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Ohio State lacrosse drops heartbreaker to Rutgers in overtime

The Buckeyes fell 12-11 to the Scarlet Knights in New Jersey.

In their regular season finale, the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team fell 12-11 to the 13th-ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Piscataway in their second-straight overtime game. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 12-3 on the season, including a 3-2 mark in conference play. Rutgers, meanwhile, improves to 10-4 on the year.

Despite winning the opening faceoff, the Buckeyes ceded the first goal of the day to Rutgers 2:34 into the opening quarter. However, less than a minute later, freshman attackman Lukas Buckley tied things up for the Buckeyes. Junior attackman Colin Chell followed up with a goal of his own to give Ohio State its first lead of the day. Midway through the quarter, after Rutgers tied things up once again 2-2, Chell scored his second goal of the game on an assist by senior attackman Eric Fannell. But, while a goal by freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire, once again assisted by Fannell, put the Buckeyes up two late in the first on a man-up opportunity, two quick scores by Rutgers tied the game at four-all heading into the second quarter.

Senior midfielder J.T. Blubaugh gave the Buckeyes a one-point edge on a goal less than a minute into the second quarter, assisted by Leclaire. Fannell then found the back of the net on a backhanded goal, assisted by senior midfielder Tyler Pfister. The Scarlet Knights scored the next two consecutive goals to wipe out the Buckeyes’ lead, but sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski scored on his own rebound for his first of the game midway through the quarter. Rutgers, however, would again tie things up at 7-7 heading into the break.

The Scarlet Knights came out strong in the third, scoring the first two goals of the half to take their largest lead of the day before Leclaire ended the run on a goal of his own. Leclaire then provided the critical assist for senior midfielder Johnny Pearson on a man-up goal, tying things up at nine-all late in the third.

Rutgers again jumped out to a two-goal lead early in the fourth. Then, with 5:51 remaining in regulation, Leclaire found the back of the net to cut the Scarlet Knights’ lead. He then tied things up with his fourth goal of the day with 3:00 remaining in the quarter. And though Ohio State had a shot coming out of a timeout for the win, Rutgers managed a save, sending the game to overtime.

After winning the opening faceoff, Rutgers scored in the first overtime period for the one-point win.

Leclaire’s four goals led the team, while Chell added two of his own. In all, seven players scored for the Buckeyes.

Overall shots were 41-37 in favor of Rutgers. Senior goalie Tom Carey had 11 saves on the day, moving up the list of all-time saves at Ohio State. He now has 436 career saves, good for 10th in program history. Rutgers had nine saves on the day.

Senior midfielder Jake Withers, last week’s Big Ten specialist of the week, won 12-of-19 faceoff attempts on the afternoon. Groundballs were 26-20 in favor of the Buckeyes, with Withers and sophomore defenseman Matt Borges leading Ohio State with four apiece.

Next up, Ohio State hosts the Big Ten men’s lacrosse tournament in Columbus Thursday, with winners moving to the finals Saturday. Ohio State is the No. 2 seed, behind Maryland, the regular season champions.