April 25, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s Eric Fannell, Freddy Freibott and Jake Withers were all recognized as Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Players of the Week Tuesday for their contributions in the Buckeyes’ 11-10 overtime win over then-No. 2 Maryland Saturday. Withers was named Big Ten Specialist of the Week for the second week in a row and third time this season, Fannell was tabbed league offensive player of the week for the second time this year and Freibott earned his first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolade.
Fannell, a senior attackman from St. Catherine’s, Ontario, had a career-high five goals in the win. He scored twice in the second quarter and then tallied back-to-back in the third stanza (part of a six goal run that helped the Buckeyes overcome a 7-2 first half deficit). He put the Buckeyes up 9-8 at 7:21 of the fourth quarter. His shot in overtime hit the post, but the rebound went to his teammate for the gamewinner.
Fannell’s five goals topped the then-career high four he had the week prior at Michigan. He leads the Buckeyes with 20 assists and 44 points this season, ranking second with 24 goals (all career highs). He has a point in all but one game this season and a goal in all but two outings.
Freibott, from Wilmington, Del., had a career-high eight groundballs in the Buckeyes’ victory, helping the Ohio State defense hold the Terps to more than three goals less than their season average. The eight groundballs were the most for a Buckeye who was not a faceoff specialist since 2009.
On the year, Friebott has 40 groundballs, along with six caused turnovers.
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Withers claimed 18-of-25 faceoffs against Maryland and picked up 10 groundballs. Included in his victories was the draw to open overtime and give the Buckeyes the ball, as they scored the gamewinner on the first possession.
On the year, Withers is third in the NCAA and first in the B1G in faceoff winning percentage (.687). It was his third straight game with 18 or more faceoff wins and his 12th with double digit wins this year. The 10 groundballs marked his third straight game with 10+ and the fifth with 10 or more on the year (second most for a Buckeye since at least 2001 and behind the 11 he had at Michigan the week prior). Withers has a team-high 101 groundballs this year.
The No. 3/4-ranked Buckeyes wrap up the regular season with a game at No. 12/13 Rutgers at noon Saturday in Piscataway, N.J. Ohio State will host the Big Ten Tournament the following week, with the semifinals set for May 4 and the championship May 6. The Buckeyes have clinched a spot in the tournament, which will be held in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.