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Men's Lacrosse: Prediction Review

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beserkr29's picture
May 21, 2024 at 5:24pm

Whew. The 2024 postmortem was a 4,500 word monstrosity of the second straight 9-loss season for Buckeye men’s lacrosse. Going to change gears and talk about me. Because you lot haven’t heard enough already. This post will go through some of my predictions and actual game outcomes, so we can have a nice laugh about how wrong or right 1 was before the season, week to week, and even after. Cue the clown music.

Season preview set the stage for the season. Reading it back, I was optimistic but realistic. The unit previews were hard, given the lack of data the nation had on how the new players would fit in, the new offense, etc. I didn’t make a lot of detailed predictions statistically, aside from predicting starters with shots in the dark. I was under 50% on the opening day predictions, which

I should have expected, looking back on it. Still blows my mind that Henry Blake started game 1, not Danny Brady or Caleb Fyock.

At any rate, my conclusion was that the Buckeyes would be a game over .500, but would lose in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament to end the season. I predicted two Power 2 wins (TTUN and Rutgers), but hedged towards losing a lot more than winning against other good teams. I gave Ohio State the benefit of the doubt and thought they might pick off a game or two against their non-conference opponents. That was foolish. I completely flubbed the record, but ultimately was correct on the course the season would take. Ohio State did, in fact, lose in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament to end the year. The team just looked a lot more helpless than anyone hoped all year long.

Week to week, things took a much brighter turn for my prognosticating. At least in terms of results. I predicted wins against the opening ASUN opponents and, little surprise, there were no upsets. The scores certainly weren’t all that close to being correct, but I will take the Ws. Then, of course, we moved into the meat of the schedule.

In the Virginia matchup, I didn’t beat around the bush. It was going to be a hard game for Buckeye fans. I predicted a 17-12 loss, and it ended up being 14-8 in favor of the Cavaliers. I think that’s when my stomach dropped. The offense was just very, very bad that game. And the defense got bailed out by Caleb Fyock over and over. Score could easily have been over 20 for UVA. Another mostly good look for me.

Up next, the Cornell game. Optimistically, I predicted the same 17-12 score in a Buckeye loss. Cornell was too powerful on offense, even with a pretty darn bad defense. In an interesting surprise, Ohio State actually somewhat overperformed my expectations, falling 15-11. The way Ohio State lost was infuriating, but again, I was right about the game and that’s all that matters.

For some reason, the nonconference slate had me obsessed with the number 17. In this case, I thought Notre Dame would hit 17 while the Buckeyes would struggle to get 10 goals. Depressingly, Ohio State kept it close all game, until Notre Dame managed to squeeze it out late in a 13-10 Buckeye loss. | absolutely nailed the Buckeye goal total, even if the defense managed to hold up a little better than I thought it would. I don’t have a betting line handy, but the Buckeyes would almost certainly have covered against my prediction.

Detroit Mercy isn’t even worth talking about. It was a gimme game with nothing to play for. Ohio State rolled in a laugher. I take no pride in predicting anything there.

Denver is another matter. Ohio State rolled the Titans, but the Pioneers were a completely different animal. Matt Brown had his team cruising, and I didn’t think the Buckeyes would do well. Called it a 12-7 struggle fest for OSU. Shaming me, the Buckeyes actually held up on defense, keeping the final score to 9-6. The Buckeye offense was even more pathetic than the terribly low bar I set for them, making me right in the worst possible way. After the Cornell game I didn’t think that anything was going to happen in the postseason for Ohio State, and that was cemented here.

With the nonconference schedule mercifully done, Ohio State turned to the Big Ten and Penn State. The loss to Denver had me very depressed and upset. Penn State had been playing exceptionally well. And I went with the nuclear outcome of Penn State winning 17-8.

Horribly, the game was much, much closer, with Penn State essentially needing a perfect second half to eke out a 12-9 win. I had Ohio State completely figured out on offense, but was still struggling to figure out the defense’s capabilities. Holding Penn State down was remarkable, but the outcome was the same. So far, on a weekly basis, I hit 100% accuracy on the moneyline.

Rutgers welcomed Ohio State next, and I actually was quite positive for once. I even predicted an Ohio State win! Shocking scenes. Granted, that took the form of an 8-7 overtime squeaker, but I said there would something to celebrate! And the Buckeyes took it personally. After 60 minutes, the Buckeyes completely dominated Rutgers in every facet, easily coasting to a 14-8 win, and making me look brilliant and dumb at the same time. But the Buckeyes won and I was still batting 1.000.

With the mighty Terrapins of Maryland up next, | started feeling my oats. Both teams were awful all year on offense. But I thought the Buckeyes could struggle to forcing OT, falling by a score of 10-9. Ohio State did exactly that, except the score was 8-7 and somehow it was worse in reality than my nightmare scenario. The Buckeyes allowed Maryland to kill them for two pole Zoals in transition, and had no offensive capacity to overcome Maryland’s worst offense in what has to be a decade. The Buckeyes were smothered, and it was soul crushing. Positive: I nailed the Score difference and the outcome.

With Johns Hopkins coming up next, I was still somehow both doubting the defense (sorry, Travis) AND overestimating the offense. I thought that Ohio State would lose. They did.

I also thought Johns Hopkins would score many goals, the Buckeyes would score more than 10 goals, and the game would be decided in regulation. None of those happened. Ohio State squandered a lead late, forced OT, and then gave Hopkins chance after chance to steal a 11-10 victory from the Jaws of defeat. Hopkins obliged. While nailing the outcome, I was totally wrong about the flow of the game. Still. A correct prediction is a correct prediction.

Then I botched it. Completely. My run of correct game outcome predictions went from perfect to ruined. I thought that Ohio State had it in them to beat their archrivals, That the Buckeyes could do in lacrosse what the football team couldn’t do in the last three tries. Beat the Wolverines. I even thought the game wouldn’t be that close, calling for 4 relatively easy Buckeye win of 13-9.

And instead, we watched Ohio State get absolutely obliterated until the final quarter, when the Wolverines tried to give the game away. Still, the team up north held on, and won 13-12. To say I was, and am, livid would be an understatement.

The next week, I was just mad. I am not a beacon of joy when Ohio State is bad anyway, but it wasn’t pretty in the next preview. Called for a slightly bigger win by TTUN, 15-12. I was two thirds right.

The Wolverines won, and they scored 15 goals. I just gave the Ohio State offense too much credit (again), and they let me down. Only 9 goals were scored by Ohio State that day, and the entirety of 11 W is still pretty salty about it. Rightfully so. Thus ended the prediction season of 2024.

Unfortunately, I did pretty well.

Score predictions were abysmal. I’ll give you that. I got zero scores correct, so never gamble lines based on those. Not that I give gambling advice, but avoid my thoughts on the Buckeyes’ lines. It’s bad news.

On the other hand, if you’re a moneyline person, I went 14-1 this season. I hit 15-1 if you count me calling my shot that the Buckeyes would lose in the Big Ten Tournament’s first round, ending their season. I think 93% accuracy in picking games is pretty good. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Aside from just being a vanity post, this season shows how fickle the game of lacrosse can be. Sure, you can make major assumptions. But there are a lot of variables to every game, all season long. The team was better in conference than it was out of conference this season. Including a nice road win over Rutgers.

That said, the team still was one of the worst offensive teams in the country all year, and were handed a Nebraska-esque 9 losses by thin margins. Not quite one score games, but a lot were close.

I'm still a bit shattered at what transpired, to be honest. And at the complete lack of interest in doing better at the coaching level. But hey. The year is done. Maybe the portal will...oh.

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

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