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Ohio State men’s lacrosse looks to break losing streak at Johns Hopkins

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OSU sophomore defender Brendan Barger (45) during a game against Notre Dame on March 26 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Cameron Carr | Lantern photographer

OSU sophomore defender Brendan Barger (45) during a game against Notre Dame on March 26 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Cameron Carr | Lantern photographer

The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is looking to put an end to its five-game losing streak as it travels to Baltimore to go up against No. 16 Johns Hopkins (5-4, 0-1) on Saturday.

OSU (5-6, 0-1) has not won since March 6. All five of the games that the Buckeyes have come out on the losing side of during their streak came against teams ranked in the nation’s top 20. OSU coach Nick Myers emphasized the need to not look in the past, however, and instead gear up for what’s next.

“We play an incredible schedule, and now we’re in conference play,” Myers said. “The focus is on Hopkins.”

OSU junior attacker Austin Shanks said the focus in the midst of the losing streak and upcoming matchup against the Blue Jays is internal improvement.

“We’re talking about ourselves. We really need to come together as a group,” he said. “It’s about us — it’s not about Hopkins.”

Johns Hopkins comes into the game after losing to Rutgers 16-9 on Saturday. Still, the Blue Jays will likely present a tough test for the Buckeye defense. They rank 13th in the nation in scoring offense, registering 12.56 goals per game.

The offense is led by sophomore attacker Shack Stanwick and senior attacker Ryan Brown. Stanwick leads the team in points (42) and assists (28), and Brown leads the team in goals (25) and is ranked 14th in the nation in goals per game.

One of the thorns in the Buckeyes’ side this season has been playing away from the friendly confines of Columbus. They are just 1-3 on the road this year. Myers said extra concentration is needed whenever a team goes on the road for an away game, which OSU has lacked so far.

“You’ve got to be able to come out in an environment that maybe is uncomfortable and really focus on you,” Myers said. “It brings you together, and I think we’re preparing hard and understand what it’s going to take to … compete for a Big Ten win.”

Finding offense

OSU’s offense has struggled as of late. The Buckeyes have failed to score in the double digits the last six games, something Myers said is because of a number of factors.

“There’s some youth, there’s some inexperience. We’ve had some injuries. We’ve had to move guys around,” Myers said. “But there’s been no excuses. We’ve just got to do a better job of generating offense.”

One player the offense has missed is sophomore attacker Colin Chell, who returned from injury on Sunday against Penn State and provided a goal and two assists in the loss.

“He adds another dynamic piece that really helps us offensively. That’s not just scoring goals, that’s ground balls (and) toughness plays,” Shanks said of Chell. “He’s an all-over-the-field kind of guy, and he really brings up the team overall.”

OSU is still without junior midfielder John Kelly, who Myers said will again be out of Saturday’s game.

What’s next

After making their way back from Baltimore, the Scarlet and Gray are scheduled to face off against Michigan on April 16 in the Showdown in the Shoe.

The annual event is played in Ohio Stadium prior to the football team’s intrasquad spring game. The game is slated to begin at 11 a.m.

 

Correction 4/12: An earlier version of the story said OSU will be playing Michigan for the first time at the Showdown in the Shoe, when in fact the teams have met before.

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