Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer
Coming off a dominating 18-8 win against first-year program Marquette, the No. 13 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team takes its unbeaten streak into Happy Valley on Saturday at 1 p.m. to take on the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions.
At 3-0, the Buckeyes hope to keep up the success that they have found early in the year.
Freshman attacker Carter Brown and sophomore midfielder Jesse King recorded a combined 13 points against the Golden Eagles and sparked OSU’s offense which had been stagnant the week before against Jacksonville in a 9-6 win.
For his four goals and three assists, Brown was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week. The freshman, though, saw the improvement of the team as a whole, not just his individual statistics.
“Our offense was clicking in the second quarter especially,” Brown said. “We were just making the easy play and I just got some easy goals.”
King, too, said he felt the team improved on offense after a tough week of practice.
“Honestly, this week we worked out a lot on working the ball on the outside,” King said. “Our chemistry is coming together, and this week it just clicked.”
But the Buckeyes will likely have a tougher challenge this week against Penn State in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions have already defeated No. 10 Denver on the year and took No. 2 Notre Dame to overtime in their only loss of the season. Last year, Penn State handed OSU its second loss of the season in a 5-2 victory March 3 at Ohio Stadium.
In spite of a schedule featuring five games against top-11 opponents in March, some members of the team are staying positive.
OSU coach Nick Myers sees how far his players have come so far this year, but understands there are improvements to be made.
“We’ve got a lot of work to continue to do,” Myers said. “It’s February … We’re not the team that we wanted to be yet, but we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
The game could also be a potential precursor for what is to come, with reports swirling that a Big Ten conference for lacrosse could be on the horizon.
“There’s been some positive conversation,” Myers said about the potential new conference. “This Penn State-Ohio State rivalry has been special for years now. I think that will only get more traction if the Big Ten conference continues to move in the right direction.”
King, who was a part of the team that lost to Penn State in Columbus last year, is excited to get another shot at the Nittany Lions.
“I’m excited, they’re going to be a great game,” King said. “It’s always fun playing against Penn State.”