as the nation’s most outstanding player in 1989.
The Buckeyes are 0-3 all-time vs. Johns Hopkins.
The Previous Meetings: Date W/L Score H/A 4/7/01 L 7-17 A 4/8/00 L 7-12 A 4/11/99 L 8-17 A
The game Saturday in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium marks the first time the Buckeyes will face Johns Hopkins in Columbus.
Among the Best in the Nation
The NCAA released the second edition of the 2002 national rankings Tuesday (through games of March 31) and the Buckeyes were ranked in almost every category.
On offense, Curtis Smith is fourth in goals-per-game (3.38) and seventh in points-per-game (4.25). Mike Norton is fifth in the nation with 2.25 assists per game. Anthony Gilardi is tied for 17th with 2.50 goals per game.
Quick on the Draw
The Buckeyes have two of the top face-off men in the country, while the team is third in face-off win percentage (.609). Anthony Kelly is eighth, winning 62.2 percent of his draws, while Josh Lesko is 14th (.607).
Buckeye goalie Tony Russo ranks eighth in the nation in save percentage (.627) and is 10th in goals-against average (7.74).
Scoopin’ It Up
Junior Anthony Kelly leads the Buckeyes with 47 groundballs this season. In the nation, he is 10th in groundballs per game at 5.88.
It’s a Team Thing
As a team, Ohio State is ranked in a number of areas. The squad is tied for second in the nation in scoring margin, outscoring its opponents by 5.25. OSU is fifth (tied) in scoring offense (12.88) and is tied for eighth in scoring defense (7.63). The team also is ranked fifth in man-up offense (.542) and 14th in man-down defense (.744).
Ohio State’s offense is spearheaded by the trio of Curtis Smith, Anthony Gilardi and Mike Norton. They lead the team with 34, 29 and 27 points, respectively. Smith holds the team lead in goals with 27, while Norton leads the squad in assists with 18. Gilardi is second in goals (20) and assists (nine).
The Buckeyes enter the game vs. Johns Hopkins on a six-game winning streak. After losing their first games of the season to North Carolina and Georgetown, Ohio State has gone on to defeat VMI, Quinnipiac, Drexel, Army, Manhattan and Delaware consecutively. Of those six wins, four have been away from Columbus.
Three in a Row?
Junior Anthony Kelly won the Buckeyes’ award for most groundballs in a season in his first two seasons with the squad. This season, he leads the team with 47. The next-highest total is 28, recorded by Josh Lesko. Kelly is the first player at Ohio State to win the groundball award in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Getting It On Net
The Buckeyes are outshooting their opponents, 3232-263, this season. The squad has been accurate with its shots, scoring on 31.9 percent of the attempts. The Buckeyes have held opponents to goals on just 23.2 percent of their shot attempts. Curtis Smith leads the team with 57 shots this season.
A+ for Accuracy
Curtis Smith, who leads the Buckeyes with 57 shots this season, has scored on 47.4 percent of his attempts. Smith has a team-best 27 goals so far this season. He has led the team in goal scoring in a game four times outright this season and has shared the scoring lead in two other outings.
Curtis Smith has scored 13 goals in his last three games combined, an average of 4.33 goals per game. Of his 27 goals this season, 48 percent have been scored in the last three outings, including a career-best six against Delaware.
Ohio State has not allowed a goal in the first quarter in its last two games, holding both Manhattan and Delaware scoreless in the stanza.
In the Second …
The second quarter has been the Buckeyes’ best this season. The squad has scored 36 goals in the stanza while allowing just 14.
… But Also Beware in the First
Ohio State has tallied 29 goals in the first period, jumping out to quick leads on its opponents. Buckeye opponents have scored 11 goals in the opening stanza.
Curtis Smith has scored at least two goals in each of the Buckeyes’ eight games this season. He scored six against Delaware, four against North Carolina, Georgetown and Manhattan, three at Army and two against VMI, Quinnipiac and Drexel.
The game Saturday marks the Buckeyes’ third game at home this season and just the second in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The squad opened its home schedule March 2 against VMI on the North Turf Field after weather conditions forced the game to be moved. The squad’s first game in newly-finished JOMS was an 8-4 victory over Drexel March 17.
What a Month!
The Buckeyes were undefeated in the month of March, going a perfect 6-0. Four of those wins came away from Columbus.
The Century Mark
The Buckeyes enter the game vs. Johns Hopkins with 103 goals on the season.
Ahead of Schedule
Junior Mike Norton has 18 assists this season in eight games, just three short of his career high of 21 recorded in 14 games last season. He already has a career-best nine goals, surpassing his total of eight in each of his first two seasons.
It’s Been a While
Senior Mark Engel scored against Delaware, his first goal since his freshman season. He has five points this season, tying his career best, after not recording a point in his sophomore or junior years.
The game Saturday marks the last non-conference game for the Buckeyes this season. The squad will end the regular season with games against its five Great Western Lacrosse League opponents – Fairfield, Denver, Air Force, Butler and Notre Dame.
3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 …
Ohio State has been led by a hat trick scorer in seven of its eight games. Curtis Smith scored six goals against Delaware, four against North Carolina, Georgetown and Manhattan and three against Army. Ryan Laffey and Lance Vitt each tallied three in the win over VMI, while Mike Norton turned the trick vs. Drexel and Anthony Gilardi scored three vs. Army. The lone game where no Buckeye hit for a hat trick was against Quinnipiac, where four Buckeyes scored twice,
The Buckeyes have been efficient on extra-man offense this season, scoring on 17-of-37 opportunities. In the season opener against North Carolina, the squad was a perfect 4-for-4. On extra-man defense, the squad has been tremendous, stopping 29-of-39 (74.4 percent) opponent chances.
A High – Already
Sophomore Anthony Gilardi has 29 points this season, including 20 goals and nine assists. As a freshman last season, he had 17 points, on eight goals and nine assists, in 12 games.
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 35-26.
Anthony Kelly was named to 360Lacrosse.com’s Division I Pre-Season All-American second team as a faceoff specialist.
Preseason Honors – Part II
Buckeyes Anthony Kelly and Greg Bice were named preseason honorable mention All-Americans by Face-Off Yearbook. Kelly was named to the team as a faceoff specialist. Last season, he led the Buckeyes in faceoffs, going 134-92. He played in all 14 games, scoring five goals and recording 70 groundballs. Defenseman Bice saw action in all 14 games, posting two assists and 31 groundballs.
The captains this season, as voted by the squad, are Pete Dillon, John DiCamillo, Mark Marion and Kevin Stephan. Dillon and Stephan are in their second seasons as captains.
Light It Up
This season, the Buckeyes will play host to two night games. Ohio State will face off against Denver at 7 p.m. April 19 and Butler at 7 p.m. April 27.
Making an Impact
Freshman Tom Randisi has started every game for the Buckeyes this season. He is fifth on the team in scoring with 11 points, on six goals and five assists.
Last Time Out – OSU Drops Delaware, 15-7
Ohio State junior Curtis Smith scored six goals to lead the Buckeye men’s lacrosse team to a 15-7 victory over Delaware Saturday, March 30 at Rullo Stadium in Newark, Del.
Ohio State scored the first five goals of the game, including three in the first quarter, to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Mike Norton got the Buckeyes on the board with 11:34 remaining in the first, followed by scores by Anthony Gilardi. In the second period, Pat Myers scored unassisted at 14:50 before Curtis Smith scored with the Buckeyes on the extra-man advantage. Delaware broke the shutout at 10:08 on a goal by R.C. Reed. The Buckeyes scored the last three goals of the half, with Gilardi, Curtis Smith and Mark Engel tallying, to go into halftime leading, 8-1.
In the third quarter, OSU scored the first four goals, with Curtis Smith scoring three, including two with the Buckeyes on the extra-man opportunity. Gilardi scored his third goal of the game at 12:31, just eight seconds after Curtis Smith had scored. Reed scored the Blue Hens’ second goal of the game with 9:52 on the clock. Nick Miceli put Ohio State up, 13-2, with a man-down score at 5:53, before Delaware’s Andy Hipple answered with two consecutive goals. Myers and Curtis Smith ended the scoring in the third quarter with goals with 18 and 11 seconds left on the clock, respectively. OSU led after three quarters, 15-4.
Delaware scored all three goals in the fourth quarter to make the final score 15-7. Hipple scored his third goal of the game in the quarter to lead the Blue Hens in scoring for the game.
Home Sweet Home
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium opened its doors in Fall 1999. Since then it has been home to the Ohio State men’s and women’s soccer teams in the fall and the men’s and women’s lacrosse and track teams in the spring. The stadium is one of the finest collegiate lacrosse facilities in the nation. The playing surface is Kentucky bluegrass. Since last season, construction was completed on an elevated grandstand-with seating available for an additional 8,000 spectators-concourse level and a working press box. Surrounded by a wrought iron fence with brick piers, the stadium also houses locker rooms and offices for the men’s and women’s soccer, men’s tennis, men’s and women’s lacrosse, field hockey and softball programs.
The Buckeyes return to the road, traveling to Connecticut to face Fairfield at noon April 13. The squad returns to Columbus for three consecutive home games, beginning with a game against Denver at 7 p.m. April 19.