After capturing their first ECAC tournament championship last season, the Buckeyes look to repeat in their last year as a member of the conference. Before making the move to the newly-minted Big Ten, the Buckeyes would love to end their tenure with a second consecutive ECAC title. Doing so will not be easy, especially without All-American, co-captain, and leading scorer Logan Schuss. The Buckeyes, led by 5th year coach Nick Myers, aim to build upon the program's success of being granted a 3-seed and its first home NCAA tournament game. The season ended unceremoniously with a 16-6 loss to semi-finalist and national power Cornell, but this year's squad looks to live up to early pre-season hype.
The Buckeyes are the pre-season 7th ranked team according to Inside Lacrosse. Using this poll, the Buckeyes schedule contains 4 top-15 opponents, those being Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Denver, and Penn State. Another game of note for Ohio State lacrosse fans (or Ohio State fans in general) is the Showdown in the Shoe on April 12th, a game against Michigan before the playing of the annual Spring Game. The Buckeyes will be playing in Columbus often, with 7 of their 13 games being played in Columbus. Also of interest for fans is the number of exhibitions being played at the Woody Hayes Center, with the Buckeyes taking on Hill Academy, Navy, and Robert Morris all before their televised season debut against the Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins on February 9th.
In terms of individual contributors, make sure to keep an eye on Jessie King, the junior Canadian and leading returning scorer for the Buckeyes. His 2013 campaign saw a 55 point season, with 32 goals and 23 assists and 18 GB's as well. The midfielder was just named a pre-season First Team All-American, along with long-pole Joe Meurer. Meurer and returning goalie and captain Greg Dutton look to shore up a defense that was ranked in the top 15 in the country last season, as well as serving as co-captains for the squad.
With a level of unprecedented success last season, the Buckeyes have high expectations for their 2014 campaign and hope to march past the quarterfinals and make their first ever Final Four appearance. Achieving this goal would end a fantastic run in the ECAC and would make for an excellent entrance into the Big Ten in 2015. I will be following the team week-to-week on my blog on this site, so make sure to check back periodically for write-ups for the lacrosse Buckeyes throughout the season. Looking forward to a great season and Go Bucks!
Just for a little excitement, here's a recap of the 2013 team from the athletic department!