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Men’s Lacrosse: No. 13 Ohio State travels to UMass for road opener

Ohio State then-freshman midfielder Jackson Reid looks for an open shooting lane against Michigan on April 13, 2018. Ohio State won 8-5. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Editor-in-Chief

The No. 13 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team travels to Amherst, Massachusetts on Saturday for its first road game of the season against the University of Massachusetts.

The game will be the first test for Ohio State (2-0) away from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center , where they Buckeyes are undefeated through two games. Ohio State will play the rest of its home games at Ohio Stadium this season.

“Situations like this, when you go on the road for the first time, you really lean on your staff, your senior and your captains,” head coach Nick Myers said.

It will be a home state return for three Buckeyes, including redshirt junior attack Lukas Buckley, redshirt sophomore goalie Josh Kirson and junior defense Caleb Mahoney.

Myers said there may be some comfortability for the returning players going into this game.

“For the guys going home, it’s certainly an opportunity to play in front of loved ones, but more importantly for Buckeye lacrosse, it’s a chance to test ourselves,” Myers said.

UMass (0-1) finished the past season with a 12-5 record, and a 7-3 record at home.

“The message is usually the same for home games and away games,” junior midfielder Ryan Terefenko said. “First, we have to dominate the ground, UMass is a team that is gritty on the ground, they’re tough, so we have to make sure that is a point of pride for us.”

The Minutemen lost their first game of the season last week 12-11 in overtime against Army. Sophomore attack Chris Connolly, who in UMass’ first game scored seven points — two goals and five assists — has lived up to his preseason All-CAA team honor.

The Buckeyes are coming off a win against Boston University where the offense came out flying, scoring 10 goals in the first half.

Ohio State’s defensemen Matt Borges won Big Ten Defensive Player of The Week after restricting Boston’s comeback, forcing two turnovers and picking up five ground balls to win the game 17-10 after leading 10-3 at the half.

“The first five minutes of the third quarter is as important as it gets,” Terefenko said. “You have to come out with energy, but you have to come out smart, the first five minutes of the third quarter have been chaotic, and I don’t know if we are at our best when we are chaotic.”

The Minutemen lean heavily on senior defenseman Isaac Paparo, who was named the 2018 CAA Player of the Year and named to the 2019 All-CAA preseason team.

Myers said his team his ready for a battle in Massachusetts.

“This is a game we’ve hunted down, coach [Greg] is a is a good friend, he’s someone I looked up to growing up in New England, and he’s someone I just a ton of respect for,” Myers said. “We’re very thankful for the game, we know that getting an opportunity to play UMass in February is a good of a test there is out there for your culture, your program and we seek that.”

No. 13 Ohio State goes against UMass on the road on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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