The No. 6 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (2-0) will host Hofstra (0-0) at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in front of its second sell-out crowd of the season on Saturday.
The Buckeyes’ most recent encounter with Hofstra came in the 2016, but they lost 8-5. The 2018 Buckeyes aren’t hung up about the loss, choosing instead to look to the future and focus on the what they’ve practiced thus far.
“You try to put past losses and past wins behind you,” senior attack Colin Chell said. “It’s a new year, new team, so you just try to take that approach with every game we play.”
While unranked, the Pride still draw cautious respect from players like redshirt senior midfielder John Kelly, who has faced Hofstra twice.
“They’re always a great team. They’re scrappy, they have some good players — it’ll be a good test for us, we don’t have any film on them,” Kelly said.
The Buckeyes enter Saturday’s match with the momentum it garnered from wins against Cleveland State and then-No. 19 Boston, which has bolted them up two spots in the NCAA Inside Lacrosse rankings since the season began.
“It’s good to know that our hard work has paid off in our first two games and so we just have to keep that momentum going and keep up that hard work and never get comfortable,” Kelly said. “We’re making sure we’re pushing ourselves as far as we can go.”
Ohio State’s 15-9 home victory against the Terriers was an important obstacle for the team to overcome, being that they were its first ranked opponent of the season. While the team struggled to dominate the second half, the Buckeyes said they had valuable takeaways from the experience that they hope to carry over to this weekend.
Kelly said the team set the tone early in the game, which was an important factor in their first-half superiority.
“We kind of fell off a little bit in the third and fourth quarter and had to build back and set that tone a little bit more, so coming into this game we really want to set that tone and hold it,” he said.
Chell added it was exciting to see the younger players own their roles and gain experience against Boston.
Both Kelly and Chell noted that playing in front of a packed home crowd on Saturday will contribute to the energy of the game.
The faceoff against Hofstra is at noon Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.