That would be alright with head lacrosse coach Nick Myers. For the third time in as many years, Ohio State lacrosse will play a league rival in Ohio Stadium. Both previous games were boasted record crowds for regular season lacrosse games.
“We’ve broken the national attendance record in lacrosse the last two years,” said head coach Nick Myers, who hopes to break it again. “We’re going for a third this year.”
This will be senior midfielder Andrew Stimmel’s third time playing in the event.
“It’s an awesome experience and awesome opportunity for us,” he said.
Motivation will not be a problem for the Buckeyes.
“You’re always ready to play and excited any time you step on the field,” Myers said, but the Showdown is different. Ohio Stadium’s unique and storied past combined with the enthusiasm and numerousness of attending Buckeyes create an even unlike any other.
“It’s a special day for our program, certainly,” Myers said. “To play in the most historic stadium in the world, in my opinion, in front of so many fans in scarlet and gray – there will be a special intensity for the game,”
Stimmel agreed, “We couldn’t ask for a better venue. It’s the best – definitely in the lacrosse world – and arguably in college football too.”
Former head coach Joe Breschi’s final year saw Ohio State triumph over Denver on its way to the NCAA tournament. Nick Myers’ first team fell to then-third-ranked Notre Dame in 2009. Air Force will provide a tough but familiar opponent for the Buckeyes in 2010.
“It’s a big rivalry for us,” Stimmel said. “They’re a great team and we’re expecting the best from them.”
Air Force followed Ohio State from the Buckeyes’ former conference, the Greater Western Lacrosse League to the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
According to Jim Tressel, he got the idea when he was a graduate assistant at Syracuse. Back in those days, spring games were considered relatively uninteresting affairs, especially for 1970s Syracuse football. Tressel said that the head coach of the Syracuse’s beloved lacrosse team decided to promote the spring football game by having it played on the same day and field. Three years ago, Tressel decided to give the Buckeye lacrosse team that same benefit.
“For our young men it’s an opportunity to play in front of a lot of Buckeye fans,” Myers said. “We’re very thankful for the opportunity.”
A victory in the Horseshoe would salvage a bumpy season that has not seen consecutive regulation wins or loses. At exactly .500, a win in front of more than tens of thousands of their biggest fans would do much to right the ship for the remainder of the season.
“It’s an exciting day,” Myers said.