The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (0-2) is looking to turn things around.
Following back-to-back overtime losses to start the season, the team is set to return to Columbus Saturday to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Coming away from Jacksonville, Fla., after falling to Massachusetts, 12-11, in overtime as part of the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic, OSU coach Nick Myers said there is no time to hit the reset button.
“Two tough losses, no doubt,” Myers said. “Coming up short is tough, but we are really just focused on the next task at hand which is Marquette on Saturday.”
Marquette (1-1), which is in its second year as a Division I program, is coming off arguably its biggest win to date after knocking off Hofstra, 11-9, on the road in Hempstead, N.Y.
OSU senior defenseman Joe Meurer said the Buckeyes have to focus on improving their communication in order to limit Marquette’s chances this weekend.
“Obviously giving up 12 goals (in the loss to UMass) is not a staple of our defense, so we need to improve there,” Meurer said. “It’s just continuing to develop a chemistry on the defensive end and knowing when to slide.”
One area that has been a concern early in the season for OSU — which also fell to Johns Hopkins, 10-9, Feb. 9 in triple overtime — has been its special teams, as they are 0-9 with the man-up advantage through two games. The early season struggles come after scoring 46 percent of the time in the same situation last season, good for fourth in the nation.
“We have to simplify things,” Myers said. “We have gotten a number of different looks from different teams … it’s just settling into some basic different sets that we have, identifying areas that we think we can capitalize off of, and having an answer when we see different looks.”
Another aspect that should be key for the Buckeyes throughout the rest of the season is evening up their faceoff percentage.
Losing one of the best faceoff players in the country last season in Trey Wilkes (13th in the country at 58 percent), OSU has struggled to find a permanent replacement, going 13-51 against Johns Hopkins and UMass.
“We are 25 percent at the X right now which isn’t stellar at all,” senior defenseman Dominic Imbordino said. “We definitely want to get that number up and get our offense the ball more, but right now we are trying to find an identity there and I think it’s going to turn around soon.”
This is slated to be the second all-time meeting between the Buckeyes and the Golden Eagles as they met last year in Marquette’s first ever game as a Division I school, with OSU walking away with the 18-8 victory.
Game time for the Buckeyes and the Golden Eagles is set for Saturday at noon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.