Feb. 23, 2018
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – With their highest regular season ranking since April of last season, No. 4 Ohio State heads south this weekend to tangle with Jacksonville at 1 p.m. on Sunday as part of the Moe’s Lacrosse Classic. The game can be seen on the CBS Sports Network on tape delay at 9 p.m. Live stats will be available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com along with Twitter updates at @OhioState_MLAX.
MORE ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
• Ohio State wrapped up an early-season two-game homestand last Saturday with a hard-fought 9-7 victory over Hofstra to run its record to 3-0.
• The Buckeyes’ defense held Hofstra scoreless for 13:48 in the fourth quarter. Ohio State currently ranks No. 7 nationally – and No. 1 in the Big Ten – in scoring defense, allowing an average of 7.33 goals per game.
• That effort is led by an experience close defensive unit, led by senior captain Erik Evans (six ground balls, two caused turnovers), senior Ben Randall (six ground balls, one caused turnover) and junior Matt Borges (nine ground balls). The trio has started 24 consecutive games together.
• Behind Evans, Randall and Borges is senior goalie Matthew Smidt, who is No. 7 nationally with a .607 save percentage and has made 27 saves over the last two games.
• Ohio State has also benefited from strong play in the defensive midfield, led by sophomore Ryan Terefenko, who was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday after scoring a goal, picking up two ground balls and causing a turnover last week against Hofstra. Other key contributors include senior Bo Lori, junior Logan Maccani, senior Freddy Freibott, senior Brendan Barger and sophomore Jeff Henrick.
• Thanks in part of strong play in the defensive midfield, Ohio State is winning 64 percent of its face-offs. Sophomore Christian Feliziani has taken 44 face-offs, winning 27, while freshman Justin Inacio is 16-of-21.
• On offense, sophomore Tre Leclaire has picked up where he left off last year and already has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in just three games. The 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Leclaire has four points in each game this season. Last week, he scored twice and dished out two assists – all in the first half as Ohio State built an early 5-0 lead.
• Senior captain John Kelly has nearly matched his statistical production from last year, checking in with six goals and two assists already this season. His goal with nearly five minutes to play in the fourth quarter last week gave the Buckeyes a two-goal lead against Hofstra.
• In all, nine different players have multiple points and eight have scored multiple goals.
• The Dolphins are 2-2 this year after a mid-week victory over Detroit, 15-8, in which Jacksonville scored six fourth-quarter goals to open up a close game.
• Jacksonville opened the season with a 12-7 victory over Navy before losses on the road to Duke and Marquette preceded Tuesday’s win over Detroit.
• Leading scorer Eric Applegate, a junior from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., currently has 17 points on 11 goals and six assists. He’s notched at least four points in all four of the Dolphins’ games thus far.
• Goalie Hunter Sells has a 9.81 goals-against average and .431 save percentage on the year. Teammate Adam Baker started Jacksonville’s second game of the year, at Duke, and played all 30 minutes in a 19-8 setback.
HISTORY WITH JACKSONVILLE
• Sunday will mark the fourth meeting all-time between Ohio State and Jacksonville with the Buckeyes hold a 3-0 edge.
• Last year inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, Ohio State went on a seven-goal run in the second quarter on its way to a 16-8 victory over the Dolphins. Colin Chell scored a career-high four goals and had five points overall.
• The last time the two teams met in Jacksonville, Ohio State earned a 9-6 victory in 2013.
BUCKEYES MOURN TERRY GILMORE
• The Ohio State Department of Athletics and men’s lacrosse program were saddened on Tuesday to learn of the passing of Terry Gilmore, who played for the Buckeyes from 1976 through 1979.
• Gilmore, who is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 250 points, was a two-time All-American and the first-ever lacrosse player to inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
• “Terry was an all-time great Buckeye and our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family,” said head coach Nick Myers. “The impact that Terry had on our program will last forever. He’ll be greatly missed.”
• Not only does Gilmore rank No. 1 in school history in points, he’s also No. 3 in career goals (123) and No. 1 in assists (127). As a senior, he had 13 points (6G, 7A) in a game against Michigan State and had 90 points on the season, both records that still stands today.
OHIO STATE/JACKSONVILLE TIES
• Jacksonville midfielder Shawn Ewert is from Dublin Jerome High School and the son of Jon Ewert, who played for the Buckeyes from 1983 through 1986. Jon was the 1986 Great Western Lacrosse League MVP and is currently fifth all-time in scoring at Ohio State with 165 points (86G, 79A). Shawn, a senior, has 65 career points in 35 games.
IN THE RANKINGS
• Following its victory last Saturday, Ohio State jumped two spots in the USILA/Nike Lacrosse Coaches Poll to No. 4. It’s the Buckeyes’ highest regular season ranking since they were No. 3 on April 24, 2017.
• In the Inside Lacrosse/Maverik Media Poll, the Buckeyes check in at No. 5.
• Ohio State is one of five Big Ten schools in the USILA poll – as many as any conference in the country.
• The Big Ten is the only conference with multiple teams ranked in the top five of both polls.
• In the last two games, Ohio State has outscored its opponents 12-0 in the first quarter.
• For the season, the Buckeyes have a 15-2 first-quarter edge.
• Ohio State’s defense has given up nine goals or less in each of its first three games and are holding opponents to 29.3 shots per game.
• The Buckeyes rank No. 6 nationally with 35.3 ground balls per game.
• Ohio State has not allowed a goal in the first period in either of its last two games.
• Chell needs 17 points to reach 100 in his career. He is currently Ohio State’s active leader with 83 points on 60 goals and 23 assists.
• Leclaire is 23 points shy of 100 in his career and is also on pace to reach 100 points faster than any player in program history.
• Evans will be starting for the 45th consecutive game on Sunday.
• Kelly has played in 55 career games, the most of any active player on the roster. Last year, JT Blubaugh set the program record by suiting up in 69 games for the Scarlet and Gray.
• Freibott, who already has 12 ground balls in three games, needs just 16 more to reach 100 in his career.
BIG TEN WEEKLY WINNERS
• Ohio State has been the recipient of a Big Ten Player of the Week award in each of the season’s first three weeks.
• Feliziani earned the first Specialist of the Week award following his 10-for-12 performance in the face-off X against Cleveland State.
• Jackson Reid was the conference’s Freshman of the Week after scoring four times against No. 20 Boston University on Feb. 10.
• This past Tuesday, sophomore Ryan Terefenko took home Defensive Player of the Week honors for his one-goal, two-ground ball, one-caused turnover effort in last week’s victory over Hofstra.
• Ohio State is one of just four teams nationally to rank in the top 15 in both scoring offense and scoring defense.
• The Buckeyes are top 10 nationally in three categories: scoring defense (7.33 goals/game), scoring margin (5.0 goals/game) and shot percentage (.378).
NATIONAL TELEVISION EXPOSURE
• Sunday’s game is the first of seven this year on national television for the Buckeyes.
• The seven national TV appearances are as many as any program in the country.
• Four Ohio State games can be seen this season on ESPNU: home contests against Notre Dame (March 25) and Penn State (March 31) along with road games at Johns Hopkins (April 7) and Maryland (April 22).
• BTN will air two Ohio State games this spring: a NCAA Final Four rematch in Ohio Stadium against Towson (March 10) and the regular season finale, also in Ohio Stadium, against Rutgers. Both games are set to begin at 4 p.m.
THE HOME SLATE
• Ohio State’s 2018 home schedule includes seven games — four of which are against teams that are currently ranked in either the USILA/Nike Lacrosse Coaches Poll or Inside Lacrosse/Maverik Media Poll.
• The Buckeyes are 34-10 at home since the start of the 2013 season.
• Like in past years, the Buckeyes will also play in The `Shoe prior to the Ohio State football spring game. This season, the game comes on April 14 against Michigan, beginning at 11 a.m.
• Last year, Ohio State was 10-1 overall at home and undefeated at both the Woody Hayes Athletic Center (3-0) and Ohio Stadium (6-0).
ON THE ROAD
• Ohio State is 7-4 over the last two seasons in road or neutral site games.