The No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team stayed undefeated with a 12-11 overtime win over Jacksonville on Sunday. The Buckeyes came back after being down as many as three in the fourth quarter to improve to 4-0 on the season.
While Jacksonville won the opening faceoff, senior attackman Colin Chell converted the first goal of the game for the Buckeyes with 9:57 remaining in the first quarter. A goal by junior attackman Gale Thorpe a minute and a half later gave the Buckeyes what would be their biggest lead of the day at 2-0. The Dolphins cut the lead to one at the close of the first on an unassisted goal from McLean Chicquen.
In the second quarter, however, things got hairy for the Buckeyes. Jacksonville scored four-straight goals to go up 5-2 and give Ohio State its first deficit since the opening minutes of the season against Cleveland State. Finally, an unassisted goal from sophomore midfielder Ryan Terefenko with 6:32 remaining in the half broke the onslaught and cut the Dolphin’s lead to two. Freshman midfielder Jackson Reid found the back of the net three minutes later to close the gap to 5-4 at the half.
Reid opened the third quarter with another unassisted goal to tie things at five-all, but Jacksonville pulled ahead once again, rattling off three straight goals of their own to go up 8-5 with five minutes remaining in the third. Chell connected once again to stem the flow of scoring and draw within two with 3:13 left in the quarter. The Dolphins, however, had the last laugh in the third, adding a final goal by Gavin Dembeck to bring their lead to 9-6 heading into the final quarter of play.
Terefenko came through quickly, scoring unassisted just 37 seconds into play. Jacksonville bounced back with a goal of its own, but Ohio State answered with a man-up goal from Thorpe, assisted by Chell, and an unassisted attempt from junior attackman Jack Jasinski to draw within one. Jacksonville’s Jeremy Winston put the Dolphins up by two with just 2:11 remaining in the quarter, seemingly sealing the upset win for Jacksonville. But that’s when the hero of last season--sophomore midfielder Tre Leclaire--came through with two goals in the final two minutes of play to tie the game and send it to overtime. In the perfect ending to the comeback win, Leclaire, assisted by junior midfielder Logan Maccani, scored the game winner for the Buckeyes.
Leclaire led Ohio State with three goals on the day, all of which came in the final minutes of play. Chell, Reid, Thorpe and Terefenko each had two goals apiece, with six players scoring in all. Overall shots were 19-14 in favor of Ohio State. Senior goalie Matthew Smidt had 11 saves for the Buckeyes to Jacksonville’s 12. Sophomore Christian Feliziani and freshman Justin Inacio split faceoffs for the Buckeyes, going a collective 13-26 on the day. Ground balls were 31-25 in favor of the Buckeyes, led by Inacio’s five.
Next up, Ohio State is scheduled to face Marquette on Friday, March 2, in the Midwest Lacrosse Classic in Pontiac Michigan.