“We’re not scared of anybody. We came out, and we knew they were going to try to intimidate us.”
-Ohio State lacrosse midfielder Jack Jasinski, via Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun
Big Ten lacrosse may be a relatively new endeavor (it only became an official conference sport in 2015), but rivalries are already becoming strongly ingrained in the cultures of the six participating teams. Maryland and Johns Hopkins, which is part of the Big Ten in both men’s and women’s lacrosse, have the longest-standing rivalry, with a series dating back to 1895. Recently, though, things have started to get tense between Ohio State and Maryland whenever the two teams face off, including the pair’s most recent match yesterday.
The Ohio State lacrosse team has had an up-and-down season, but yesterday marked the biggest high of the year as the Buckeyes took down top-ranked Maryland in College Park by a score of 12-10. With the win, the Buckeyes stay alive in the Big Ten as they head into their final regular season matchup against Rutgers this weekend. The game was a rematch of the 2017 NCAA Championship game, which the Terps won 9-6.
In both instances, tensions broke out among the two squads. Yesterday, during the post-game press conference, junior midfielder Jack Jasinski, who recorded a career-high five assists and two goals in the win, alleged that Maryland players broke an unwritten rule during warmups which bars players from crossing the opponent’s 50-yard line. “We stood our ground and told them ‘Hey, you’re not going to come here and bully us,’” said Jasinski. “So that was what we did on the first play of the game. Came down the field, one shot and one goal.” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers backed up Jasinski when asked about the incident.
Maryland, meanwhile, alleged that Ohio State players were barking at them during warmups and crossed the 50 themselves. “We don’t seem to have this problem with other teams,” said head coach John Tillman.
The teams scuffled following last season’s Big Ten Championship game, also won by the Terps.
“I feel like I am the best safety here. I’m a hybrid safety. I can play in the box, I’ve got post range and I can also play man-to-man.”
-Ohio State safety Damon Webb, via Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors
Ohio State had 11 players invited to the NFL Combine earlier this year, but, of this group, only seven seem to be sure draft picks heading into this weekend’s NFL Draft. Cornerback Denzel Ward is projected as a consensus first-round selection, while defensive end Sam Hubbard and center Billy Price will likely go within the first couple rounds. Offensive tackle Jamarco Jones, linebacker Jerome Baker and defensive ends Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes are all currently projected to go within the first five rounds or so.
That, however, is where the uncertainty begins. Safety Damon Webb is considered by some to be a late-round pick, while quarterback J.T. Barrett, tight end Marcus Baugh and linebacker Chris Worley haven’t appeared on most major mock drafts at all. Webb is listed as the No. 156-overall player and the seventh-best strong safety in this year’s draft according to CBS Sports. Some analysts, like Pro Football Focus’s Steve Palazzolo, have called Webb the “best pure free safety” in this year’s draft, but with the other talent at safety, that’s no guarantee that Webb will be selected.
Barrett, despite his outstanding college career, is listed as just the 15th-best quarterback in the draft. Baugh, meanwhile, is going up against a number of outstanding tight ends from the Big Ten, including Mike Gesicki from Penn State, Ian Thomas from Indiana and Troy Fumagalli of Wisconsin. Worley is listed as the No. 20 outside linebacker in the draft. While the chances of getting drafted may be slim, all three of these multi-year starters have a shot at getting picked up as free agents after the draft.
In addition to this group, defensive tackles Tracy Sprinkle and Michael Hill and safety Erick Smith, who worked out for NFL scouts at Ohio State’s pro day, will likely not be drafted, but do have a chance to break into the NFL as free agents.
“We are fortunate to add Brian Maisonneuve to our outstanding lineup of head coaches. He has competed at a high level and coached in one of the most successful collegiate programs nationally. We look forward to the opportunities our student athletes will have under Brian’s direction.”
-Ohio State AD Gene Smith, via The Ohio State University
Ohio State athletics is welcoming a local star back to Columbus to lead the men’s soccer team following the retirement of John Bluem, who led the team for more than two decades. Bluem retired in March as the winningest coach in program history, having accrued a 206-161-58 record in 21 seasons. Now, Brian Maisonneuve of Columbus Crew fame will be taking the helm in the first head coaching role of his career back in Columbus.
An associate head coach at Indiana for the past nine seasons, Maisonneuve helped lead the Hoosiers to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and a national title in 2012. Maisonneuve was paired with head coach Todd Yeagley, a former college teammate and the son of legendary Indiana coach Jerry Yeagley. While at Indiana, Maisonneuve was consistently recognized as one of the top assistant coaches in the country, including earning the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Assistant Coach of the Year honors for the Great Lakes Region twice. He also spent two seasons as an assistant at Louisville and four years with the U.S. U-17 national team.
A former Hoosier himself, Maisonneuve was an All-American at Indiana under Yeagley, taking his team to the national championship as a senior and earning the Hermann Trophy as the nation’s top college soccer player. He finished his time in Bloomington as a two-time All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year. After college, Maisonneuve was allocated to the Columbus Crew prior to the start of the first MLS season in 1996. He wound up spending his entire professional career with the Crew. On the world stage, Maisonneuve was part of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, leading the unit with two goals, and 1998 World Cup squad.
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