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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #26 Ohio State Buckeyes

After reaching the national championship game, Ohio State could not return to the NCAA Tournament in 2018.

Ohio State Athletics

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019. These are not end of season rankings, as some people might think.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series last week with Jacksonville, Boston University, Penn State, Princeton, and Michigan.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#26 Ohio State Buckeyes

Conference: Big Ten
2018 Record: 8-7 (3-2 in Big Ten play)
Postseason: Lost to Johns Hopkins in Big Ten semifinals
Head coach: Nick Myers (#th Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Tre Leclaire (26)
Assists: Tre Leclaire and Jack Jasinski (11)
Points: Tre Leclaire (37)
Faceoffs: Justin Inacio (130-of-212; 61.3%)
Ground balls: Justin Inacio (47)
Caused turnovers: Ben Randall and Erik Evans (15)
Goals against average: Matthew Smidt (8.25 GAA)
Save percentage: Matthew Smidt (51.9%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: D Ben Randall (21 GBs, 15 CTs), D Erik Evans (24 GBs, 15 CTs, 1 G, 1 A), LSM Freddy Freibott (43 GBs, 8 CTs, 1 G), G Matthew Smidt (8.25 GAA, 51.9% SV %), A Colin Chell (13 Gs, 7 As), M John Kelly (10 Gs, 6 As), SSDM Bo Lori (9 GBs, 1 CT), A Hank Bethke (5 Gs, 1 A), D Brendan Barger (8 GBs, 3 CTs)
Senior scoring departing: 49 of 204 points (24%)
Senior starts lost: 64 of 150 (42.7%)

Season Summary

Last year’s national runner-ups had a tough hill to climb in 2018 if they wanted to return to Memorial Day.

It was the start the team wanted, going 4-0 to start the season including a comeback win over Jacksonville in overtime. But things went downhill shortly after with an overtime loss to Marquette. After a tight win two days later against Detroit Mercy, the Buckeyes went without a win for over a month. They lost five straight games to Towson, Denver, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Johns Hopkins. In 2017, Ohio State went 3-2 in that tough stretch.

A rivalry win over Michigan is always a good thing for Nick Myers and his crew, and the Buckeyes used that momentum the following week to upset top-ranked Maryland in College Park before beating Rutgers to get into the Big Ten Tournament. The rematch against Hopkins was another close affair with things getting chippy at times, but the Blue Jays got a late goal to send Ohio State home for the summer.

Without Eric Fannell alongside him, sophomore Tre Leclaire was the top offensive talent on the team with a team-high 37 points on the year. He floated around attack and midfield once again, but freshman Jackson Reid provided a solid foundation at midfield. Junior Jack Jasinski and senior Colin Chell saw time as the main starters at attack along with freshman J.T. Bugliosi, redshirt-sophomore Lukas Buckley, and junior Gale Thorpe. Reid was accompanied by Buckley, freshmen Colby Smith and Omari DeBerry, and senior John Kelly.

On defense, seniors Ben Randall and Erik Evans manned a solid unit that also included junior Matt Borges. Freshman Evan Riss and senior Brendan Barger were also involved at close defense. Freddy Freibott was the primary long stick middie with sophomore Jeff Henrick as the backup. As for the shorties, sophomore Ryan Terefenko returned to dominant form as a two-way guy alongside junior Logan Maccani as well as senior Bo Lori. Matthew Smidt began and ended the season as the starting goalie, but did give way to redshirt-freshman Josh Kirson for eight games and seven starts. Freshman Justin Inacio was a dominant top FOGO with sophomore Christian Feliziani also available.

Looking Ahead

The biggest losses come on the defensive side of the ball as Randall, Evans, and Freibott all depart. There are some young poles in Riss and Henrick available to ease some of the losses. Lori is also a notable loss at the short stick spot. Kirson will probably be the lead dog to become the team’s next starter in goal.

On offense, Leclaire comes back but looks to find his complementary piece to go along with. Could it be Reid or Jasinski? What about Bugliosi stepping up? The Big Ten has always been a difficult conference, and with “The Team Up North” slowly gaining momentum, it puts more pressure on Ohio State to perform and step up as well.

Here’s who the Buckeyes will be adding to their roster for next year.

Ohio State’s Official Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Anthony Ameo Midfield/FO St. Ignatius (OH)
Alec Cerasoli Defense/LSM Loyola Blakefield (MD)
Matt Clibanoff Attack La Salle College High School (PA)
Mike Clibanoff Goalie La Salle College High School (PA)
Buchanan Dunavant Defense/LSM Memphis University School (TN)
Brandon Fisher Midfield Paul VI (VA)
T.J. Hendricks Midfield Avon Old Farms (CT)
Zach Ludd Attack Governor's Academy (MA)
Jack Myers Attack Gonzaga (DC)
Skylar Wahlund Goalie Olentangy Liberty (OH)
George Walsh Defense Calvert Hall (MD)
Scott White Attack Malvern Prep (PA)
Johnny Wiseman Attack Olentangy Liberty (OH)

Poll

How many wins will Ohio State get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    0-6
    (1 vote)
  • 52%
    7-8
    (19 votes)
  • 36%
    9-10
    (13 votes)
  • 8%
    11+
    (3 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now