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Maryland men’s lacrosse vs. Ohio State preview: Terps look to bring win streak to 6

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With two games left in conference play, Maryland can put itself in good position to win the Big Ten.

NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship - Semifinal Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

After a heart-pounding, triple-overtime win over Rutgers last week, Maryland men’s lacrosse goes back on the road to take on No. 7 Ohio State.

The win moved Maryland into sole possession of the nation’s No. 2 ranking, including six first-place votes. The Buckeyes are in prime position to change up the standings of the Big Ten with a win over the Terps.

Ohio State sits at 11-2 on the season, and the Buckeyes’ 2-1 conference record includes wins over Johns Hopkins and Michigan. A win against Maryland would dethrone the Terps atop the conference standings, and would make the last game of the conference slate a must-win for all teams looking to win the Big Ten regular season championship.

Game Info

When and where: 2:00 p.m. ET on April 22 in Columbus, Ohio

How to watch: ESPNEWS

Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2, 2-1)

Head coach Nick Myers: While football reigns supreme in Columbus, Myers has built a budding lacrosse culture in eight years at the helm. Ohio State was on the outside looking in during last year’s NCAA Tournament, but it’s looking to get back into the postseason after a season-long hiatus. Two years ago, Myers coached the Buckeyes to the program’s second conference title ever, downing Maryland at home in the Big Ten tournament.

Players to Know

No. 20 Eric Fannell, senior, attack. A preseason Big Ten honoree, Fannell is the straw that stirs the Buckeyes’ offense. He’s notched a team-high 18 assists, three times more than the next highest assist total.

No. 14 Tre Leclaire, freshman, attack/midfield. Myers brought in one of the most offensively gifted players to ever come out of Canada. Playing in the U-19 2016 World Championships for Team Canada, Leclaire finished with 14 points and a hat trick in the championship game. He currently leads the Buckeyes with 25 goals on the season.

No. 18 Jake Withers, senior, midfield. Another week, another dominant presence at the faceoff Maryland will have to deal with. Withers was named the 2016 Big Ten specialist of the year, leading the Big Ten with a faceoff win percentage of .607. He’s on pace to shatter that mark, with a .644 percentage behind 144 faceoff wins.

Strengths

Scoring defense. The Buckeyes boast the third-best scoring defense in the entire country, allowing just 7.46 goals per contest. When holding opponents to single digits, they’re 10-1. This should make for an interesting matchup against Maryland’s high scoring attack, averaging more than 13 goals per game.

Playing the cream of the crop. The Buckeyes downed Denver when it was the No. 1 team in the country, and have wins over Hopkins and Towson as well.

Weaknesses

Causing turnovers. For a defense that doesn’t give up many goals, the Buckeyes don’t do it from disrupting offenses. With just five caused turnovers per game, they rank as the sixth-worst team in the the country in this category.