After being pushed out of the NCAA’s top 20 for the first time this season following Saturday’s 12-7 loss to No. 5 Denver, the now-unranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team must clash with No. 4 Notre Dame and prove it has what it takes to make it back.
The Buckeyes have lost two games in the past two weeks and are 5-3 on a season that began with a three-game win-streak. The imposing Fighting Irish are 4-2 with wins against Denver and No. 10 Virginia, but they are also coming off Wednesday’s 13-12 loss to Michigan.
Notre Dame’s impressive offense boasts sophomore midfielder Bryan Costabile and junior attack Ryder Garnsey who scored three and five goals, respectively, in the team’s close game against the Wolverines. Costabile’s hat-trick was his third of the season, while Garnsey added one more to his six career hat-tricks.
Notre Dame senior defenseman John Sexton and senior attack Mikey Wynne were named the ACC’s Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week, respectively, and are forces Ohio State will have to contend with in its upcoming tilt with Notre Dame.
The Buckeyes will need to rely on big performances from their key players to keep up with a solid Irish team. Ohio State freshman attack J.T. Bugliosi scored two goals against the Pioneers Saturday, while five other Buckeyes recorded goals. Sophomore attack Tre Leclaire had two assists in the game, tying his season high. Offensive and defensive efforts alike will need to work in tandem to keep the Irish at bay.
The Buckeyes expect to play under sunny skies on Sunday when they welcome the Fighting Irish for a noon faceoff at Ohio Stadium.