The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team narrowly lost to top-ranked Maryland in the finals of the Big Ten men’s lacrosse tournament. The Terps squeezed out a 10-9 victory in Columbus Saturday, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament later this month. It was the Buckeyes’ first loss at home this season.
It was a tight game throughout. After Maryland opened scoring, the Buckeyes tied things up on a goal by sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski. Senior midfielder Tyler Pfister gave the Buckeyes the lead before junior defenseman Freddy Friebott scored to give Ohio State a two-goal advantage--the largest lead by either team all day.
Maryland scored the next three, however, wiping out the Buckeyes’ advantage heading into the second quarter. Then, late in the half, freshman midfielder Tre Leclaire found the back of the net for Ohio State’s only goal of the quarter to tie things up heading into the break.
The teams traded goals in the third quarter, with senior attackman Eric Fannell answering a Maryland goal to tie things at five-all heading into the final quarter.
Then, in the fourth, Leclaire responded to a Maryland goal with two scores of his own to give the Buckeyes a 7-6 advantage early in the quarter. Unfortunately, it was not enough, as the Terps would score the next two and take a lead of their own. Junior attackman Colin Chell found the back of the net midway through the quarter to tie the game at eight-all. After another Maryland goal, Fannell found the back of the net for his second goal of the game, keeping the game tied late in the quarter. However, a Maryland score with 3:27 remaining in the game proved to be the dagger in the heart of the Buckeyes, sealing the victory for the Terrapins as Ohio State didn’t get a shot off for the rest of the game.
Leclaire led Ohio State with three goals on the day, while Fannell added two of his own. In all, six Buckeyes scored against Maryland, but the team had collectively just two assists.
Senior goalie Tom Carey had 11 saves on 21 shots on goal. Maryland’s goalie had eight saves on 17 shots on goal. Overall shots were 39-31 in favor of the Terps.
Senior specialist Jake Withers was 13-of-23 on faceoffs on the night, and led Ohio State with 10 of the team’s 25 groundballs.
The NCAA Tournament selection show is scheduled for 9 p.m. Sunday night. With the Buckeyes ranked fifth and seventh nationally in major polls, Ohio State has a more than reasonable shot at earning a strong at-large bid to the tournament.