The 20th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes men's lacrosse team narrowly escaped a comeback attempt by the Bellarmine Knights, winning their second game of the weekend 14-11 after leading by as many as seven goals. Ohio State faced Bellarmine in game two of the Midwest Lacrosse Classic in Milwaukee, having defeated Marquette, the host team, Friday night by a score of 12-6.
Similar to Friday’s game against Marquette, the Buckeyes got off to a slow start on both sides of the ball, going down 2-0 early on in the first quarter as Bellarmine scored twice in 44 seconds. Ohio State came back by quarter’s end, however, on goals by freshman attackman Lukas Buckley, assisted by fellow freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire, and freshman midfielder Ryan Terefenko.
Junior attackman Colin Chell’s goal 1:13 into the third quarter gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the game--a lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. Buckley added his second goal of the game just 11 seconds later, with senior attackman Eric Fannell extending the Buckeyes’ lead to three on his first goal of the game with 12:30 remaining in the quarter. Though a Bellarmine goal closed the gap to two, Chell found the back of the net once again to maintain Ohio State’s advantage on a man-up situation. Leclaire added his first goal of the game before Chell earned his hat trick with his third score. Junior midfielder Bo Lori continued the Buckeyes’ run, scoring his first goal of the season midway through the quarter. Leclaire then scored his second goal of the game before Bellarmine finally found the back of the net, ending a five-goal run for the Buckeyes, who headed to the break leading 10-4.
Bellarmine, however, would not go down so easy, opening the third quarter with a goal to close the Buckeyes’ lead to five. Freshman attackman Nick Musci found the back of the net with 10:00 left in the third, but the Knights would score two more goals to close the gap. Senior attackman Austin Shanks added another goal for Ohio State to recover the Buckeyes’ five-point lead. Bellarmine scored once more before Fannell added his second goal of the game to close the third quarter with a 13-8 lead.
The Knights opened the fourth quarter with a goal, but senior midfielder J.T. Blubaugh answered with what would be the Buckeyes’ last score of the game. Bellarmine would score twice more in the final quarter, but Ohio State would hold them off for the win.
Chell led the Buckeyes in scoring with three goals on the day, while Buckley, Fannell and Leclaire each had two. Fannell also had three assists, giving him a team-high, five-point performance on the day.
Junior goalie Matthew Smidt, in his second career start at Ohio State, had seven saves in 60 minutes. Shots on goal were 24-18 in favor of the Buckeyes, though the Knights had 10 saves to the Buckeyes’ seven.
Senior specialist Jake Withers split time with freshman Christian Feliziani, going a collective 22-for-28 on faceoff attempts for Ohio State. The Buckeyes also recovered 33 groundballs to Bellarmine’s 19, with Withers leading Ohio State’s effort with nine recoveries.
With the loss, Bellarmine falls to 1-4 on the season and heads home to face Mount St. Mary’s next week. Ohio State, meanwhile, improves to 6-0 on the year. Next up, the Buckeyes head back to Columbus to face Cleveland State.