The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team earned its seventh win of the season Saturday at Ohio Stadium, defeating the Vikings of Cleveland State by a 12-4 mark to remain undefeated on the year. The eight-point win is the Buckeyes’ largest margin of victory on the young season.
With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 7-0 on the year as they prepare for the toughest stretch of the season in which they will face three of the nation’s top-four teams.
Ohio State opened up scoring with two-straight goals from freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire. Senior attackman Austin Shanks then put the Buckeyes up three on a man-up goal midway through the quarter. Though the Vikings scored with 4:31 remaining in the opening quarter, senior midfielder Johnny Pearson scored his 10th goal of the year, assisted by sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski, to keep the Buckeyes’ lead at three heading into the second quarter.
Leclaire rounded out his hat trick with a goal just 44 seconds into the second quarter to extend Ohio State’s lead. Freshman attackman Lukas Buckley then broke a nine-minute scoring drought for both teams when he found the back of the net on a man-up opportunity with 5:15 remaining in the quarter, assisted by senior attackman Eric Fannell, giving the Buckeyes a 6-1 lead heading into the break.
Senior midfielder J.T. Blubaugh scored the first goal of the second half for the Buckeyes 2:41 into the third quarter. Cleveland State answered quickly to keep the margin at five, but Ohio State converted the game’s next three goals on shots by junior attackman Hank Bethke, senior midfielder John Kelly and junior midfielder Austin Seiple. Though the Vikings outshot Ohio State 11-8 in the third, the Buckeyes carried a 10-2 lead into the final quarter.
Both teams traded goals in the fourth, with Seiple scoring his second of the day with 10:12 remaining. Cleveland State would answer, but freshman attackman Nick Musci responded with his third goal of the season for the Buckeyes’ final score of the game.
Leclaire led the Buckeyes with three goals on the day, and also leads Ohio State in scoring on the season with 17 goals so far this year.
Overall, Ohio State outshot Cleveland State 37-28. Senior goalie Tom Carey had seven saves on 10 shots on the day, while fellow senior Nick Doyle, who played the final 7:54, had two saves on three shots.
Ohio State went just 8-of-17 on faceoff attempts on the day, with senior specialist Jake Withers winning all four of the attempts he faced. The Buckeyes won the groundball battle, however, picking up 25 of 42 attempts, led by Carey who picked up four individually. Withers’ three groundballs on the day also made him the all-time leader in groundballs in program history at Ohio State with 239 career pick ups.
With the loss, Cleveland State falls to 2-6 on the season. The Vikings’ next game against Hofstra, initially scheduled for Tuesday, was cancelled due to an impending snowstorm due to hit New York this week, but Cleveland State will head to Fairfield Wednesday for their next scheduled matchup. Ohio State, meanwhile, faces 17th-ranked Towson in Maryland Tuesday before returning home to face No. 4 Denver in Columbus Sunday. Looking ahead, the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 1 Notre Dame in South Bend the following weekend before opening conference play against No. 3 Penn State.