The tournament, which also will feature The Ohio State University and Canisius, will take place at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State campus in Columbus. OWU will get its first action against Canisius at 2:15 p.m., and will follow that up with a matchup against OSU at 3:30 pm.
The event was created in honor of Colleen Dobbins, the daughter of Dave Dobbins, assistant men’s lacrosse coach at OSU, and his wife, Erin. Colleen died suddenly last spring at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She was five and a half months old.
After Colleen died, Lifeline of Ohio and Nationwide Children’s Hospital helped make her an organ donor and saved the lives of two other children. So, in her memory, the event hopes to continue helping sick children like Colleen did.
Ohio Wesleyan head coach Mike Plantholt is excited to play in this charity event along with two solid Division I programs.
According to Plantholt, OSU coach Nick Myers gave him a call asking if he would be interested in participating in the event. Naturally, he jumped on the opportunity to play high-quality teams for a great cause.
Ohio State finished last season 8-8 with big wins over Penn State and 11th-ranked North Carolina. OSU finished just outside the top 20 in the nation last year, and Plantholt noted that they have been an excellent program for a while.
“OSU has been ranked in the top 20 in the nation as recently as 2008,” he said.
Canisius has also been good in the recent past, winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in 2008. They also appeared in their first NCAA tournament in 2008, falling to perennial powerhouse Syracuse.
To compete with these clubs, Plantholt wants to play his starters for at least a portion of both games. But, he admitted, the younger players also need some time to show their value on the field before the season starts.
“Each team only gets one day of scrimmage during the fall,” said Plantholt. The lack of exhibitions before the season, therefore, makes it imperative that underclassmen get their moment to shine in October.”
An old rivalry also will be renewed when OWU and OSU square off at the tournament. The schools played one another yearly when both were members of the Midwest Lacrosse Association, and Ohio Wesleyan holds a 34-15 lead in the all-time series.
There will be no admission at the gate, but a donation of $5 will be requested to support sick children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.