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Ohio State men’s lacrosse ‘getting back to basics’ against Jacksonville

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Junior midfielder Turner Evans (5) works around a defender during a game against Notre Dame March 25 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 13-7. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Junior midfielder Turner Evans (5) works around a defender during a game against Notre Dame March 25 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 13-7.
Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Senior defenseman Joe Meurer is looking for a spark.

Looking to finish its three-game home stand on a high note, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (2-6, 1-0) is set to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins (1-6, 0-1) Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

After starting the home stand with a conference win against Bellarmine, located in Louisville, Ky., OSU fell Tuesday to No. 7 Notre Dame, 13-7.

Despite keeping Notre Dame close for the majority of the game, the Fighting Irish used a five-goal run to finish the fourth quarter and preserve the victory.

However, Meurer said the Buckeyes are putting the Notre Dame game behind them and focusing on getting a much-needed win against Jacksonville this weekend.

“We need anything right now to give us some kind of a spark, some kind of momentum,” Meurer said. “We got two out-of-conference games and then we are hitting the ground running with the rest of our conference games. So we definitely need this win and just a confidence boost at this point.”

Junior midfielder David Planning said the Buckeyes offense simply needs to generate some chances in order to be effective against Jacksonville.

“It’s just getting back to the basics: catching, throwing, moving the ball fast and taking good shots,” Planning said. “We want to get over 35 shots, and the more shots we put up the better chance we have of scoring.”

OSU has only hit the 35-shot plateau once this season, in the first game of the season Feb. 9 against then-No. 11 Johns Hopkins in a 10-9 triple overtime loss.

Jacksonville and OSU played against each other for the first time ever last season, with the Buckeyes walking away with a 9-6 win Feb. 17, 2013, in Jacksonville, Fla., as part of the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic.

OSU coach Nick Myers said with both teams trying to get back in the win column — Jacksonville has dropped two-straight — but it is important for the Buckeyes to play smart lacrosse and not make anything easy for the Dolphins.

“They have a great goaltender, a senior, big kid who is capable of getting hot,” Myers said. “Defensively they are athletic. If you look at their ground ball stats, they are averaging close to 30 ground balls per game. And then on the offensive end, they are very athletic in the midfield and they have a couple big-time scorers down in the attack. They are a team that is certainly looking to break out as well and it’s going to be important that we are sound in all facets of the game in order to keep that from happening.”

Offensively, junior midfielder Turner Evans has been on a tear lately. The Peterborough, Ontario, native has seven points in the first two games of the current home stand and is currently second on the team with 23 points.

Defensively, the Buckeyes are only allowing 9.5 goals per game and have only given up more than nine goals once in their last four games, a stat Meurer is hoping can continue Saturday.

“Our motto is ‘next,’” Meurer said. “That’s what the entire defense is going off of right now. We are definitely going to put the Notre Dame game past us, but we are also going to learn from the mistakes we made. Hopefully we can find some success against their (Jacksonville) offense.”

Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

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