April 27, 2012
Ohio State at No. 13/14 Fairfield
Saturday, April 28 - 1 p.m.
Ohio State Lacrosse This Week
In the final game of the regular season, the Ohio State men's lacrosse team (7-6, 4-1 ECAC) heads east to take on No. 13/14 Fairfield (11-2, 4-1 ECAC). The teams will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday in Fairfield, Conn.
FairfieldStags.tv will have an internet broadcast of the game and live stats will be available. Links can be found on the Buckeye Lacrosse Gameday page: http://go.osu.edu/mlaxgameday. The Ohio State Twitter feed (@OhioState_MLAX) will be updated throughout the game.
ECAC Tournament Up Next
Ohio State and Fairfield, along with Loyola and Denver, have all clinched a spot in the ECAC tournament, set for next week in Denver. The semifinals will be Wednesday (May 2), with the final Friday (May 4), televised live by ESPNU.
Loyola, the No. 1 seed, will take on the host and No. 4 seed Pioneers. The winner of the game between Ohio State and Fairfield Saturday will be the No. 2 seed, with the Buckeyes and Stags facing off for the second time in five days.
As a team, Ohio State is scoring 9.23 goals a game while ranking eighth in the NCAA in team defense allowing 7.46 goals an outing. The squad has 13 goals on 41 man-up chances (31.7%) and has stopped 28-of-39 (71.8%) opponent opportunities, ranking 15th nationally.
Junior Logan Schuss leads the Buckeyes with 38 goals, 15 assists and 53 points, ranking in the Top 11 in the NCAA in goals and points per game, and enters the matchup vs. Fairfield on a 43-game point streak. Freshman Jesse King is second with 13 goals, followed by senior Brock Sorensen with 11 and junior Dominique Alexander with 10. King and Alexander are tied for second with 20 points each. Tyler Frederick is second with 13 assists and fourth with 19 points. Sophomore Shawn Kaplan is first on the team with 62 faceoff wins and 131 faceoffs taken, with sophomore Steve Knezick second with 39 wins and 89 attempts. Goalie Greg Dutton is first with 34 groundballs, followed by senior defensemen Keenan Ochwat and Joe Bonanni with 32 each. Kaplan is fourth with 31 groundballs. Ochwat leads the Buckeyes with 25 caused turnovers, ranking 16th nationally, with Bonanni second (14) and sophomore Dominic Imbordino third (11). In the cage, sophomore Greg Dutton has 12 starts and is in the Top 13 in the NCAA with a 7.17 goals-against average and .566 save percentage. Sophomore Scott Spencer has played 97:20, with one start and five appearances, and has 12 saves on 27 shots.
Ohio State vs. Fairfield
The game between Ohio State and Fairfield will be the first of two between the teams in five days, as the Buckeyes and Stags will meet in the ECAC tournament semifinals Wednesday in Denver.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Fairfield, 5-4, but has lost the last two games. The squads met in Ohio Stadium last year, with the Stags prevailing 11-9. In 2010, Fairfield posted a 10-8 victory. The teams first met as members of the ECAC in 2009 when Ohio State won 11-6. Ohio State and Fairfield both were members of the Great Western Lacrosse League and faced off each year from 2000-05.
A Look at Fairfield
Fairfield is 11-2 this year, with its losses against Loyola and Colgate. The Stags are coming off a 9-8 win in overtime over Denver on the road. The Stags are scoring 10.69 goals a game and allowing 8.92 an outing. The team is fourth nationally, winning 60.7 percent of its faceoffs, led by Michael Roe (63.1 percent).
Sam Snow leads the Stags with 31 goals and 38 points, with Brent Adams second with 10 assists and 34 points. John Snellman is second with 27 goals and has 30 points to rank third. Colin McLinden has a team-best 15 assists on the year. Roe leads the team with 73 groundballs. Charlie Cipriano has started all 13 games in the cage and has an 8.60 goals-against average and .562 save percentage.
Last Time Out
Ohio State clinched a spot in the ECAC tournament with a 14-4 win over Air Force last Saturday in the fifth annual Showdown in the Shoe in Ohio Stadium in front of 19,213 fans. More than 30,000 fans were in the stands by the end of the lacrosse game, as the Buckeye football team played the LiFE Sports Spring Game following. The Buckeyes shut out the Falcons for the first 42:03, holding a 3-0 lead after the first quarter and an 8-0 advantage at halftime. Ohio State outscored the Falcons in the second half, 6-4, for the final 14-4 final. Junior Logan Schuss led Ohio State with four goals and five points, with classmate Dominique Alexander posting four points on two goals and two assists. Sophomore Tyler Frederick had a team-best three assists and added a goal for a four-point game. Freshman Reegan Comeault and senior Brock Sorensen each scored twice and Comeault had an assist for a three-point outing. Sophomore Steve Knezick won 11 faceoffs for the Buckeyes and had a team-best seven groundballs.
Buckeye This and That
• Ohio State is on a three-game winning streak, its second three-match set of wins this season. The team is 4-1 in its last five outings, with the lone loss to No. 1-ranked Loyola on the road.
• Senior Keenan Ochwatwas named the ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week after recording three groundballs and two caused turnovers in the win over Air Force, as the Buckeye defense limited the Falcons to four goals. It was the first league weekly award for Ochwat in his career. He is the fourth Buckeye to be honored by the league this year, joining Logan Schuss (offensive player of the week, Feb. 20), Turner Evans (rookie of the week, March 19) and Dominique Alexander (co-offensive player of the week, April 9).
• Ohio State has held five of its last six opponents to 28 shots or less and has outshot each of its last nine foes. The Buckeyes are averaging 35.5 shots a game,while allowing 28.0 a contest.
• Ohio State has faced six teams ranked in the Top 13 nationally at the time of the game this season, with four currently ranked in the Top 6. It played then-No. 5 Denver (now No. 16), then-No. 8/10 UMass (now No. 2), then-No. 13 Penn State (now No. 14/15), then-No. 6/7 Notre Dame (now No. 3/4), then-No. 1 Virginia (now No. 6) and then-No. 4/5 Loyola (now No. 1). Fairfield enters this weekend ranked No. 13/14 and Ohio State received votes in both the Inside Lacrosse media and USILA coaches polls this week.
• The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents, 35-19, in the first quarter and 68-43 in the first half this season. The squad has been outscored in the second half, 54-51, with each team scoring 27 third-quarter goals. Ohio State outscored Air Force, 8-0, in the first half last Saturday.
• One week after posting a then career-best nine faceoff wins vs. Michigan, sophomore Steve Knezick broke the mark with 11 faceoff wins vs. Air Force last week. He had a personal-best seven groundballs vs. the Falcons.
• The Buckeyes are 18th in the NCAA, averaging 31.0 groundballs per game. Against Air Force last week, the Buckeyes had the advantage in groundballs, 34-22, a team opponent low. Shawn Kaplan had a team-best eight vs. Denver Feb. 19, while Kevin Mack (Feb. 9 vs. Detroit), Keenan Ochwat (April 14 at Michigan) and Steve Knzeick (April 21 vs. Air Force) each have one game with seven groundballs.
• Senior Keenan Ochwat played in his 50th career game for the Scarlet and Gray Feb. 25 vs. UMass and leads the current Buckeyes in career games played with 58. Fellow senior Matt Kawamoto hit the 50-games played mark vs. Robert Morris March 9 and senior Brock Sorensen played in his 50th game for the Scarlet and Gray vs. Virginia March 17. Joe Bonanni played in his 50th game at March 31.
• The Buckeyes are second in the ECAC and eighth in the NCAA in team defense, holding opponents to 7.46 goals a game. The squad allowed double-digit goals for the only time this year in an 11-9 loss to then-No. 1-ranked Virginia March 17. The team limited Air Force to four goals last week (none until the 42:03 mark), the third time holding an opponent to five or fewer goals in a game this year.
• Ohio State caused nine turnovers vs. Air Force and has 106 on the year to rank second in the ECAC and 17th in the NCAA in caused turnovers per game (8.15). The Buckeyes are led by senior Keenan Ochwat with 25. He is 16th in the NCAA and second in the league with 1.92 caused turnovers per game, including four games with three or more. Classmate Joe Bonanni is second on the team with 14 caused turnovers, followed by sophomore Dominic Imbordino with 11.
• Sophomore goalie Greg Dutton, who has started 12 of the team's 13 games, is first in the ECAC in both goals-against average (7.17) and save percentage (.564). In the NCAA rankings, he is seventh and 13th, respectively. Dutton has six games this year with 10 or more stops.
• The Buckeyes are 15th in the NCAA and second in the league in man-down defense, stopping 71.8 percent of their opponents' chances. Ohio State did not allow a man-up goal in a four-game stretch March 9-24 and has allowed more than one in a game just once.
• Freshman Luke Howard had a career-high three caused turnovers and three groundballs in the Buckeyes' win over Air Force.
• Junior Logan Schuss extended his point streak to 43 games (each game of his collegiate career) with four goals and an assist for five points vs. Air Force last week. His scoring streak is the fourth-longest active streak in the NCAA and he has multiple points in all 13 games this year, with three-plus points in all but two.
• Schuss is second in the ECAC and 11th in the NCAA in points per game (4.08). In goals per game, his 2.92 average is second in the league and fourth nationally.
• Schuss, who led the Buckeyes in scoring each of his first two seasons, now ranks sixth in program history with 161 points. He is behind Craig Cooper, who is in fifth with 164 points from 1974-78 and Jon Ewert, who stands in fourth with 165 points from 1983-86. With 60 assists, Schuss is ninth in career assists and he is tied for seventh with 101 career goals. He scored the 100th goal of his career vs. Air Force Saturday.
• In his career, Schuss is averaging 3.74 points a game to rank third among all current NCAA Division I players. He is sixth among current players in career goals per game (2.35) and 12th in assists per game (1.40). His 161 points rank seventh, with his 101 goals 11th and his 60 assists 15th. He is the highest scoring current junior, ahead of Will Manny of UMass and Peter Baum of Colgate who are tied for 15th with 147 each.
• Freshman Jesse King is second on the team with 13 goals and tied for second with 20 points. He extended his point streak to four (5g, 4a, 9p) with an assist vs. Air Force. King has five multiple-goal games this season and seven multiple-point outings.
• Junior Dominique Alexander has 11 points in his last three games combined after a four-point game, with two goals and two assists. vs. Air Force. He is tied for second on the squad with 20 points, including 10 goals and 10 assists. The four points matched his career high, set four times before (last April 7 at Hobart).
• After not playing in the Buckeyes' first three games and being held off the scoresheet for his first three games, freshman Turner Evans has at least one goal in each of his last seven games, with seven goals, five assists and 12 points combined in the stretch.
• Senior Brock Sorensen scored twice vs. Air Force, his third multiple-goal game of the year. He is third on the squad with a career-best 11 goals.
• Sophomore Tyler Frederick had a season-high three assists and four points in the Showdown in the Shoe. He is second on the team with 13 assists and fourth with 19 points. He has a point in all but three of his collegiate games.
• Freshman Reegan Comeault tied his career high with two goals and three points against Air Force. He has five goals, four assists and nine points this season.
• Against Air Force, junior Patrick Riffee scored his second goal of the season, while sophomore Adam Trombley netted his fifth goal of the year.
Kawamoto a Lowe's Senior CLASS Finalist - Vote4Moto
Ohio State defender Matt Kawamoto is one of 10 finalist for the 2012 Lowe's 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. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Springfield, Va., native Kawamoto is a team captain for the Buckeyes this year. The 2011 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year and a first team all-conference selection, he also earned honorable mention USILA All-America accolades last season. Entering the 2012 campaign, he was named a third team preseason All-American by Faceoff Yearbook and preseason All-ECAC. A business: marketing and logistics management major, Kawamoto has earned Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honors and is scheduled to graduate this spring. The recipient of the 2011-12 Michael R. Breschi Memorial Scholarship, Kawamoto has battled back from injury twice in his Buckeye career. For Kawamoto's complete award biography, visit seniorclassaward.com/athletes/matt_kawamoto/.
Fans are encouraged to vote daily for the award through May 14. To vote for Kawamoto, visit go.osu.edu/Vote4Moto.
Video: NCAA Tournament Recap