Fairfield versus Ohio State Pre Game Report

To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse- The #14/#17 Fairfield Men’s Lacrosse Stags play their last home game of the 2014 season on Saturday April 26, 2014. The Stags will take on fellow ECAC Lacrosse League member, the Ohio State Buckeyes in a contest that will help determine seeding for the ECAC Lacrosse League post season conference tournament. Game is scheduled to start at 1 PM and will be played on Lessing Field. Fairfield has an overall record of 10-3 and 2-1 in ECAC Lacrosse League play. The Buckeyes currently have a 6-6 overall record and are 3-0 in ECAC Lacrosse League play. Last season, Ohio State beat Fairfield 14-8 in Columbus, Ohio. Next season Ohio State will join the new Big 10 Lacrosse League. This maybe the last time the Stags and Buckeyes play in a regular season game for the near future.
Ohio State started the 2014 season playing on the road against Johns Hopkins. The Buckeyes lost to the Blue Jays by a 10-9 score in three overtimes. OSU in their second game played UMass in the Mo Southwest Grill Classic in Jacksonville, Florida. The game was nationally televised on ESPNU. The Minutemen beat the Buckeyes in a back and forth game with the final score being 12-11 in OT. Ohio State’s first two games were lost in OT! Not a great way to start the season. Ohio State had its first home game against Marquette. The Buckeyes beat Marquette who are playing its their second D1 season. The final score was 11-8. Penn State came to Columbus, Ohio to take on OSU. PSU beat the Buckeye by an 11-8 final margin. Ohio State next traveled to Hempstead, NY to take on the Hofstra. The Pride beats the Buckeyes by a 7-5 score. The Buckeyes went to Colorado and lost to the Denver Pioneers by a 9-5 score. In their first six games, the Buckeyes’ record was 1-5. Ohio State now has a three game home stand. In its first ECAC Lacrosse League game, the Buckeyes dispatched Bellarmine by a 10-7 score. Notre Dame came to Columbus and the Fighting Irish went home victors by a 13-7 final. The Buckeyes took out some season long frustrations by whipping Jacksonville, 13-2. The Buckeyes opened the month of April by beating Delaware on the road. The final score was 15-9. Back at home and in ECAC Lacrosse League play, Ohio State defeated Michigan with 15-6 being the final score. On Saturday, the Buckeyes outlasted the Air Force Falcons by an 8-6 final score. The teams only scored one goal each in the first quarter. Halftime saw the Buckeyes leading by a 3-2 score. Ohio State got the first goal of the second half for a two goal lead. Air Force scored two unanswered goals to tie the game at 4-4. Ohio State scored next and the Falcons responded with a goal. The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 5-5. Ohio State starts the fourth quarter a man up when Air Force is given by the officials a three minute unreleasable unsportsmanlike penalty. Ohio State went two man up when Air Force received a 30 second delay of game penalty at 13:47. Ohio State was able to get one goal during the sustained penalty to take a 6-5 lead. The Buckeyes held the lead for over nine minutes until Air Force tied the game at 6-6 with just over four minutes remaining in the game. Ohio State got the game winner to make it 7-6 at the 3:04 mark of the fourth quarter. With 1:46 remaining in the game, Air Force doubles the ball and leaves the goal unattended. Ohio State was able to send the ball into an empty net for a 8-6 lead. Ohio State’s coach Nick Myers commented after the game-“This was an extremely hard fought game”. He further commented that “Air Force is a very good lacrosse team”.
After twelve games, the Buckeyes have averaged 9.75 goals per game. OSU has scored 117 goals this year while taking 390 shots for a .300 shot percentage. The opposition has scored 99 goals after taking 359 shots for a .276 shot percentage. The Buckeyes have scored 82 goals with an assist and the opposition scored 47 goals via an assist. Ohio State is credited with 35 unassisted goals and their opponents have 52 unassisted goals. The Buckeyes man up team has put the ball in the back of the cage 12 times out of 42 chances for a .286 conversion rate. The opposition’s man up unit has countered with 12 goals out of 33 attempts for a .364 conversion rate. Buckeyes opponents have scored two man down goals this season.
Ohio State scooped up 343 ground ball and their opponents have gotten 317 ground balls. The Buckeyes have 171 turnovers this season while their opponents have 182 turnovers. The OSU defense has 79 caused turnovers and their opposition has 51 caused turnovers. Ohio State’s face off unit has 121 wins out of 259 chances for a .467 win percentage. The opponents have 138 wins out of the 259 face offs for a .533 face off percentage. On clears, the Buckeyes have been successful 199 times out of 217 chances for a .917 clear percentage. Their opponents have cleared the ball 180 out of 218 tries for a .826 clear percentage. The Buckeyes have been flagged 39 times for 31.00 minutes of penalty time. Their opposition has received 43 penalties for 42.00 minutes.
The Buckeyes have scored 32 goals in the fourth quarter this season. Ohio State’s offense has scored 30 goals in the third quarter and 28 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Buckeyes’ have tallied 27 goals. Ohio State has not scored in the three OT periods they have played in this season. The opposition has countered with 29 goals in the fourth quarter and 28 goals in the third quarter. Opponents hit the back of the nets 27 times in the second quarter and 13 goals in the first quarter. Opponents have scored in the first and third OT periods played this season. Ohio State has taken 108 shots in the fourth quarter in 2014 and 102 shots in the second quarter. The Buckeyes have 85 shots in the first stanza and 86 shots in the third quarter. In OT, OSU has had six shots in the first OT period, and no shots in the second and third OT sessions. Their opponents’ best quarter for shots is the third quarter with 96 shots. The opposition has fired off 89 shots in the second and fourth quarters. The lowest amount of shots taken by their opponents is 81 shots in the first quarter. In OT, the opposition got two shots in the first period, and one each in the second and third sessions of extra play.
Ohio State’s leading scorer is # 19 Jessie King who has scored 25 goals and has 22 assists for 47 points. Carter Brown, # 14 is second on the team in scoring. He has 20 goals and 11 assists for a 31 point total in 2014. Evans Turner has scored 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points. Reegan Comeault has eleven goals and thirteen assists for 24 points in this season’s campaign. With 17 points made up of twelve goals and five assists is David Planning and Ryan Hunter has 15 points with 12 goals and three assists. Also scoring for the Buckeyes are J. T. Bluberg with 8 points, Geordie Koerber with 6 points and Adam Trombley with five points. Credited with four points are Rick Lewis and John Kelly. One Buckeye has two points and seven players have one point. Their main FOGO is Jake Withers. This year, he has won 99 draws out of 189 chances for a .524 winning percentage. Dominic Imbordino has taken 32 face offs winning six for a .187 winning percentage. Spencer Matches has won 10 of the 22 face offs he has taken for a .454 winning percentage. Kacy Kapinos has taken 14 face offs and won six for a .428 winning percentage. The goal keeper spot for the Buckeyes has changed since the beginning of the season. Greg Dutton started the first six games of the season. In 2013 he was the second team ECAC Lacrosse League Goalkeeper. He started all but 2 games due to injury for the Ohio State in 2013. Dutton has played over 372 minutes in 2014 with 56 goals against and 9.01 goals against average. He has been credited with 54 saves for a .491 save percentage. Nick Doyle started the Bellarmine game replacing Dutton. Doyle in two games played 62 minutes while allowing seven goals and has 6.77 goals against average. Scott Spencer started in goal against Notre Dame and the last four games Ohio State has played. Spencer has played 283 minutes and has allowed 35 goals for a 7.42 goals against average. He also has 46 saves for a .568 save percentage. Appearing in one game, Cameron Stephens has allowed one goal for a 4.54 goals against average in 13 plus minutes in goal. Stephens was not credited with a save. Kevin Duffey played almost 2 minutes in goal the season and has no goals against or saves.
Fairfield is averaging 11.85 goals per game in the 2014 season while holding the opposition to 8.92 goals per game. The Stags have scored 154 goals in its thirteen games out of 393 shots for a .392 shot percentage. The opponents scored 116 goals out of 454 shots for a .256 shot percentage. Eighty one of the Stags goals came via an assist while the opponents scored sixty assisted goals. Fairfield has 73 unassisted goals and the opposition has scored 52 unassisted goals. Fairfield has scored fifteen times out of 40 man up chances for a .375 conversion rate. Fairfield’s man down defense has allowed ten extra man goals this season out of thirty six chances for a .278 conversion rate.
Fairfield has scooped up 362 ground balls in 2014 and the opposition has captured 375 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 170 times and the opponents had 180 turnovers. Fairfield has 92 caused turnovers while the Stags’ opponents have been credited with 95 caused turnovers. In the face off game, the Stags won 143 times out of 314 chances for .455 winning percentage. The opposition are 171 of 314 face offs for a .545 winning percentage. The Stags have successfully cleared 214 times out of 238 chances for a .899 clear percentage this season. The opponents cleared 176 times successfully out of 198 chances for a .889 clear percentage. Officials flagged the Stags 37 times in the twelve games for 32.00 minutes and the opponents received 41 penalties for 36.30 minutes of penalty time.
Fairfield has scored forty two times in the fourth quarter and 40 times in the second quarter. The Stags scored thirty six times in the first quarter. Fairfield has hit the back of the net 35 times in the third period. The team also has the one OT goal. The opponents scored 32 goals in the second quarter and 29 goals in the third stanza. Twenty eight goals have been scored in the first period and 27 goals in the fourth quarter by the opposition. The fourth quarter has seen the Stags taking 113 shots, 99 shots in the second quarter, 93 times in the third quarter and 87 shots in the first quarter. Fairfield has taken one big shot in OT. Stags’ opponents have 125 shots in the fourth quarter, 113 in the first quarter, 110 shots in the second quarter, 104 shots in third quarter and two in the OT period.
Colin McLinden leads the team in scoring with 41 points, 15 goals and 26 assists. TJ Neubauer now leads the team in goals with 29 and he has five assists for 34 points. Tristan Sperry is second on the team for points scored. He has 39 points with 22 goals and 17 assists. Eric Warden has 30 points in the 2014 season. Warden has twenty eight goals and two assists. Dave Fleming has 21 goals and six assists for 27 points. Jake Knostman has thirteen goals and six assists. Drew Federico has twelve goals and three assists. Conor Dalton has scored seven goals and three assists in 2014 while Mikey Gulasey has scored three goals and two assists for five points. Alex Cramer has three goals and three assists in the 2014 campaign. Nico Panepinto has four points and Nick Guida has one goal and two assists. Bryan Barry has two assists this season. Jack Murphy played 761 plus minutes in the thirteen games played. One hundred twelve goals have been scored against him for a 8.82 goals against average. He has been credited with 123 saves for a .523 save percentage. Tyler Behring played 20 plus minutes in the nets in relief of Murphy. The relief appearances have come in four games. Four goals have been scored against him for a 11.58 goals against average and credited with three saves for a .429 save percentage.
Spoke to Coach Copelen this week about how the seedings for the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament next week would work if Fairfield, Ohio State and Air Force are all 3-1 in ECAC Lacrosse League play at the end of Saturday. Winner between the Stags and Buckeyes gets the #1 seed and will play Michigan on May 1st. Loser of the game will have to play Air Force. There is a lot at stake for the Stags on Saturday. The #1 seed is important and winning a share of the last ECAC Lacrosse League title in its last season is another important milestone. Been watching the weather all week to see what is in store for Saturday. Some rain is expected Friday night and lingering into Saturday morning and maybe a shower midday. Suppose to be in the high 60s or even 70 degrees plus. Sounds like the weather will co-operate. Hope many of you can attend the Friends Reception, the Groundbreaking for Rafferty Stadium, honoring the 2014 seniors, the important game, Ted Spencer’s induction into the Fairfield Athletic Hall of Fame at halftime and the post game reception for Ted. I understand Ted’s whole family is coming. It will be great to see Denise, Ted’s wife who was always gracious and warm when I met her. Denise was very supportive of the Team and the University. Ted’s sons Ben and Devin are now high school lacrosse players. It is an important that Ted is being recognized for ALL his contributions in getting the lacrosse program at Fairfield off to a great start as a Division 1 team and making the leap from being a club team. If you have a chance, please come Saturday and congratulate and Ted and the entire Spencer Family on Saturday. As the kids say, when the Spencer Family was at Fairfield, “they were all in.”
Ok, here are MY final thoughts on the Ohio State game. As you know, my buddy Quint from Inside Lacrosse loves the Ohio State goalkeeper Spencer. He played in only played in two games in 2013. Was the third OSU goal keeper to get a start in 2014. Dutton started the first six games, Doyle played against Bellarmine. Spencer has been in goal for five games. Gave up 13 goals to Notre Dame, beat Jacksonville with 6 saves in 45 minutes of play facing 12 shots, Delaware who scored 9 goals and 9 saves, Michigan with 9 saves and Air Force. The four wins are not exactly against lacrosse top shelf teams. Granted the win over Air Force with 14 saves was impressive. I am more concerned about the Canadian attackers for Ohio State. They have five players from Canada. Three of the top five Ohio States scores are from Canada-King, Evans and Comeault. OSU was rated in the Top 20 in the preseason polls. They started slowly with the first two games being losses in OT. They have won four straight games. All are pluses for Ohio State. The Stags are rested not having played for the past 11 days. This should have given the team time to heal from some of the season long aches and pains. Saturday is Senior Day for the Stags. Fairfield will have a lot of motivation with it being Senior Day. Murphy and the Stags defense of Armour, Perrault, and Buchanan have done great jobs defending the Canadian gunners this season. The Stags offense has several explosive players and the OSU defense cannot shut down one player. Roe and DiGiacomo are playing at their best in the face off circle in the last three games with great results. OSU scores lots of goals via the assist so it will be important for the defense to cut the passing lanes. Like against Quinnipiac, the Stags turnovers need to be less than 10. Do not want to make a prediction but it will be a well played high level Division 1, ECAC Lacrosse League Championship game played before a big crowd. GO STAGS!! Roger Yergeau ’73

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