Daniel Zaas / Lantern photographer
At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Ohio State freshman goalkeeper Greg Dutton is rarely overshadowed physically by opposing players. As the men’s lacrosse season has progressed, Dutton’s play between the posts has also been tough to overshadow.
The All-American goalkeeper out of Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore has burst onto the college lacrosse scene, garnering two Rookie of the Week awards in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, playing a significant role in the Buckeyes’ No. 17 ranking.
The freshman got his first start against Mercer in the second game of the season, which was played inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The experience is one Dutton recalls vividly.
“It was pretty nerve-racking,” he said. “It was packed in there with everyone close to the field, but it was just a great atmosphere to play in.”
Despite his nerves, Dutton surrendered just two goals in a 20-2 Buckeye blowout.
Since his first start, Dutton says, he has settled down and grown into his role on the team, as he continually looks to improve his game.
“I need to keep working on my leadership,” he said. “As a freshman, you’re just trying to learn your role but I need to keep earning the respect of my teammates.”
Coach Nick Myers said the pieces are in place for Dutton to progress in his role as a leader. Aside from Dutton’s frame, Myers said leadership was one thing that stood out to him while recruiting Dutton in high school.
“He started as a sophomore in arguably the best (lacrosse) conference in the country,” Myers said. “He had great voice in the cage and he was just a great leader.”
Though Dutton’s play speaks loudly, he has a low-key demeanor off the field. OSU senior captain Bryce Woodson said he barely noticed Dutton at first.
“I didn’t really notice him until he stepped on the field because he’s kind of a quiet guy,” Woodson said. “But his play and the way he carries himself really speaks to his character.”
That does not, however, mean Dutton is estranged from his teammates.
“He’s gained more confidence in himself and became more comfortable around the guys,” Woodson said. “He’s opened up more but he’s still the same, strong player he was when he got here.”
The transition from life in Maryland to life in Ohio, albeit a challenge at first, is one that Dutton said he has savored. Listing the large campus lifestyle as a primary reason for attending OSU, Dutton says he has adjusted.
Striking a balance between academics and athletics, Dutton also has managed to see his family on a fairly regular basis and says he is now settling into a solid routine.
Though lacrosse is a household sport in Maryland, Dutton says the Columbus area stacks up well, and there has not been a major gap in enthusiasm from lacrosse followers.
One aspect of Buckeye culture does puzzle Dutton, though.
“A bunch of guys see me and just think of the whole ‘bro’ thing, and I think that is an odd phenomenon right now,” Dutton said, laughing, as he pointed to his blond mop top. “I’ve had a lot of comments like that because of my long hair, but I’m just a normal guy.”
Trying to stay “normal” as the laurels continue to pile up might seem like a challenge, but Dutton remains humble. Of all the accomplishments he has racked up, the one that sticks out for him is concrete and simple.
“My greatest accomplishment,” he said, “is just getting the opportunity to play at Ohio State.”