COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2012 schedule for Ohio State is shaping up to be a strong test for the Buckeyes, who will take on six teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, including two Top 5 programs. The Buckeyes will play 14 regular-season games, with eight in Columbus. Highlighting the home schedule are non-conference games vs. defending NCAA champion Virginia, Notre Dame, UMass and Penn State and the fifth-annual Showdown in the Shoe.
The Buckeyes’ strength of schedule was rated the toughest in the ECAC Lacrosse League and 19th nationally in Inside Lacrosse’s Face-off Yearbook. Ohio State is in its third season as a member of the ECAC and finished tied for third in the conference standings a season ago, earning a spot in the inaugural league tournament.
The squad’s road games include a neutral-site matchup with Denver in Florida, three ECAC Lacrosse League contests and a game at Michigan, which is joining the Division I ranks this year.
After a Scarlet vs. Gray Scrimmage Jan. 28 and a scrimmage vs. Bucknell Feb. 4 in Columbus, the regular season opens for the Buckeyes Feb. 9 when they host Detroit inside Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Ohio State has won all three games vs. the Titans.
After a Feb. 11 game at Mercer, in its second year at the Division I level, the Buckeyes will travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic. The four-team event, set for Feb. 19 at EverBank Field, features Denver, ranked fifth in the preseason, and Ohio State facing off at 2:00 p.m. followed by host Jacksonville going up against Navy. Tickets for the event can be purchased through Ticketmaster online. Reserved seat tickets are $20 with club seats available for $35. A family four pack is available for $85 that includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks and a parking pass. The game vs. the Pioneers opens ECAC Lacrosse League play for the Buckeyes.
Following the two games in the south, Ohio State will open a six-game homestand, beginning with Colonial Athletic Association member UMass, ranked 12th in the preseason, Feb. 25. Preseason No. 20-ranked Penn State, also a member of the CAA, comes to town March 3 as the teams meet for the ninth year in a row. The Buckeyes are 4-1 against the Nittany Lions in the last five meetings, including back-to-back overtime wins. Last season was the first time Ohio State and Massachusetts faced off. The games vs. both the Minutemen and Nittany Lions are scheduled to be played outdoors in Ohio Stadium but will be moved inside Woody Hayes Athletic Center in the event of inclement weather.
After a home matchup with Northeast Conference member Robert Morris under the lights in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium March 9, defending national champion and preseason No. 1-ranked Virginia of the ACC comes to Columbus March 17. This is the Cavaliers’ second trip to Columbus and first since 2000. The squads faced off in Charlottesville last year and have met five times, dating back to 1968. Ohio State and Robert Morris met each year between 2005-10, with Ohio State 5-1 over the stretch.
Big East member Notre Dame, ranked ninth in the preseason, travels to Columbus for a mid-week game March 21 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes and Irish met in South Bend, Ind., each of the last two years and this is the 32nd-consecutive season the teams will play.
Ohio State returns to league action when it hosts Bellarmine under the lights in JOMS March 24 at 7:00 p.m. The teams have met each of the last five years, with Ohio State 4-1 vs. the Knights.
The Buckeyes will hit the road for back-to-back conference games at Loyola March 31 and at Hobart April 7. The series with the Greyhounds dates to 1961, with four of the five meetings in Baltimore. Ohio State defeated the Statesmen, 11-4, last season and is 2-0 vs. Hobart since the teams became ECAC league foes in 2010.
At 11:00 a.m. April 14, Ohio State and Michigan will meet on the lacrosse field for the first time since 1988. The Wolverines, in their first year as a Division I program, will host the Buckeyes in Michigan Stadium prior to their football team’s spring game. Michigan will compete in the ECAC as an affiliate member during 2012 and become a full-fledged member of the league in 20113.
The next week, Ohio State will host Air Force in the fifth-annual Showdown in the Shoe. The ECAC Lacrosse League game is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. April 21 in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State and Air Force also met in the event in 2010, a 10-6 Buckeye win in front of 31,078 fans.
The final regular season game is a road contest at Fairfield April 28. Ohio State and Fairfield have met nine times, including as members the Great Western Lacrosse League from 2000-05.
For the second-consecutive year, Denver will host the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The Top 4 teams in the final league standings will qualify for the tournament, with the winner earning the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
This year, eight-game season ticket packages will be available for both adults ($37.50) and youth ($24.50). For more information or to purchase, contact Kathleen Dean of the Ohio State ticket sales staff at 614-292-4797.
Single-game tickets for the Buckeyes’ first seven home games will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Jan. 4. More information on purchasing single-game tickets will be released soon.
Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse 2012 Schedule
Feb. 4 BUCKNELL (scrim.) 2:00 p.m.
Feb. 9 DETROIT 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 11 at Mercer 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. Denver (1) 2:00 p.m.
Feb. 25 UMASS 1:00 p.m.
March 3 PENN STATE 1:00 p.m.
March 9 ROBERT MORRIS 7:00 p.m.
March 17 VIRGINIA 1:00 p.m.
March 21 NOTRE DAME 4:00 p.m.
March 24 BELLARMINE 7:00 p.m.
March 31 at Loyola 1:00 p.m.
April 7 at Hobart 12:00 p.m.
April 14 at Michigan 11:00 a.m.
April 21 AIR FORCE (2) 11:00 a.m.
April 28 at Fairfield 1:00 p.m.
May 4 ECAC Semifinals
May 6 ECAC Championship
(1) Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic, Jacksonville, Fla.
(2) Showdown in the Shoe, Ohio Stadium