The Ohio State Men's lacrosse team takes on the Dolphins of Jacksonville University this week. As an aside, JU shares a nickname with Le Moyne, a DII power who has won 4 national titles. Mobing on, Jacksonville has started off the 2018 season 2-2, bookending losses to Duke and Maryland with a season-opening win over Navy and a demolition of Detroit Mercy midweek.
The Dolphins are led offensively by senior captain McLean Chicquen. I kid you not. That's 100% real. Lacrosse names are weird. Chicquen hails from Surrey, British Columbia, and was JU's leading scorer in 2017 with 23 goals and 12 assists.
On the whole, the Dolphins go as their midfield goes. The vast majority of offense has come from the middies, 11 goals having been scored by Eric Applegate to lead the Dolphins. The above-mentioned Chicquen has chipped in an additional 4 tallies as well. A number of players have added 3 or fewer markers. The attackmen saw a resurgence against Detroit, but the unit remains a question mark for the Dolphins.
Defensively, Jacksonville is...mediocre. They play a really tough nonconference schedule, but only held Navy below 10 goals because the Midshipmen were missing their best faceoff specialist. Duke punched in 19 tallies, and Marquette scored 11. Detroit Mercy only notched 8, but was so putrid at the faceoff X (2-26) it is a small miracle they had that many. Shortstick defender Ryan Beville was a preseason All-SoCon pick, however there is little else of note about this unit.
As noted above, the Dolphins are probably strongest at the faceoff X. Hunter Forbes has been incredible for JU, winning 73% of his faceoffs with 39 GBs. 14 of those (and a goal), came against Detroit. Forbes went a mind-boggling 23-25 at the X, which helped JU score 7 unanswered to close out the game. Forbes has failed to take only 3 faceoffs all year, so Feliziani and Inacio have their work cut out for them tomorrow.
Overall, though it's never good to take a team lightly (looking at you, Iowa), JU shouldn't be a serious challenge for the Buckeyes. OSU is at 64% in faceoff percentage, with heralded freshman Justin Inacio winning 76% of his draws in a backup role. Even a 55-45 split for JU would be disastrous for the Dolphins.
OSU HAS struggled this year on special teams, only scoring 2 goals in 10 EMOs, while allowing opponents to convert 4-7 on the year.
That said, OSU is outscoring its opponents 15-2 in the 1st quarter, and by 15 goals overall. Only Hofstra kept the Bucks under 10 goals in a game, and that was by a single marker. Additionally, the Buckeyes have had a full week to prepare for JU.
Amateur prediction: 15-9, Buckeyes.
Bonus: Look for Terefenko to match up with Chicquen a lot, as I expect Applegate to draw an LSM all afternoon.