The men’s lacrosse team seems to never stop.
When they aren’t practicing at 7:30 a.m., they are hitting the streets and serving the community.
The team has already shattered its first goal of the season, earning more than 515 hours of community service.
“When we talk about goals, it’s as important as any of them,” coach Nick Myers said. “We met with the seniors and they thought 500 hours was an attainable goal so we went for it.”
On the field, the Buckeyes are getting more than a fresh start; they are playing in a new conference.
The Buckeyes joined the Eastern College Athletic Conference after the dissolution of the Great Western Lacrosse League.
“For us the new conference presents a new challenge. It’s now eight teams and brings in the likes of Loyola, Hobart and Fairfield who are all very good, and maintain[s] the five teams that were in the Great West,” Myers said.
Leading the team into the new conference this year is tri-captain Scott Foreman.
“I’m not the most vocal person. I lead more by example and hope the guys follow,” Foreman said.
There is a tremendous amount of leadership on the team this season. Foreman is joined by fellow senior captains Brandon Freeman and Andrew Stimmel, who the team elected in the fall.
“Foreman has core values and really represents what the program is all about. We’re very proud of the effort he brings both on the field and off,” Myers said.
As an individual and a teammate, Foreman wants to see the team stay tight and win every game.
“Having more teams gives you more of a chance to get some better wins,” Foreman said.
The ECAC doesn’t have conference playoffs. Therefore, the team with the best record at the end of the season will receive a bid to the tournament.
However, having a high strength of schedule will be key if the Buckeyes do not win their conference outright. The strength of schedule will determine the teams that receive an at-large bid to the tournament.
The Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 16 in terms of strength of schedule.
The slate this year includes the eight conference foes, as well as top-ranked Notre Dame.
The Buckeyes will face Villanova, the 2009 Colonial Athletic Association champion, in their season opener this weekend. Villanova is a member of the Big East Conference, arguably the toughest conference.
“Villanova is a playoff team. Their team is hungry, and we know we have a big challenge in front of us,” Myers said.
After scrimmaging Duke and Greensboro last weekend, the team has learned a lot.
“We have a lot to improve on,” Myers said. “We have to get better at facing off and we played way too much defense. We know we got to be very sound this week. Offensively we have a lot of young faces, we’re just hoping they can grow up in a hurry.”
The Buckeyes play at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Saturday at 1 p.m.