COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State renews one of its longest-standing rivalries on Sunday when it welcomes No. 4 Notre Dame to Ohio Stadium for the Buckeyes’ final non-conference test of the 2018 regular season. Opening face-off is set for noon on ESPNU. Chris Cotter and Paul Carcaterra will be on the call
ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
– The Buckeyes are 5-3 on the season following last Saturday’s 12-7 setback at Denver. In that game, Ohio State received multiple points from three different players: freshman JT Bugliosi(two goals), senior Austin Seiple (one goal, one assist) and sophomore Tre Leclaire (two assists).
– Leclaire is the first players on the team this year to surpass 20 points, as he currently leads the team in both goals (13) and assists (eight). He has at least one point is seven of eight games this year with multiple points in six contests.
– Junior Jack Jasinski is second in scoring with 13 points (nine goals, four assists) and has at least one point in five straight games. Classmate Gale Thorpe is one of three players with 12 points thus far, as he’s contributed seven goals and five assists.
– Freshman Jackson Reid is the Buckeyes’ second-leading goal scorer with 10 thus far, while senior John Kelly (9G, 3A) has already surpassed his goal and point total from last season.
– Ohio State’s had two players – sophomore Christian Feliziani and freshman Justin Inacio – split up the 170 face-offs taken this year, which Feliziani winning 54 of 88 (.613) and Inacio winning 45 of 80 (.562). In last week’s game at Denver, Inacio won eight draws against Trevor Baptiste, a returning All-American and Tewaaraton Award finalist last season.
– Defensively, the tandem of Matt Borges, Ben Randall and Erik Evans have started each of the last 29 games dating back to the start of the 2017 season. In that span, Ohio State is allowing just 8.3 goals per game.
– Borges, Randall and Evans have combined to cause 21 turnovers while scooping up 53 ground balls.
– In goal, senior Matthew Smidt has started all eight games thus far with an 8.25 goals-against average, 69 saves and .519 save percentage. Sophomore Josh Kirson saw the first action of his career last Saturday, playing nearly 24 minutes in the second half at Denver.
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME
– With a 4-2 record thus far that includes wins over Virginia, Detroit Mercy, Richmond and Denver, the Irish are ranked No. 4 in both the USILA/Nike Lacrosse Coaches Poll and Inside Lacrosse/Mavrick Media Poll.
– The Irish are coming off a 13-12 setback against Michigan on Wednesday. Ryder Garnsey scored five goals in the game to bring his season total to 11, tied for second highest on the team.
– Four players – Bryan Costabile, Garnsey, Brendan Gleason and Mikey Wynne – have double figure points thus far. The trio of Costabile, Garnsey and Gleason all have 17.
– Goalie Matt Schmidt checks in with an 8.71 goals-against average, .477 save percentage and 41 stops in six games. Against Michigan, Schmidt played all 30 minutes in the first half while Owen Molloy saw 30 minutes of action in the second half.
HISTORY WITH THE IRISH
– Sunday will be the 57th all-time meeting between Ohio State and Notre Dame. The Irish hold a 35-21 edge in the series as the two teams have met every season since 1981.
– The Buckeyes have played the Irish more than any other Division I opponent in its history.
– Sunday’s contest is Ohio State’s annual Military/Veterans Appreciation Game.
– Military/Veterans Appreciation benefits include: two free tickets for current or former serving military members with a Military ID (tickets can be claimed at the ticket office); 10% discount at all concession stands with credentials; Student veteran recognition and Flag presentation on field.
IN THE RANKINGS
– Ohio State is the nation’s No. 1-ranked clearing team, converting successfully on 121 of 125 (.968) attempts.
– The Buckeyes also rank inside of the top 20 in two other categories: scoring defense (No. 8, 8.38 goals/game), face-off win percentage (No. 16, .582) and ground balls per game (No. 18, 30.3).
– Matthew Smidt’s 8.25 goals-against average is 10th best nationally and No. 1 in the Big Ten.
– Christian Feliziani and Justin Inacio are No. 16 and No. 26 nationally in face-off percentage, respectively.
THIS AND THAT
– Four of Ohio State’s top six scorers are underclassmen – Leclaire, Jasinski, Reid and Thorpe. In fact, 75 percent of the Buckeyes’ total points this year (86 of 114) have been scored by non-seniors.
– Notre Dame will be the fourth ranked opponent for the Buckeyes this year, following games against No. 20 Boston University (Feb. 10), No. 19 Marquette (March 2) and No. 6 Denver (March 17).
– The Buckeyes, No. 8 nationally in scoring defense, have allowed 10 or more goals on just two occasions this year.
– The duo of Christian Feliziani and Justin Inacio have won 50 percent or better face-offs in seven of eight games this year.
– The Buckeyes are 18-5 at home over the last three seasons and play four of their final six regular season games at Ohio Stadium.
SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATES
– Earlier in March, seniors John Kelly and Colin Chell were announced as candidates for the prestigious 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.
– Ohio State is one of just two schools nationally to have multiple Senior CLASS Award candidates.
– Kelly is Ohio State’s active career leader in games played (60) and has nine goals and three assists this season in eight games. An insurance and marketing double major, Kelly is also a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and twice has been named an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
– Like Kelly, Chell is also an OSU Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten selection. He’s a logistic management major who has played in 58 career games – starting 46 – with 64 goals and 24 assists for 88 points.
ANOTHER NATIONAL TELEVISION APPEARANCE
– Ohio State’s matchup against Michigan on April 14, which will occur at 11 a.m. prior to the football Spring Game at Ohio Stadium, will be televised by BTN, the network announced last week.
– With the addition of the Michigan game, Ohio State will have eight games broadcast on national television during the regular season, which is a program-record and as many as any team in the country.
– The remainder of the Buckeyes’ BTN slate includes the game vs. the Wolverines and an April 28 contest against Rutgers, which will be the regular season finale. Ohio State also has four upcoming games slated to be televised on ESPNU: vs. Notre Dame (March 25), vs. Penn State (March 31) at Johns Hopkins (April 6) and at Maryland (April 22).
– All six of Ohio State’s remaining regular season games will be seen on either BTN or ESPNU. The Big Ten Tournament, which occurs May 3-5 in Ann Arbor, Mich., is slated to be televised live by BTN. Every NCAA Tournament game will appear on the ESPN family of networks, as it has in the past.