After edging out Jacksonville for an overtime win on the road Sunday, the No. 6 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team will head to Pontiac, Michigan, this weekend to compete against No. 19 Marquette and Detroit Mercy in the Midwest Lacrosse Classic.
The Buckeyes (4-0) hope to build a season-opening five-game winning streak Friday when they clash against their second ranked opponent of the season in the Golden Eagles.
However, the team’s close call against Jacksonville is still fresh in its mind, and players have been going back to basics this week in practice to revamp their play in preparation for the pair of weekend games.
“We weren’t pleased with how we played,” senior midfielder Bo Lori said. “We try to hold ourselves to a really high standard, and we just felt like even though we swept out a win we didn’t really meet our standard so this week’s just been hitting the reset button, just really focusing on ourselves.”
Ohio State had a short week for introspection, leaving Thursday for the road trip. But senior defenseman Freddy Freibott said any anxiety or nervousness resulting from Sunday’s game was overshadowed by the hard work of the team’s sports performance staff and coaches.
“[We’re] unpacking last week, definitely looking at the teachable moments and where we can definitely improve and how we can apply it to our opponent this weekend,” Freibott said.
The Buckeyes’ first challenge of the tournament will come against the Golden Eagles, who are 2-0 this season. Marquette handily beat Detroit Mercy 13-6 on Saturday and narrowly avoided a defeat in its season opener against Jacksonville on Feb. 17, winning 11-10.
Marquette attack and Big East freshman of the week Anthony Orsini, as well as junior attack John Wagner, will keep the Buckeyes busy on the defensive end. Orsini leads the team with six goals and is tied for first with Wagner at eight points. Orsini scored four of his six goals against Detroit Mercy.
Senior goalie Cole Blazer will try to lock things down on Marquette’s defensive end. With this 7.94 goals-against average and .444 save percentage, he is undoubtedly drawing the attention of Ohio State attacks Tre Leclaire, Jack Jasinski and Colin Chell. The trio has accounted for 40 percent of the team’s offense thus far, so the Buckeyes will need them to find ways to generate offense against Blazer.
The Titans (1-3) will face Ohio State Sunday after dropping their last two games to Jacksonville and Marquette.
Freshman attack Brett Erskine leads Detroit with six goals, while junior attack Matthew Vangalen and freshman midfielder Brennan Kamish follow close behind, having each netted four goals.
Ohio State will be trying to improve its 7-1 all-time record against Detroit, and will have to do so against redshirt freshman goalie Logan Shamblin, who has played every game of the Titans’ season thus far and has recorded 36 stops. He has allowed an average of 11.21 goals per game, but has a .444 save percentage.
“I feel like our seven guys against their top seven is going to be enough no matter who they throw out,” Lori said on the two matchups facing Ohio State this weekend.
The faceoff against the Golden Eagles will start at 5 p.m. Friday and the Buckeyes’ contest against the Titans will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday.