Ohio State (13-3) has won seven straight since a March 30 loss to Loyola. The Buckeyes are shooting nearly 40 percent during the streak. I was in Columbus for national signing day in January and watched lacrosse practice. Right away, it was apparent that this is an extremely well-coached team. Coach Nick Myers (pictured) tailored his system to a roster loaded with Canadians and Baltimore natives. They do unorthodox drills, and innovation has benefits. Why have they been successful? Ohio State has a lethal extra-man unit, for one. The Buckeyes also don't turn the ball over much, don't foul often, use multiple defensive schemes and own the No. 8 rated faceoff percentage (.578) in the country. Southpaw Logan Schuss (43, 26) from British Columbia has been their offensive catalyst for four years. He has 145 career goals in 61 games because of his intellect, vision and snappy shooting release. "Logan understands defensive fronts," Myers said. "He can be a setup man or finisher. He's more versatile than the typical lefty Canadian." Senior midfielder Dominique Alexander (9, 18) is a prime reason the Buckeyes ride a wave of momentum into the quarterfinals. "He's played every shift for four years," Myers said. "We ask him to play offense, defense and man-down. He makes good decisions when he's tired. He's a worker, a student of the game who has a knack for reading slides." The roster has a Charm City flavor, with goalie Greg Dutton (Calvert Hall), attackman Carter Brown (Calvert Hall), defenseman Robby Haus (Gilman), midfielder Kacy Kapinos (Loyola), defenseman Joe Meurer (McDonogh) and midfielder Patrick Toohey (McDonogh). When you face Cornell, buckle up and embrace the dogfight. The Buckeyes are seeded No. 3 but are a slight underdog. Their biggest challenge will be to handle the spotlight of a quarterfinal while devising and executing a variety of defensive schemes to keep Pannell off balance.
Ohio State University Athletics
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