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No. 7 Ohio State lacrosse opens 2018 with a 13-6 win over Cleveland State

The Buckeyes improve to 1-0 on the season.

NCAA Lacrosse: Men's Championship Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team opened up their 2018 season with a 13-6 win over Cleveland State Saturday in Cleveland, moving to 1-0 on the young season.

Christian Feliziani won the opening faceoff for the Buckeyes, but a forced turnover by Cleveland State gave Vikings the ball on attack. A quick ensuing goal by Gideon Brockenbrough put Cleveland State up 1-0 early.

Feliziani won the ensuing faceoff, with sophomore midfielder Ryan Terefenko taking the ball down on attack for the Buckeyes. Cleveland State goalie Caleb Espinoza saved sophomore midfielder Tre Leclaire’s first shot of the season, but a quick turnover from the Vikings gave Ohio State the ball back. Freshman attackman Colby Smith took advantage in his first collegiate game, finding the back of the net on a long goal assisted by junior defenseman Matt Borges.

Back at midfield, Feliziani won his third-straight faceoff. After trading possessions, Cleveland State was called for slashing, giving Ohio State their first man-up opportunity of the season. Leclaire capitalized seconds later, putting Ohio State up 2-1 with 6:03 remaining in the first quarter.

Ohio State won the ensuing faceoff, but a turnover by goalie Matthew Smidt gave Cleveland State’s Michael Wilson a quick goal to tie things back up.

After the goal, freshman Justin Inacio, the No. 7 recruit in the nation last season, replaced Feliziani on the circle, winning his first collegiate faceoff and giving senior John Kelly a quick goal.

A Cleveland State penalty gave the Buckeyes their second man-up opportunity heading into the second quarter. Senior attackman Colin Chell took advantage, coming from behind the net and diving for his first goal of the season to put the Buckeyes up 4-2.

Inacio won the ensuing faceoff, giving Ohio State the ball on attack. After trading turnovers, Kelly scored his second goal of the game, putting Ohio State up 5-2 midway through the quarter. The Vikings finally won their first faceoff on the following attempt, and ultimately scored on a Wilson goal, narrowing Ohio State’s lead to two.

Feliziani came back in at the circle, but lost the faceoff to Cleveland State. The Buckeyes survived a man-down opportunity after a penalty on junior midfielder Logan Maccani, but gave up a goal just before the half to take a 5-4 advantage to the break.

Inacio won the opening faceoff of the second half on a violation by Cleveland State, leading to an unassisted goal by junior attackman Jack Jasinski to put the Buckeyes back up by two early in the third. The freshman won the next faceoff, but an errant shot by Jasinski gave the Vikings the ball. After a turnover, the Buckeyes gained the ball back, setting up on offense and setting up Leclaire for his secong goal of the day.

Cleveland State came right back, winning the ensuing faceoff and immediately scoring to keep the gap to two. Feliziani came back in at midfield and gave the Buckeyes the ball on attack. After settling into a nearly two-minute possession, freshman midfielder Jackson Reid found the back of the net on a feed from Leclaire for his first collegiate goal. Senior attackman Hank Bethke continued to pile on, adding a goal of his own midway through the quarter to put the Buckeyes up 9-5. Leclaire added on his third goal of the day, assisted by Terefenko in transition, to put Ohio State up by five with 5:22 remaining in the third.

Cleveland State closed the gap to four after a goal on a long possession from Nick Wendel. The Vikings won the ensuing faceoff, but the Buckeyes got the ball back on a turnover. However, Kelly made up for it with his third goal of the day with 1:07 left in the quarter, assisted by Chell.

Ohio State maintained possession early in the fourth quarter, even being penalized for a shot clock violation, before Kelly found the back of the net once again for his fourth goal of the day. Bethke added his second score shortly thereafter, giving the Buckeyes a 13-6 advantage with 3:54 remaining in the quarter-- a score that would hold for the rest of the game.

Kelly led the team with four goals on the day, followed by Leclaire (3) and Bethke (2). In all, seven Buckeyes scored against the Vikings.

The Buckeyes held a 40-19 shot advantage on the day. Smidt had seven saves to Espinoza’s nine. Ohio State held a 16-6 advantage in faceoffs, and picked up 36 groundballs to Cleveland State’s 18. Senior defenseman Freddy Friebott, Reid and Terefenko each collected four groundballs on the day.

Next up, Ohio State is scheduled to face Boston University on Saturday, Feb. 10 at noon in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.