April 20, 2005

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The Facts
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (4-5, 1-0 GWLL) heads to Colorado for two Great Western Lacrosse League games this weekend. The Buckeyes will take on No. 17/19 Denver (6-4, 1-0 GWLL) at 9:30 p.m. EDT Friday at Barton Lacrosse Stadium in Denver, Colo., and Air Force (3-6, 0-2 GWLL) at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday at Cadet Lacrosse Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes won their second consecutive game, downing Robert Morris, 18-5, Friday at North Turf Field in Columbus.

Denver lost two games last week, losing at Yale, 10-9 in overtime, April 16 in New Haven, Conn., and falling at Virginia, 9-6, April 17 in Charlottesville, Va.

Air Force last played April 13 at North Carolina, suffering a 14-5 loss in Chapel Hill, N.C.

GWLL Action this Weekend
Butler also is traveling to Colorado this weekend and will take on Air Force Friday and Denver Sunday.

Fairfield is hosting Maryland in a non-conference game this weekend, while Notre Dame has the week off before closing out league play at Ohio State next week.

In the League
Fairfield is in first place in the GWLL with a 2-0 ledger, followed by Denver and Ohio State with matching 1-0 records. Notre Dame is 2-2, while Butler and Air Force are 0-2. The regular-season winner earns the GWLL’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Ohio State was the outright champion last season and shared the title with Notre Dame and Denver in 2003.

A Buckeye Primer
Ohio State is 4-5 on the year, with wins over UMBC (in overtime), Quinnipiac, Butler and Robert Morris.

Kyle Olson has a team-best 18 points and is tied with Ben Wolff for the goal-scoring lead with 14 each. Wolff ranks second with 17 points, followed by Tom Randisi (8-7) with 15. Justin Doran (5-7) and Andrew Bender (5-7) are tied for fourth with 12 points each. Eric O’Brien has taken a majority of the faceoffs, winning 57.1 percent (89-156). He also has a team-best 56 groundballs. In net, Mike Rimmer has started seven games and has an 8.80 goals-against average and .587 save percentage.

The Buckeyes are averaging 9.89 goals a game, while allowing 9.34. The squad has converted 35.3 percent of its man-up chances.

The Series vs. the Pioneers
Ohio State leads the series with Denver, 7-2, but the teams have split the last four games, with each team winning at home. Last season, Ohio State came back from a three-goal fourth-quarter deficit to win in overtime, 9-8, April 25, 2004 in Columbus.

Ohio State is 2-2 all-time in games played in Denver, with losses in the last two meetings. OSU fell, 7-6, April 20, 2003, and 13-7, April 20, 2001. The Buckeyes’ wins at Denver came April 26, 1999 (7-5) and April 6, 1997 (17-10).

A Look at the Pioneers
Denver is 6-4 on the year, with wins over Penn, Villanova, Sacred Heart and Notre Dame. The squad has suffered losses to North Carolina, Towson, Yale and Virginia.

The Pioneers average 10.8 goals a game, while allowing a league-low 8.09.

Individually, Matt Brown has a team-best 27 goals and 32 points. Brett Koll and Darren Sasaki-Scanlon lead the team with 11 assists each, while Koll is second on the team with 20 points. Greer Hanlon is second on the team with 11 goals, followed by Scott Davidson with 10. In net, Brian Sanders has started eight games and has an 8.31 goals-against average and .552 save percentage

Jamie Munro, a 1989 graduate of Brown, is in his seventh year at the helm of the Pioneers. He is 49-42 both at DU and in his career.

The Series vs. the Falcons
The Buckeyes trail the all-time series with the Falcons, 9-10, but have won the last seven games, including the last three in Colorado Springs. OSU’s last loss to AFA was on the road April 5, 1997 (14-13).

The Buckeyes downed the Falcons, 9-2, in the meeting last year in Columbus. In 2004, OSU posted a 7-2 win in Colorado Springs April 18.

OSU leads the series in Colorado Springs, 3-2, while Air Force is 5-0 vs. the Buckeyes in neutral-site games.

A Look at the Falcons
Air Force is 3-6 on the year, with wins over VMI, Lafayette and St. John’s and losses to Towson, Penn, Fairfield, Army, Notre Dame and North Carolina. The squad will take on Butler Friday before facing OSU Sunday. The Falcons are 0-2 in league play, with road losses to the Stags and Irish.

Air Force averages 8.69 goals a game, while allowing 10.3.

Conrad Lochocki leads the Falcons with 21 goals and is tied for second in scoring with Justin Kuchta with 24 points each. Assist-leader Will Meister has a team-best 29 points and 17 helpers.Kevin Crumrine is second in goals with 16, followed by Kuchta with 15. In goal, Justin Pavoni has started all nine games and has a 10.51 goals-against average and .537 save percentage.

Fred Acee, a 1963 graduate of Cortland State, is in his eighth year at the helm of the Falcons and has a school record of 25-74. His is in his 38th year overall, with a 337-193-1 ledger.

Keeping the Streak Alive
Junior Ben Wolff is the only Buckeye to play in all nine games and record at least a point (and a goal) in each. Wolff had one goal and point in each of the first three games and had multiple-point outings in five of his last six games. He had a career-best four goals in the win over Quinnipiac. Overall, Wolff is on a 15-game scoring streak dating back to last season.

Other Streakers
Since being held scoreless vs. Navy in the second game of the season, Kyle Olson, Tom Randisi and Andrew Bender have responded with at least a point in the last seven games. Randisi also is on a seven-game goal-scoring streak.

Against Robert Morris, Chris Friel, Casey Mulford, Andy Elmer, Greg Baggan, Mat Ballay and Alex Daniel all saw their first action as Buckeyes in the game.

Mulford had a goal and an assist for his first points as a Buckeye, while Ballay scored his first career goal.

In goal, redshirt-sophomore Drew May saw his first action of the season and made his first appearance since March 22, 2004 vs. Marist.

Have a Game
Sophomore Eric O’Brien won 11-of-13 faceoffs, scored a goal and had a team game-high eight groundballs in the Buckeyes’ win over Robert Morris last week. The eight groundballs were just one shy of his career best, set twice this season, while his faceoff win percentage was the best of his career in a single game.

O’Brien now has goals in back-to-back games and has three on the year. He has a team-high 56 groundballs (the only Buckeye with more than 24) to rank third in the league and 11th in the nation in groundballs per game (6.22). He has won 57.1 percent of his faceoffs on the year (89-156), ranking him third in the conference in that category as well.

Double it Up
The Buckeyes are 4-0 this season when posting at least 10 goals. They scored a season-best 18 vs. Robert Morris, 15 vs. Quinnipiac, 13 against Butler and 10 in the double-overtime win at UMBC.

Redshirt-freshman goalie Mike Rimmer is second in the GWLL with a .584 save percentage this season and ranks third in the league in saves per game (10.88). He had a career-best 19 saves vs. Hobart and has two 16-save games.

Ohio State ranks fourth in the conference and 13th (tied) in the nation in man-up offense, converting 35.3 percent of its chances. The squad has scored 12 goals on 34 attempts.

The EMO Man
Gary Bining leads the way with three EMO goals this season and has seven in his career. He had a career-high two goals against Robert Morris and now has a career-best six goals and nine points this season.

Junior Craig Nolan has scored two goals in each of his last three games and is on a four-game goal-scoring streak. He has eight goals this season to rank third (tied) on the team. Nolan had a career-best 13 goals as a sophomore.

Sophomore Bryan Keane had a career-high and team season-high tying three assists against Robert Morris. Keane entered this season with two career assists and three career points in four games last season. He now has 1-4-5 totals this season.

Reaching the Mark
Senior Lance Vitt had a goal and an assist againt the Colonials, marking his first helper since 2002 against Manhattan. Vitt has three goals on the year to tie his career high set in 2003 and 2002.

The Buckeyes held Robert Morris to just 16 shots on goal last week, the lowest total allowed by OSU this season and tying for the lowest opponent total in the GWLL this year.

Quinnipiac managed just two goals vs. OSU March 19, the lowest number of goals allowed by a GWLL team this season and the fewest allowed by Ohio State since Air Force scored twice April 23, 2004.

The New Leader
Buckeye head coach Joe Breschi became the Buckeyes’ all-time winningest coach with the victory over Quinnipiac March 19. He broke the record previously held by Paul Hartman, who was 60-45-2 from 1961-66. Breschi is 63-41 at the helm for OSU.

A Career Year
Junior Justin Doran, who played in seven games and had no points in his first two years as a Buckeye, is tied for first on the team with seven assists this season and is fourth with 12 points. Doran has three three-point games this season and has a goal in five outings.

Leading the Way
Redshirt junior Jason Bloom, redshirt senior John Dauro, senior Peter Frantz and senior Tom Randisi are serving as captains for the Buckeyes this season. Randisi is in his second season as a captain for the squad.

Coming Up
The Buckeyes close out the regular season with three consecutive home games. Ohio State will take on Notre Dame at 7 p.m. April 29 and Fairfield at noon May 1 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The regular-season finale is at noon May 7 at North Turf Field.