The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team enters 2011 with high expectations. The squad, under third-year head coach Nick Myers, faces a tough schedule but has a strong group of veterans and a number of sophomores who gained valuable experience last season. Those groups will help bring the freshmen along quickly, with all the parts working together to push Buckeye men’s lacrosse to success this season and beyond.
Sophomores Logan Schuss and Jeff Tundo are back after leading the team in scoring as freshmen in 2010. Schuss was named the 2010 ECAC Rookie of the Year and an honorable mention All-American after posting a team-high 31 goals and 25 assists for a Buckeye rookie-record 56 points while starting all 15 games. Tundo had 35 points, with 20 goals and 15 assists, while starting all 15 contests. Senior Tyler Dolphin has seen limited action during his career but has a goal and two assists. Junior Mike Smail played in 12 games in 2010, with four starts, and had eight points with seven assists. Freshman Tyler Frederick was a three-year starter at McDonogh School, with 32 goals and 31 assists as a senior, and earned a spot on the Boy’s 2010 All-Tewaaraton High School Team. Senior Scott Gerland has played in 13 games as a Buckeye.
The offensive midfield has a number of outstanding returnees. Sophomore Dominique Alexander, who was third on the team with 21 goals last year, will lead the way, joined by senior captain Jarred Bowman and senior Paul Beery. Bowman played in all 15 games last year and had seven points, with three goals and four assists, and has seen action in 31 games for the Scarlet and Gray. Beery played in 14 games in 2010, with five starts, and had three goals and three assists. He has competed in 26 games in his Buckeye career.
Seniors Zach Boyt and Mike Pires and sophomores Dan Wertz and Nick Liddil are all expected to see playing time in the offensive midfield. Boyt played in seven games in 2010 and has seen action in 21 career contests, with three starts. Pires has played in 40 games in his career, starting 15, and has 50 career points on 35 goals (including nine man-up tallies) and 15 assists. He had 12 goals and 19 assists a season ago. Wertz played in 14 games as a rookie and had seven points, with three goals and four assists. Liddil saw action in seven games as a true freshman. Others that will compete for playing time include junior Eddie Bambino, sophomore Nick DePhillips, freshmen Mike Italiano and Justin McGinnis and junior Scott Morell. Bambino played in 12 games last year, scoring three goals, and has seen action in 28 games for the Scarlet and Gray, with nine career goals. DePhillips saw limited time in 2010, playing in four contests. Italiano, from Waxhaw, N.C., and Charlotte Catholic, was a two-time first team all-state selection and had 50 goals and 84 points as a senior, while McGinnis, a product of Cathedral and the Hotchkiss School, was a two-time All-American and a three-time all-state honoree in Indiana. Morell has a goal and an assist in his five games played.
The defensive midfield will be led by senior captains Scott Lathrop and Bryce Woodson and sophomore Kevin Mack. Lathrop and Woodson each played in 15 games in 2010, with Lathrop seeing action in 48 career games and Woodson playing in 38 for the Scarlet and Gray. Lathrop has 39 career groundballs, with Woodson scooping 22. Woodson has seven career assists and points and Lathrop has two goals, three assists and five points as a Buckeye. Mack played in 12 games his rookie year and had 12 groundballs. Patrick Toohey, who played in one game as a freshman, will battle for time at d-middie, along with freshman Jake Sharick, an All-American and All-Ohio honoree at Thomas Worthington High School.
Captains Brock Sorensen and Conor David will anchor the Buckeyes at the long-stick midfield position. Sorensen, a junior, has played in 29 games for the Scarlet and Gray, including 13 last year with 10 starts, and has 36 groundballs, five goals and eight points in his career. He had 11 recorded caused turnovers in 2010. David played in all 15 games last year, with 23 groundballs. He has played in 34 games for the Scarlet and Gray, with 37 groundballs and 16 caused turnovers. Mark Crawford, a sophomore who played in two games a year ago, will compete for playing time. Joe Meurer, who played at McDonogh School and was the winner of the C. Markland Kelly Award as the best player in the state of Maryland, is expected to contribute right away for the Buckeyes. He was one of 11 players named to the Boy’s 2010 All-Tewaaraton High School Team.
The Buckeye defense features five returnees, led by juniors Joe Bonanni and Keenan Ochwat and redshirt junior Matt Kawamoto. Bonanni played in all 14 games last year, starting the last 14 contests, and was second on the team with 14 caused turnovers. He has started played in 25 games for the Scarlet and Gray and has 25 career groundballs, including 21 last year. Ochwat had 34 groundballs in 2010 to rank third on the team while playing in all 15 games with two starts. He had 11 caused turnovers as a sophomore and has 17 in his career, along with 55 groundballs. Kawamoto was injured four games into the 2010 campaign, already recording six groundballs and four caused turnovers before his season was cut short. He has played in 32 career games, with 19 starts, and has 31 groundballs and 15 caused turnovers. Jordan Levack, a junior, and senior Packy Campbell Saw limited time in 2010.
Freshman Dominic Imbordino, who played scholastically at St. Charles North, was a second-team All-Illinois player while serving as team captain.
At the faceoff X, sophomore Trey Wilkes is the top returnee. He took the majority of the team’s faceoffs last year, recording 94 wins (including 18 at Robert Morris) and a team-high 41 groundballs. Senior TJ Powell, has seen action in 23 games for the Scarlet and Gray and played in 11 a season ago. FreshmanShawn Kaplan, a product of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Pennsylvania, was a three-time Suburban One League honoree and led his squad in groundballs four-consecutive years. Rookie Steve Knezick, from Columbus, New Jersey, played for Northern Burlington County and Bridgton Academy. He was a first team all-conference and honorable mention all-state honoree in 2009.
Three Buckeyes will battle for playing time in the cage. Sophomore Ryan Brant played in five games last year, with one start (7.60 goals-against average, .619 save percentage). A finalist for Maryland’s state player of the year award, freshman Greg Dutton was a three-year starter at Calvert Hall and earned the Tim Wynne Award given to the outstanding goalie in Maryland. Senior Ryan Keneally has played in two games for the Scarlet and Gray, with an .889 save percentage.