The No.11 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (3-0) will play its first game at Ohio Stadium of the season on Saturday as the Buckeyes attempt to stay undefeated when they take on Bucknell.
“We’re thrilled to be home,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said. ”Having the chance to play at Ohio Stadium is very special. We have only so many chances left, and our seniors appreciate that, and we are going to try to take full advantage.”
Redshirt junior attack Lukas Buckley said playing in Ohio Stadium is exciting, but does not change the way the Buckeyes are approaching the game.
Ohio State is coming off a win against UMass that saw the Buckeyes come out hot in the third quarter and dominating the second half, outscoring the Minutemen 5-1.
Buckley said there is not only one player that leads the Ohio State offense to success.
“We’ve talked a lot about being a faceless unit,” Buckley said. “It doesn’t matter who is putting the ball in the back of the net, as long as we are doing it.”
Senior defenseman and captain Matt Borges won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the second straight week he has earned this honor. Borges caused two turnovers in the game, making him first on the team with four turnovers on the season.
Redshirt sophomore goalie Josh Kirson earned Big Ten Specialist of the Week as well as being named to the USILA National Team of the Week after stopping a career-high 17 shots. Eight of the 17 shots were saved in the third quarter alone to shut out the Minutemen in the quarter.
“I thought last week at UMass was an example where we stayed the course,” Myers said. “We are going to chase our very best as we are right now, that’s all we can do.”
Bucknell (1-2) is coming off a close loss to the University of Richmond. Even though the Bison got hat-tricks from both sophomore attack Tommy Sopko and freshman attack Matthew Barkauskas, the Spiders outplayed the Bison in the fourth quarter to win.
Barakauskas and senior midfielder Reed Malas are tied for the most points on Bucknell this season with seven points apiece.
The winner could come down to the better faceoff play as Bucknell, and Ohio State have found success in faceoffs this season. .
Bucknell has senior faceoff and midfielder Jarett Witzal who has a .545 faceoff percentage and has previously won Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Week.
“They do a lot of things well in their faceoff unit. Specifically their faceoff man has a variety of moves, so I think that will force us to have some adjustments ready to go,” Myers said.
Myers said that the faceoff is something Ohio State takes a lot of pride in as well, winning 58.4 percent of faceoffs so far this season.
Ohio State will take on Bucknell at noon Saturday at Ohio Stadium