The ninth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team earned its first conference win of the season with a gritty, 13-9 victory over the No. 11 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in Columbus. It was just the second win all-time for Ohio State over the Blue Jays, and helped to redeem the Buckeyes, who headed into the matchup having lost their last two games versus No. 1 Penn State and No. 4 Notre Dame.
Junior attackman Colin Chell opened up scoring with a goal 1:06 into the opening quarter to give the Buckeyes an early edge. The Blue Jays, however, would score the next two to gain their first lead of the game. Ohio State tied things back up on a goal by senior specialist Jake Withers--his first goal of the season. But Johns Hopkins added two more goals to open up their lead late in the first. Senior midfielder Johnny Pearson, however, scored his first goal of the game, assisted by freshman attackman Lukas Buckley, to keep things close, and though the Blue Jays added another goal at the end of the quarter, Ohio State was down just two goals heading into the second quarter.
Ohio State came out in dominant fashion in the second, scoring the three goals of the quarter in quick succession. Sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski started the Buckeyes off, finding the back of the net with 12:10 remaining in the half. Senior attackman Austin Shanks and Pearson then scored within 10 seconds of one another on a man-up opportunity to earn a one-point lead early in the quarter. The Blue Jays, however, held the Buckeyes scoreless for the remainder of the half, adding two goals late in the quarter to take a narrow, 7-6 lead into the break.
The Buckeyes would not go down so easily, though. Senior attackman Eric Fannell scored with 13:08 remaining in the quarter, ending a 13-minute scoring drought and tying things back up. Buckley scored his first goal of the game to give Ohio State the lead, and quickly added his second with four seconds remaining in the quarter to give the Buckeyes a 9-7 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire opened up the quarter with his first goal of the game with 13:21 left in the quarter. Johns Hopkins scored shortly thereafter, though Ohio State had held Johns Hopkins scoreless for nearly 20 minutes of play. Jasinski then completed his hat trick, scoring his second and third goal early in the quarter to put the Buckeyes up four. Though the Blue Jays would add one more score, Jasinski would find the back of the net for a fourth time on the night to give Ohio State their final goal of the game.
Jasinski, who did not start the game, led the Buckeyes with four goals and three assists. Buckley and Pearson added two goals a piece, with eight players scoring for Ohio State in total.
Withers, who is sixth in the nation in faceoff win percentage, continued his hot streak against the Blue Jays, winning 19-of-26 faceoff attempts. He also led the Buckeyes in groundballs with 10 on the night. Ohio State had an overall 28-18 advantage in groundballs.
Senior goalie Tom Carey, who has allowed an average of just 6.77 goals per game on the season (third in the NCAA), had seven saves on 16 shots on goal. Overall, Ohio State outshot Johns Hopkins 37-30.
With the exception of the first quarter, Ohio State boasted a strong defensive performance on the night, including holding the Blue Jays scoreless for the duration of the third quarter. The Buckeyes are one of the top scoring defenses in the nation on the season, allowing just 7.36 goals per game--good for fourth in the NCAA.
However, the Buckeyes won in spite of committing 16 turnovers to Johns Hopkins’ eight. The Blue Jays lead the NCAA in the category, averaging just over 10 turnovers per game, while Ohio State commits 12.55 per outing.
Next up, Johns Hopkins heads back to Baltimore to face Penn State, while the Buckeyes head to Ann Arbor to play Michigan.