Lantern file photo
With its preseason wrapping up last weekend, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is putting the finishing touches on its game plan for its season opener against the Detroit Titans Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
A big concern for the Buckeyes heading into the year seemed to be inexperience in the backline.
After finishing the season as a top-five scoring defense, OSU had to say goodbye to its defensive starters, Joe Bonanni, Matt Kawamoto and Keenan Ochwat, and hello to what might be an inexperienced crew.
After the Buckeyes’ performances in the preseason, though, especially those against No. 12 Syracuse and Robert Morris, coach Nick Myers is feeling more comfortable with his new defense.
“I thought defensively we took some steps forward today,” Myers said. “We are starting to build some chemistry. You are seeing some guys starting to work together, which is what we want.”
During the doubleheader, some younger players received their chance to play and hoped to make an impression on Myers heading into the game against Detroit.
Freshman attacker Tyler Pfister was one of the only players to play in both doubleheader matches and said he sees the growth the team has undergone throughout the preseason.
“I think we’re trying to play to our strengths now,” Pfister said. “We know what personnel we have and what works for us. We’re really just trying to get better every day.”
Part of improving might be overcoming early struggles in games and subsequent consequences. Myers said it’s a habit that worries him.
“It’s always a concern when you have a letdown like that,” Myers said. “I think they came out a little flat, I thought you saw them settle down and I was proud of them when we did.”
OSU senior midfielder Dan Wertz said the team can win any contest as long as it has the right mindset.
“We’re excited, we have to play with confidence,” Wertz said. “We go into every game feeling like we can compete with anybody, but it’s all about what we do during the week. And then we put a lot together come Saturday and I think we feel confident.”
OSU is set to play Detroit Saturday at 1 p.m.