Denver is coming off a big overtime upset of Notre Dame, contributing to the shakings in rankings this week. However, Ohio State just upset Hofstra by a one point margin, as well. Though the Pioneers are clear favorites, I think the game will be closer than most anticipate.
The Pioneers are on a road to the postseason as it currently stands. By upsetting the Fighting Irish, they moved themselves up in the polls and secured home field advantage in the BIG EAST Tournament at the end of the season.
Sophomore transfer Connor Cannizzaro is sending ripples through the player preseason highlights and is a big push behind DU’s success so far. Sophomore Zach Miller is also a large contributor.
DU’s offense is controlling the ball extremely well and the defense steps where they need to. Though DU was near perfect in their efforts against Notre Dame, they had the field and crowd advantage, and the two teams were playing on equivalently adequate levels.
Ryan LaPlante seems to be standing solid overall in goal. Any weak points in the DU defensive scheme seem to be opposing offenders finding access to short-range/crease shot opportunities. At that point, there’s nothing too great a goalie can do except hope for a clutch save in his efforts.
If being picky, the DU defense needs to work better on turning the players away while also cutting off open ground for opposing cuts.
The Buckeyes are on a lacrosse high. They’re unbeaten at home, where they’ll host Denver, and are coming off an upset of Hofstra.
Jesse King and Carter Brown are leading the Buckeyes with points and command this season. King has 19 goals and 10 assists while Brown’s accumulated 10 goals and nine assists.
Keys to Game
Denver will need to look to stay perfect after a tough weekend and short recovery period combined with flights. Ohio State needs to continue their path to high impact offenses, where they can get more shots and goals. Right now, Ohio State stands below opponents with a shot percentage below .210. They’ll need more than three times that to compete with DU.