May 4, 2005

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The Facts
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (5-8, 2-3/4th GWLL) closes out the regular season against No. 10/11 Army (11-4, 5-1 Patriot League) at noon Saturday at North Turf Field in Columbus.

Ticket sales for the Buckeyes’ game vs. the Black Knights are limited to 1,000 (presale and walk-up combined) because of space constraints at North Turf Field.

Say Goodbye
The six members of the Buckeye 2005 senior class will be competing in their last game in Columbus Saturday. The group was honored in a pregame ceremony last Sunday.

The 2005 senior class includes Chris Brown, John Dauro, Peter Frantz, Kyle Olson, Tom Randisi and Lance Vitt.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes lost two home games to Great Western Lacrosse League opponents, falling to Notre Dame, 16-5, April 29 and Fairfield, 14-10, May 1.

Army fell to Navy, 15-8, in the Patriot League tournament championship game May 1. The Black Knights downed Bucknell, 9-8 in overtime, in the semifinal round April 29.

A Buckeye Primer
Ohio State is 5-8 on the year, with wins over UMBC (in overtime), Quinnipiac, Butler, Robert Morris and Air Force.

Ben Wolff has a team-best 22 goals and 25 points. He is followed by Kyle Olson, who is second in goals (17) and points (23). Andrew Bender leads the team with 14 assists and is third with 21 points. Craig Nolan is third with 15 goals, while Tom Randisi is second in assists (10) and fourth in goals (9). Jon Rydberg has won a team-best 63.5 percent (54-85) of his faceoffs, followed by Eric O’Brien 55.6%, 114-205). In goal, Mike Rimmer has started 10 games, with a 9.55 goals-against average and .546 save percentage. The Buckeyes are averaging 9.46 goals a game, while allowing 10.30. The squad has converted 36.8 percent of its man-up chances.

The Series vs. the Black Knights
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Army, 2-0. The teams first met March 23, 2002, a 14-13 Buckeye win in West Point, N.Y. The second meeting was March 22, 2003 in Columbus, an 11-8 Buckeye victory.

The Last Meeting
Nine players scored for the Buckeyes as the No. 20 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team notched an 11-8 win over Army March 23, 2003, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Ohio State carried a 5-3 lead into the second period after goals by Nick Miceli, Pat Myers, Craig Nolan, Mike Norton and Tom Randisi. Army outscored the Buckeyes 3-2 in the second quarter to pull within one, 7-6, at halftime. Myers and Bryan Mulford tallied goals for the Scarlet and Gray in the period.

The Black Knights scored 11:03 in the third period to tie the game at seven. Anthony Gilardi gave the Buckeyes an 8-7 advantage with a goal at 8:41 in the third. Gilardi put OSU up by two with another score at 13:34 of the fourth period. Army responded with a John Ryan goal but another Buckeye score by Curtis Smith at 9:41 gave Ohio State a 10-8 lead. Chris Brown added another goal at 4:13 to secure the 11-8 victory.

Tony Russo made 14 saves for Ohio State while Army’s Matt Darak tallied 11 saves.

A Look at the Black Knights
Army is 11-4 on the year, with all four of their losses against teams ranked in the Top 6 at the time of the game. The squad had a nine-game winning streak earlier this season but is 2-3 in the last five outings. The Black Knights lost to Navy, 15-8, in the Patriot League championship game last week.Army averages 9.52 goals a game, while allowing 8.86. The squad converts 35.8 percent of its man-up chances.

John Walker leads the Black Knights with 29 assists and 65 points (ranking fourth in the NCAA with 4.33 points a game) and ranks second with 36 goals. Jim Wagner has a team-high 40 goals and is second with 47 points. Adam Fullerton has played in 15 games in net (starting five) and has an 8.83 goals-against average and .565 save percentage. Matt Darak has started five games and played in seven, with a 9.47 gaa and .571 svpct.

Jack Emmer, a 1967 graduate of Rutgers, is in his 22nd year at the helm of the Black Knights. He is 186-129 at Army and has a career ledger of 326-182 in his 36th year. He is the all-time leader in NCAA men’s lacrosse Division I coaching wins. He also has coached at Cortland State and spent 11 years at Washington & Lee.

The Patriot League
Army competes in the Patriot League and is joined by Navy, Colgate, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh. OSU is 3-5 all-time against current Patriot League schools (2-0 vs. Army, 0-2 vs. Bucknell, 1-2 vs. Navy). OSU lost to Navy, 11-5, Feb. 26 in the second game of the year.

In the GWLL
Ohio State wrapped up Great Western Lacrosse League play 2-3 to finish fourth. League play wraps up Saturday when Denver (4-0) travels to Connecticut to take on Fairfield (3-1). The winner receives the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Denver already has clinched at least a share of the title. A Fairfield win would make the team’s co-champions, while a Pioneer victory would give Denver the outright title.

Have a Game
Senior Lance Vitt was outstanding in the Buckeyes’ game vs. Fairfield, scoring the Buckeyes’ first three goals of the game and adding an assist for a four-point game. It tied his career high for goals in a game, first set against VMI in 2002. The four points were a career high. Vitt also scored a goal against Notre Dame last Friday and has a career-best seven goals, two assists and nine points in a career-high eight games this season.

Keeping the Streak Alive
Junior Ben Wolff is the only Buckeye to play in all 13 games and record at least a point (and a goal) in each. Wolff had a season and career-high tying four goals vs. Fairfield last Sunday, matching the four goals he scored vs. Quinnipiac March 19.

Overall, Wolff is on an 18-game point-scoring streak dating back to last season. He was last held without a point April 7, 2004 vs. Butler.

Wolff has a team-best and career-high 22 goals this season and is two points shy of his career-best 27 points recorded last season.

Out to Watch the Buckeyes
Last Friday, 2,112 fans came out to see Ohio State take on Notre Dame, marking a Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium men’s lacrosse record. The old mark of 1,730 was set vs. Johns Hopkins April 6, 2002.

No. 25 on a Streak
Sophomore Jason Lutz in on a five-game scoring streak and now has a career-best six goals this season. He had goals in four consecutive games before posting an assist against Fairfield.

In the Top 10
Ohio State is ninth in the nation in faceoff winning percentage, winning 57.7 percent of its draws this season.

Eric O’Brien ranks 18th in the nation in winning percentage at 55.9 percent. Jon Rydberg has a team-best 63.5 percent winning percentage but has not taken enough draws to qualify for the national rankings.

Rydberg leads the GWLL in faceoff winning percentage and O’Brien is fifth in the league.

Bender Helps Out
Andrew Bender leads Ohio State with a career-best 14 assists after entering the year with three career helpers. He had a 10-game scoring streak stopped in the loss to Fairfield. Bender has a career-best 21 points on the year, topping the 15 he had last season. Bender ranks fifth in the GWLL with 1.08 assists a game.

EMO Success
Ohio State ranks 12th in the nation in man-up offense, converting 36.8 percent of its chances. The squad has scored 14 goals on 38 attempts.

Man-Down Success
Ohio State ranks second in the GWLL in man-down defense, stopping 69.2 percent of its opponent chances (20-65).

Another Streak Note
Senior Kyle Olson had his nine-game point and seven-game goal streaks stopped in the loss to Notre Dame. He rebounded with a season-high tying two assists against Fairfield. Olson, who ranks second for OSU in goals and points, has a point in 25-of-29 games as a Buckeye.

A First
Against Fairfield, sophomore Chris Li posted the first assist and point of his Buckeye career. Redshirt-sophomore goalie Drew May made his first career start in net against the Stags.

Double it Up
The Buckeyes’ loss to Fairfield marked the first time this season the team was defeated when scoring at least 10 goals. The squad now is 5-1 in those games. They scored a season-best 18 vs. Robert Morris, 15 vs. Quinnipiac, 13 against Butler, 11 at Air Force and 10 in the double-overtime win at UMBC. The squad is 0-6 when allowing 10 or more goals and allowed nine goals in its other two losses.

Scoop It Up
Sophomore Eric O’Brien is 16th in the nation and fourth in the league averaging 4.92 groundballs a game. He has a team-best 64 groundballs this season, 28 more than the Buckeye that ranks second (Brian Yontz, 36).

A Streak Stopped
Junior Craig Nolan had his seven-game goal and point streaks stopped against Fairfield. His string of five-consecutive multiple-goal games was ended against Notre Dame when he was held to just one score.

Nolan has a career-best 15 goals this season and has tied his career high with 17 points. He has a team-best three game-winning goals this season.

Redshirt-freshman goalie Mike Rimmer is fourth in the Great Western Lacrosse League in both goals-against average (9.55) and saves per game (10.09). He had a career-best 19 saves vs. Hobart and has two 16-save games.

Home Again
Ohio State is 2-4 at home this season, with a 1-2 record in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and a 1-2 ledger at North Turf Field. OSU downed Robert Morris at NTF but fell to Navy and Hobart.

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 64-46 at the helm for OSU.

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’ game vs. Army closes out the regular season for Ohio State.