Well, the Buckeyes won, which is always good news. But it was certainly not a game to be tremendously proud of for the Buckeyes.
It's a new year, but essentially the same old story for the Buckeyes.
We'll start with the positives. It looks like Ohio State finally found a worthy dodger/creator in Jack Jasinski.
The senior from Alabama led the Buckeyes in points by totaling 3 goals and 2 assists on the day. Jasinski was active, scoring in traffic and in transition.
Tre Leclaire tied for the team lead with 3 goals, scoring off the dodge and with his feet set. For the Buckeyes to really become an elite team, these two will need to do the lion's share of the work.
Jackson Reid chipped in two tallies and an assist for 3 points, while Lukas Buckley posted an identical mark on the day.
The scoring was surprisingly balanced, given some of what transpired last year and with the departure of some key seniors.
Defensively, Josh Kirson managed to fend off Skylar Wahlund to keep the starting job between the pipes, and was really, really good.
Despite being peppered all game long, Kirson put up 16 saves and a save percentage of 64%. The Buckeyes did just enough to pull out the W against a very improved Cleveland State squad.
And that's about all that was good.
Cleveland State outshot the Buckeyes in both total shots (37 to 30) and shots on goal (25 to 22), converted 50% of their Man Up opportunities (3-6) and didn't allow the Buckeyes to score while Man Down (0-6), won the faceoff battle 13-12, and generally outplayed Ohio State in most phases.
The Vikings were +9 in total shots during the middle quarters, an area where the Buckeyes struggled mightily last year.
Shooting for CSU really let them down, in large part due to Kirson standing on his head. The Vikings shot an abysmal 24% on the day, undermining all the success they had against Ohio State in other phases.
Credit largely goes to the outstanding goalkeeping of Kirson for this stat, as the Buckeyes really struggled defensively. Second slides were a problem, as were initial slides.
Faceoffs were also a surprisingly rough time for the Buckeyes. Inacio, my pick for an All-American this year at FOGO, went 11-23 against Tesler, who ended up at 13-25.
It's spot on for last year's %, but Tesler did it against one of the most talented FOGOs in the country.
Generally, it was a pretty haphazard day in Buckeye lacrosse. Shooting 40% is great, but a shot margin of -7 is unsustainable long-term.
The defense of Borges, Henrick, and Jed Manning had 2 groundballs and a single caused turnover collectively. That needs to improve, as does offball play.
The Man Down offense AND defense need to change. Rapidly. This is year 2 of being awful on all special teams, which is just unacceptable.
To go 0 for 6 on Man Up is inexcusable as a Big Ten team. The Buckeyes doesn't have a plethora of future pros on offense right now, but they should be a top 15 team offensive team. And they just aren't.
The tape available on other teams alone should allow Ohio State to make some changes for the better when Man Up. Especially with Tre Leclaire as a stretch shooter from the right wing.
Why this facet of the game is such a disaster is beyond me. There's a little time to improve, but not much.
Overall, a win is a win, but there are definitely holes to fill. I was surprised at how few freshmen got even a small amount of time.
Only Johnny Wiseman got on the field, and he had a single groundball to show for it. I figured Jack Myers for a lock starter, and he didn't even get on the field.
Omari DeBerry and Colby Smith didn't see the field either, which really surprised me, as both seemed destined to play on the 2nd midfield this year.
Coach Myers said there were a few guys banged up before the game, so that might have something to do with it.
Sloppy penalites and special teams really uglied up today's score. Still, they're 1-0, with the Terriers of Boston looming.