It has been a rough few days for the Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team. After losing a close, 8-5 match to No. 12 Hofstra Saturday in a well-fought defensive struggle, the Buckeyes fell to No. 9 Towson 10-9 last night in overtime.
Though the scoring started relatively early Saturday against Hofstra, with both Hofstra and Ohio State trading goals around the 12-minute mark in the first quarter, there was little scoring to be seen throughout the game. Hofstra found the back of the net twice more in the second quarter to bring the score to 3-1, before a Ryan Hunter goal brought the Buckeyes within one just before halftime.
Hofstra scored twice more early in the third quarter to go up by three goals as Ohio State struggled on attack. The Buckeyes finally found the net again on an Eric Fannell goal with 14 minutes remaining in the game, having gone more than a quarter without scoring. After another Hofstra goal, Hunter had his second goal of the day to keep the Buckeyes within two. However, Hofstra managed to tack on two more goals to bring the score to 8-4 with 5:40 remaining in the fourth. Austin Shanks would score once more to close within three, but the Buckeyes would come no closer.
Attackman Ryan Hunter led the Buckeyes in scoring with two goals Saturday. Tom Carey had 10 saves in goal, but shots were 36-28 in favor of Hofstra.
Things did not start any better for Ohio State Tuesday versus Towson, as the Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter. The lead would extend all the way to 6-0, with the Buckeyes finally getting on the board with 39 seconds remaining in the first half on a Hunter goal. The five-score halftime deficit is the largest that Ohio State has faced this season.
Despite a quick score by the Buckeyes to start the third quarter, Towson would drop two more goals to go up 9-2 early on in the second half. However, the tide would quickly turn as Fannell would score three-straight goals to start closing the gap. Fellow attackman Carter Brown would continue the streak heading into the fourth quarter, scoring two more goals to bring the score to 9-7. With subsequent goals by atttackmen J.T. Blubaugh and Shanks, the Buckeyes managed to tie the game at nine-all, overcoming a seven-score deficit and taking the match to their first overtime contest of the season. Ohio State held Towson scoreless for nearly the entire second half, with the Tigers’ last goal coming with 10:42 remaining in the third quarter.
Ohio State won the faceoff in the four-minute overtime period, but Blubaugh’s shot was blocked by Towson. With a turnover and penalty incurred by the Buckeyes, Towson controlled the ball for the remainder of overtime, ultimately scoring with 34 seconds remaining in the period to win the match by a score of 10-9.
Despite a strong defensive performance in the second half, the seven-score deficit was too much to overcome for the Buckeyes. Still, Carey managed a dozen saves on the day. Faceoff specialist Jake Withers was 16-of-22 on faceoffs, and Fannell’s three goals and two assists led the team in both categories.
With the losses, Ohio State has fallen to 5-3 on the season. The schedule does not get any easier for the Buckeyes, who are scheduled to play No. 1 Denver Saturday in Colorado before returning home to face No. 2 Notre Dame.