Lantern File Photo
Coming off a pair of victories against Detroit and Mercer to begin the season, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team will face No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Despite the Tar Heels (1-0) being the No. 3-ranked team in the country, OSU coach Nick Myers said the Buckeyes’ opponent will not intimidate them.
“We’ve got to play Buckeye lacrosse,” Myers said. “That means we want to make it more about us than them, and that’s our mindset.”
Sophomore attacker Jeff Tundo said the Buckeyes (2-0) must approach the North Carolina game just like any other.
“It’s pretty much the same as every other week,” Tundo said. “They’re the No. 3 team in the country. We need to come out with the mindset that we’re just as good as them, if not better.”
Senior midfielder Scott Lathrop agreed, saying a large part of the matchup with the Tar Heels is confidence.
“We want to be really focused, but confident at the same time,” Lathrop said. “We want to come out there with really confident play, knowing we can win the game if we’re focused.”
The Buckeyes’ strong defense is a large part of the reason why they have been able to start the season with two victories. And although the Buckeyes’ offense did not get off to a fast start in the season opener against Detroit, a 20-goal performance against Mercer could be a sign of good things to come.
Myers said OSU will need to play a balanced game to win.
“For us, it starts with faceoffs and wing play; we’ve got to be strong there,” Myers said. “Defensively we’ve got to do a great job of communicating and working together, and offensively we really want to just focus on us and hopefully put some quality shots on cage.”
Through the season’s first two games, Tundo leads the Buckeyes in scoring with eight total points, tallying six goals and two assists. And, OSU has yet to allow its opponents to score a goal in the fourth quarter.
Because of the warmer weather, Saturday’s game is scheduled to be the Buckeyes’ first outdoor game of the season. The two previous matchups were indoors at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
“Obviously we’re going to be very excited,” Tundo said. “I mean, it’s in the ‘Shoe and it’s awesome in there.”
OSU started the season with a 4-3 win against Detroit on Feb. 10, and a 20-2 victory against Mercer on Saturday. Last season, the Tar Heels defeated the Buckeyes, 19-13, in OSU’s final game May 8.
“A lot of the same faces are back for us offensively from that game,” Myers said. “The guys have confidence and understand that this is a tremendous opportunity and test for us but that we’ve got to go out there and execute our game plan.”
The Buckeyes take on the Tar Heels at noon.