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Ohio State men's lacrosse defeats Furman, 8-7

The men's squad opened up the 2016 season with a big win on the road in South Carolina.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team opened their season with an 8-7 win at Furman today in South Carolina.

Things did not start well for the No. 11-ranked Buckeyes, as Furman won the opening faceoff and scored a mere 20 seconds into the game. Attackman J.T. Blubaugh opened up scoring for the Buckeyes with Ohio State’s first goal of the season more than seven minutes into the first quarter. Furman led the Buckeyes 2-1 after the first quarter, but Ohio State tied in the second quarter and ultimately took the lead with six minutes remaining in the first half. The Buckeyes led the Paladins 4-2 at the half.

Furman came back in the third quarter to tie up the game 4-4, then traded goals with Ohio State to enter the fourth quarter tied 5-5. The Buckeyes then scored two unanswered goals in just over a minute to go up 7-5.

The Paladins came back from the two-score deficit, ultimately tying up the game with 33 seconds left in the second half. Ohio State lost the ensuing faceoff, but managed to force a turnover to gain possession in the final seconds of the game. With the game tied, midfielder John Kelly scored with just four seconds remaining to seal the victory for Ohio State.

Junior midfielder Johnny Pearson led Ohio State with two goals, while junior attackman Austin Shanks, a transfer from Bellarmine playing in his first game for Ohio State, had a team-high three points on a goal and two assists. Junior midfielder Jake Withers, taking over faceoff duties for graduated faceoff specialist Christopher May, won 14-of-19 faceoffs on the day. Shots on goal were 38-19 in favor of Ohio State, and junior goalie Tom Carey had five saves on the day.

Ohio State faces Detroit next week in Columbus.