Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer
Fresh off a last-second overtime victory against then-No. 8 Penn State last weekend, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team comes back to Columbus for part two of their four-game run against top-10 competition when No. 10 Denver comes to town Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore midfielder Jesse King, who scored Saturday’s game-winning goal, said he understands the importance of the victory, but that it wouldn’t take away from his focus on Denver.
“I’m glad that (freshman attacker Carter Brown) trusted me enough to throw it in there,” King said. “But I know that we’re really focused on getting ready for Denver.”
Junior defender Darius Bowling, who won 8 of 15 face-offs against the Nittany Lions, said he knows the importance of using every practice this week to prepare for OSU’s conference rivals.
“We know offensively they have a lot of playermakers that we’re definitely going to have to respect,” Bowling said.
Several players have contributed to the Buckeyes’ offense so far this season, with senior attacker Logan Schuss leading OSU with 18 points on the year and Brown and King tied for second with 16 apiece.
Denver has been one of the better teams in the Eastern College Athletic Conference over the past couple of seasons, ending the season in the top 15 the past three seasons. OSU coach Nick Myers said he knows the level of talent the Pioneers will bring into Columbus.
“They’re a heck of a team,” Myers said. “They’ve got an offense that’s going to put a lot of pressure on you, and defensively they’re sound.”
After back-to-back outings of double-digit goals from the Buckeyes, King said he is excited about the prospect of playing another stout defensive team this week and hopes to help keep the offense rolling.
“I’m excited we’ve got Denver coming to town, it’s almost like a new season when you’ve got your big ECAC rival coming in,” King said.
Following the matchup against Denver, the Buckeyes are scheduled to hit the road for a three game stretch against No. 8 Virginia, No. 2 Notre Dame and Bellarmine.
Myers said he is keeping the locker room calm despite the pressure of the team’s tough slate.
“The message this week’s been clear,” Myers said. “We’re looking for our first ECAC win.”
OSU looks to continue its four-game win streak this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium against Denver.