April 4, 2006

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The Facts
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (3-4, 1-0 GWLL) will face off against Robert Morris (1-8, 0-3 NEC) at noon Saturday at Joe Walton Stadium in Moon Township, Pa.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes’ game vs. Duke scheduled for last Saturday was cancelled. In its last time out, Ohio State won its third consecutive game, beating Brown, 9-7, April 25 at home in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Robert Morris fell to Butler, 8-7, last weekend in Pittsburgh.

A Buckeye Snapshot
Ohio State is 3-4 on the year, with a 1-1 ledger in road games. The Buckeyes have averaged 8.56 goals a game, while allowing 10.42.

Freshman Joel Dalgarno has a team-high 15 goals and 19 points. Sophomore Kevin Buchanan is second in goals (13) and is tied with senior Andrew Bender for second in points with 18. Bender leads the squad with nine assists. Sophomore Ricky Pages has a team-high 18 groundballs this season. In the cage, freshman John Bolen has started the last two games, posting two wins, and has an 8.44 goals-against average. Freshman Nick Carr has won a team-best 51.1 percent of his faceoffs.

The OSU-RMU Series
Ohio State and Robert Morris met for the first time last season, with the Buckeyes posting an 18-5 victory in Columbus April 15, 2005.

A Look at Robert Morris
Robert Morris in its second season as a Division I men’s lacrosse program. The squad is 1-8 on the year, with the win coming over Seton Hill in the season opener (9-1). The squad has suffered home losses to Canisius, Villanova, Towson and Butler.

The Colonials average 6.44 goals a game and allow 10.44 a contest.

Matt Watt leads the squad with 12 goals and 15 points on the year. Frank Keel is second with eight goals and 10 points. Carlo Sunseri has a team-best four assists. Jason Dockum has started six games in net for the Colonials, with a 10.59 goals-against average. Jason Kho has two starts, while John Kennedy started one contest.

Robert Morris competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Buckeyes are 12-4 all-time vs. current teams in the CAA – 4-0 vs. Drexel, 3-1 vs. Towson, 2-1 vs. Delaware, 1-0 vs. Villanova, Sacred Heart and Robert Morris and 0-2 vs. Hofstra.

The Last For a While
The Buckeyes’ game vs. Robert Morris is Ohio State’s last regular-season non-conference game until a matchup with Army in the last game of the regular-season schedule. The Buckeyes will play four-consecutive Great Western Lacrosse League games, including three at home, as Ohio State will host Butler April 14, Denver April 21 and Air Force April 23 before ending GWLL play at Notre Dame April 29.

Ohio State is 1-0 in conference action this season with a win over Quinnipiac March 18. That matchup is the only GWLL game so far this campaign.

A Look Back – OSU vs. RMU in 2005
Ohio State downed visiting Robert Morris April 15, 2005, at North Turf Field. The Buckeyes were led by Bryan Keane, who had a career-best three assists and team-high three points. Four Buckeyes – Craig Nolan, Jon DeCanio, Gary Bining and Jason Lutz – scored two goals each, while Andrew Bender, Lance Vitt and Casey Mulford each had a goal and an assist. In all, 16 Buckeyes had at least a point in the game.

Ben Wolff opened the scoring with a goal 56 seconds into the contest, followed by a DeCanio goal at 12:07. The Colonials got on the board with a goal by Eric DeSalvatore with 10:20 on the clock. OSU then went on a 10-goal run, with two goals in the first quarter, seven in the second quarter and the first goal of the third.

Kyle Olson made the score 3-1 with 3:02 left in the first quarter and Bender scored with 2:11 left to give OSU a 4-1 edge at the end of one. The Buckeyes outscored Robert Morris, 7-0, in the second quarter. Lutz scored his first goal of the game at 13:27, with Nolan scoring less than a minute later (12:36). Tom Randisi scored 52 seconds later, followed by a Vitt goal eight seconds after (11:36). Nolan, DeCanio and Lutz closed out the scoring in the quarter to send OSU into halftime with an 11-1 lead.

Stephen McKinlay opened the scoring in the third quarter with a goal at 8:41. DeSalvatore ended the Buckeye run with a goal with 5:47 on the clock, but OSU responded with back-to-back goals seven seconds apart (at 4:39 and 4:32) by Gary Bining and Eric O’Brien. Todd Greenhalgh added a goal for the Colonials with 3:58 remaining in the quarter before Mulford scored with 26 seconds remaining on an assist from Keane.

The Buckeyes outscored the Colonials, 3-2, in the final quarter. Carlo Sunseri scored a man-up goal with 8:48 on the clock, but OSU responded with a goal by Bining 12 seconds later (8:36) followed by a Josh Wittenberg EMO goal at 8:02. Michael Fleming scored RMU’s second man-up goal of the game with 6:05 remaining and Mat Ballay ended the scoring in the game with 1:03 remaining, assisted by Keane.

Ohio State outshot Robert Morris in the game, 44-16. All three Buckeye goalies saw action. Mike Rimmer started the game and played the first 36:19, making five saves and allowing one goal. Bill Curry played 12:41 of the second half, allowing two goals. Drew May closed out the last 11 minutes, making one save and allowing two goals.

Ohio State won 21-of-25 faceoffs in the game. O’Brien won 11-of-13 and had a team-best eight groundballs, while Jon Rydberg won 10-of-12 draws.

In the Cage
Freshman goalie John Bolen was named the Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Week for the week of March 20-26. He is OSU’s first honoree this season.

Bolen, a native of Potomac, Md. (Landon School), made a career-best 13 saves and allowed just seven goals in the Buckeyes’ win over Brown March 25 in Columbus. Seven of his saves came in the fourth quarter, as the Buckeyes outscored the Bears, 4-1, to clinch the victory.

Bolen is 2-0 as a starter for the Buckeyes. He has led the squad to back-to-back wins in close games, making 11 saves against Quinnipiac in the Buckeyes’ come-from-behind 9-8 victory March 18 and stopping 13 shots in the victory over Brown.

In the League
Five Buckeyes rank among the top players in the GWLL this season.

Freshman Joel Dalgarno is tied for third in the league in goals per game (2.00), is tied for seventh in points per game (2.57) and is fifth (tied) in man-up goals per game (.29).

Senior Andrew Bender is fifth (tied) averaging 1.14 assists per game.

Sophomore Kevin Buchanan ranks sixth in goals per game (1.86) and is tied for seventh in points per contest (2.57).

At the faceoff X, freshman Nick Carr is fifth, winning 51.1 percent of his faceoffs. Junior Eric O’Brien is eighth (.450).

Still Rolling
Freshman Joel Dalgarno has at least one goal in every game this season and two or more in each of the last six outings. After scoring once vs. North Carolina in the season opener, he scored two goals in three-consecutive games before hat tricks vs. both Marist and Quinnipiac. He then scored twice vs. Brown in the Buckeyes’ last time out. Dalgarno leads the Buckeyes with 15 goals, 19 points and three man-up tallies this year.

On a Run
Sophomore Kevin Buchanan has at least one point in each game this season and at least one goal in each of the last five games. His five goals vs. Hobart March 4 are a GWLL season high, while his six points are tied for second among conference players this season.

Buchanan already has a career-best 13 goals this season (after posting six last year). With 18 points, he already has topped the 10 points he posted as a freshman last season and he is tied for second on the team. He also has a career-best five assists.

A Helper
Senior Andrew Bender is on six-game goal and point streaks entering the game vs. Robert Morris. He had a career-high tying three goals vs. Brown, first set vs. Duke in 2004. He has two five-point games this season to rank fourth (tied) among conference players for points in a single game.

Bender leads the Buckeyes with nine assists this season. He had a team-best 14 helpers last year.

One More Streaker
Senior Josh Wittenberg is on a four-game scoring streak. He had a season and career-best two goals vs. Brown in the Buckeyes’ last time out. Wittenberg has a career-best four assists and seven points this season and has tied his career-high of three goals.

After allowing nine or more goals in each of the first four games, the Buckeyes have held their last three opponents to eight goals or less.

Get Your Rally Caps On
In each of their last two games, the Buckeyes have won after entering the fourth quarter trailing. The Buckeyes trailed both Quinnipiac and Brown by a goal entering the final stanza.

Sharp Shooters
The Buckeyes have converted 28.4 percent of their shots, scoring 60 goals on 211 shots. Of their 211 shots this season, 63.5 percent (134) have been on net.

Man Down
The Buckeyes have held their last two opponents scoreless on extra-man opportunities, including a season-best 6-for-6 outing vs. Brown.

Last Time Out – OSU 9, Brown 7
Buckeye senior Andrew Bender set up classmate Josh Wittenberg, breaking a 7-all fourth-quarter tie and leading Ohio State to a 9-7 victory over Brown March 25 in front of 809 fans in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The game was back and forth, with the teams trading the lead eight times and the score tied six times. Ohio State had the only two-goal leads of the game, with a 3-1 edge in the first quarter and then a 9-7 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Ohio State entered the final stanza down by one, 6-5, but scored twice to open the fourth quarter, tying the game and then taking the lead (7-6) with 6:42 remaining in regulation. Brown’s Kyle Wailes then tied the score at 7 with a goal with 4:58 left. Less than a minute later, however, Bender set up Wittenberg for the eventual gamewinner at 4:17, putting the Buckeyes ahead for good. The one-goal lead stood until sophomore Kevin Buchanan sealed the Buckeye win with a goal with 1:41 remaining. In the cage, freshman John Bolen stopped 7-of-8 Brown shots in the fourth quarter.

Bender led the Buckeyes with three goals, two assists and five points in the game, tying his season and career high point total. Freshman Joel Dalgarno had three points on two goals and an assist, while Wittenberg scored twice and Buchanan had a goal and a helper.

Brown took the lead just over four minutes into the game when Alex Buckley tallied at 10:52. Dalgarno responded quickly with a goal, assisted by Bender, at 10:04. Bender put the Buckeyes ahead for the first time with an unassisted goal at 8:03 of the quarter, followed by Wittenberg’s goal, set up by Dalgarno, at 8:03 to extend the Buckeye lead to 3-1. Brown’s Nic Bell closed out the first quarter with a goal at 2:12, cutting the Buckeye lead to one (3-2).

Brown scored the first two goals of the second quarter to tie the game and take the lead. David Madeira knotted the score at 3 at 10:48 and Wailes scored his first of two goals on the day at 4:45, putting Brown ahead, 4-3. Dalgarno scored his second of the game with 3:22 remaining to send the teams into halftime tied at 4.

Brown outscored the Buckeyes, 2-1, in the third quarter to lead 6-5 entering the fourth. Will McGettigan tallied for Brown at 8:23, followed by Bender’s man-up goal, assisted by Buchanan, at 4:37. Madiera then scored for the Bears at 1:59.

Bender opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a goal at 11:45 to tie the game at 6 and Peter Schell put the Buckeyes ahead, 7-6, at 6:42. The lead was OSU’s first since the first quarter. Wailes scored for Brown less than two minutes later (4:58) to tie the game at 7. Wittenberg’s gamewinner came at 4:17, with Bender assisting, followed by Buchanan’s score at 1:41.

In net, Bolen made a career-high 13 for the Buckeyes. Brown’s Nick Gentilesco made 11 stops.

The Buckeyes held the Bears scoreless on six extra-man opportunities and converted one of their two chances.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will open a three-game homestand when they host Butler at 7 p.m. April 14 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Leading the Way
Five senior Buckeyes were selected by a vote of their teammates to serve as captains for the squad this season – midfielders Andrew Bender, Gary Bining and Jason Bloom, attackman Ben Wolff and defenseman Brian Yontz.