April 19, 2012
The Air Force lacrosse team returns to action this Saturday, April 28, when it heads to Columbus, Ohio, for an ECAC contest versus Ohio State. The "Showdown in the Shoe" is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. (ET) and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
Live Stats: ohiostatebuckeyes.com
TV: BTN (Tom Hunt - Play-By-Play/Greg Bice - Color)
Series History: Ohio State leads, 17-10
Last Meeting: Last season, the Buckeyes held the Falcons scoreless in the opening half before earning an 8-4 victory at the Academy on April 17.
LAST TIME OUT...
A fourth-quarter rally fell short as the Falcons dropped a 12-10 decision to 17th-ranked Fairfield on Saturday in ECAC action. Sophomore Tommy McKee registered his second-straight hat trick, registering a team-best three goals to lead Air Force. Meanwhile, four other players notched two points (1g, 1a) each for the Falcons.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS...
Air Force comes into this weekend with a 6-5 overall record and 1-3 mark in the ECAC after a narrow 12-10 loss to Fairfield on Saturday.
Freshman Keith Dreyer leads the Falcons' offense with 43 points on the season, including a team-best 25 assists, while sophomore Mike Crampton is the team's top goal scorer with 24 tallies on the year.
SCOUTING THE BUCKEYES...
Ohio State, receiving votes in both the USILA coaches poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, currently holds a 6-6 overall record and 3-1 ledger in the ECAC. The Buckeyes are coming off a 12-9 road victory over Michigan.
Logan Schuss has been an offensive force for the Buckeyes with a team-leading 48 points (34g, 14a) on the season, while Jesse King is the next leading scorer with 19 points (13g, 6a). Meanwhile, Greg Dutton is Ohio State's leader between the pipes, with a 7.45 goals against average and .569 save percentage.
AIR FORCE IN THE STATISTICAL RANKINGS...
In the latest national statistical rankings released by the NCAA (through games of April 15), Air Force ranks in the top 20 in seven categories: man-up offense (11th/.448), points per game (11th/19.45), shot percentage (11th/.316), scoring offense (12th/11.82), assists per game (12th/7.64), scoring margin (15th/+2.45) and ground balls per game (16th/31.73).
In addition, the Falcons have several players who are ranked among the top 35 nationally in various statistical categories. Freshman Keith Dreyer ranks fifth in the nation in assists per game with 2.27 and 15th nationally in points per game (3.91), while sophomore Mike Crampton ranks tied for 28th in goals per game (2.18). In addition, junior goalkeeper Austin Fox is ranked 31st in goals against average (10.09), sophomore Bryan Price is ranked 32nd in face-off win percentage (.524) and freshman Kyle O'Brien is tied for 35th in caused turnovers per game (1.45).
HOW THEY RATE...
Through games of April 15, Ohio State ranks 10th in the nation in scoring defense (7.75), while ranking 16th in caused turnovers per game (8.08) and 17th in man-down defense (.711).
Individually, Logan Schuss ranks sixth in goals per game (2.83) and tied for 10th in points per game (4.0), while goalkeeper Greg Dutton is eighth in goals against average (7.45), 10th in save percentage (.567) and 35th in saves per game (9.27). In addition, Keenan Ochwat ranks 13th nationally in caused turnovers per contest (1.92).
SHOWDOWN IN THE SHOE...
This Saturday's game marks the fifth-annual "Showdown in the Shoe" hosted by Ohio State, with the contest played in Ohio Stadium prior to the Buckeyes' spring football game. It is also the second time that the Falcons have played in the "Showdown in the Shoe," with the first appearance coming in 2010. Ohio State won the contest, 10-6, in front of a crowd of 31,078, a mark which stands as the NCAA record for on-campus regular-season attendance.
SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE...
Saturday's game will be a match-up between offense and defense, as one of the top offensive teams (Air Force) in the nation faces off against one of the top defensive squads (Ohio State). While the Falcons rank 12th in scoring offense with 11.82 goals per game, the Buckeyes are rated 10th in scoring defense, allowing just 7.75 goals per contest.
In addition, Air Force's man-up unit, ranked 11th nationally with a .448 percentage, will be challenged by Ohio State's man-down defense, which is ranked 17th in the nation at 71.1 percent.
ANOTHER HAT TRICK FOR TOMMY...
On Saturday versus Fairfield, sophomore Tommy McKee led the Falcons in scoring, registering three goals for his second-consecutive hat trick and his fourth of the season. McKee now has six hat tricks in his career, ranking second only to classmate Mike Crampton, who has notched seven career hat tricks.
SCORING WITH A LONG STICK...
For the second-straight game, freshman Kyle O'Brien scored multiple points from the LSM position, tallying one goal and one assist against Fairfield. O'Brien now has eight points on the season (3g, 5a), which is tied for third-most nationally among scorers with a long pole.
The Falcons close out the regular season next weekend, April 28, when they visit Hobart in a 7:00 p.m. (ET) contest.