The No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team lost their first game of the season 12-7 Saturday at the hands of the second-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend. With the loss, the Buckeyes move to 9-1 on the season, while the Irish improve to 5-1 on the year.
Notre Dame controlled the game from the first quarter. Despite losing the opening faceoff, the Irish gained possession on an Ohio State turnover early on, scoring the opening goal of the game with 11:44 remaining in the first. Freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire, assisted by junior attackman Colin Chell, tied things back up with his first goal of the game midway through the quarter, but the Irish rattled off three straight scores to end the first quarter up 4-1 on the Buckeyes.
Ohio State narrowed the margin throughout the second quarter. Chell opened things up with a goal 1:30 into the quarter, assisted by junior defenseman Ben Randall. Notre Dame found the back of the net twice more to improve their lead to four, but senior midfielder Tyler Pfister added his first goal of the game to slow things down. The Irish scored with 2:34 remaining in the quarter, but Leclaire found the net twice in the final nine seconds of the half to give the Buckeyes a 7-5 halftime deficit.
Notre Dame widened their lead throughout the third, scoring the first two goals of the half, but Leclaire scored his fourth goal of the game to bring the score to 9-6 in favor of the Irish heading into the final quarter.
Senior attackman Eric Fannell found the back of the net with 10:54 remaining in the fourth, but it would not be enough for the Buckeyes. Notre Dame rattled off three more goals in the final quarter of play to give the Buckeyes their first loss of the year.
Leclaire led Ohio State with four goals on the day on six shots on goal. Just three other Buckeyes scored against Notre Dame.
Senior goalie Tom Carey had nine saves on 21 shots on goal. Notre Dame outshot Ohio State by a 21-16 margin.
Senior specialist Jake Withers had a strong day on faceoffs, winning 14-of-21 attempts. Withers also led the Buckeyes with six of the team’s 26 groundballs.
Next up, Ohio State opens up a formidable Big Ten schedule as they head to State College to face No. 3 Penn State.