Ohio State men’s lacrosse takes on not only its first ranked opponent of the season, but a top 10 foe in Cornell Sunday.
The No. 18 Buckeyes (3-1) will take on No. 10 Cornell (3-0), which enters the game with an undefeated record and the No. 10 attack in Division I with 19 goals per game.
“They might be as potent an offense as there is in the country right now. They’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said on the team’s weekly podcast.
Cornell has scored at least 17 goals in each of its first three games, while holding opponents to an average of 10.3 goals per game.
The high-powered Cornell attack is led by four players with double-digit point totals. Leading scorer and junior attackman John Piatelli has scored 13 goals, including six in the team’s previous game against High Point.
“Cornell is a great team and will be a big test for us in a lot of ways,” redshirt senior midfielder Lukas Buckley said. “We feel like we’re improving week in and week out, game in and game out.”
Cornell junior midfielder Jonathan Donville is tied for the team lead with 14 points, contributing eight goals and six assists. Senior attackman Jeff Teat also has 14 points, scoring five goals and adding nine assists.
“They’re, offensively, as advertised, a guy in Jeff Teat who is a bona fide Player of the Year candidate,” Myers said.
Senior midfielder Paul Rasimowicz and freshman midfielder Angelo Petrakis have combined to win 66.7 percent of faceoffs in the first three games this season. They’ll deal with Ohio State’s leading faceoff artist, junior midfielder Justin Inacio, who returned to action against Bucknell Saturday and won 14 of his 24 faceoff attempts.
Cornell sophomore goalie Chayse Ierlan has made 26 saves with a 10.11 goals against average. He has allowed just 28 goals on the season.
“They’re winning faceoffs, they got a great goalie and they play hard,” Nick Myers said.
Ohio State possesses a high-powered attack of its own, ranking two spots behind Cornell at No. 12 in the nation in scoring. The Buckeyes have scored 56 goals on the season for an average of 14 per game.
Sophomore attackman Jack Myers was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career after an eight-point game against Bucknell. Jack Myers scored four goals and added four assists. He leads the team with 22 points, good for No. 9 in the country.
Senior attackman Tre Leclaire has stretched his goal-scoring streak to 22 games with a four-goal outburst against Bucknell. Leclaire moved into fourth place on the Buckeyes’ career goals scored list, only one goal behind Terry Gilmore, who played from 1976 to ’79.
Junior attackman Jackson Reid is No. 3 on the team in points with 10 goals and four assists.
The Ohio State defense will be key in attempting to slow down a dangerous attack from Cornell.
Senior Joey Salisbury and freshman Jacob Snyder lead the Buckeye backline. Salisbury has collected 10 ground balls and caused one turnover, while Snyder has generated four takeaways.
Senior midfielder Jeff Henrick is the piece de resistance, however, with 11 ground balls and six forced turnovers. Henrick also scored a behind-the-back goal in the game against Boston.
Ohio State and Cornell face off at noon Sunday in Ohio Stadium.