The 18th-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team dropped its second-straight game Saturday as the Buckeyes fell to No. 6 Denver by a score of 12-7 in Colorado.
The Pioneers got off to a hot start on their home turf, winning the opening faceoff and scoring just 10 seconds into regulation. Not to be outdone, Ohio State controlled the ensuing faceoff and set up a two-minute offensive possession which ultimately led to a goal from senior midfielder John Kelly, assisted by sophomore midfielder Tre Leclaire. Ohio State struck next to take the lead as freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi, assisted by senior midfielder Austin Seiple, capitalized on a Denver turnover. After trading possessions for most of the remainder of the first quarter, the Pioneers tied things up on an unassisted goal from Colin Rutan, but freshman midfielder Jackson Reid found the back of the net with 1:32 remaining in the quarter to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead heading into the second.
Ohio State extended its lead midway through the second on a shot from junior attackman Gale Thorpe, assisted by junior attackman Jack Jasinski. Denver countered, cutting the lead to one with four minutes remaining. Then, in an explosion of offense, Bugliosi scored his second goal of the game while Denver found the back of the net twice in the final two minutes to send the teams to the break tied five-all.
That offensive spurt from the Pioneers spurned a second-half comeback, as Denver scored seven more unanswered goals on a streak that extended through the fourth quarter, taking a 12-5 lead with under six to play in the game. Goals by senior defenseman Freddy Freibott and sophomore attackman Lukas Buckley stemmed the bleeding, but were not enough to comeback on the second-half surge from Denver.
Bugliosi’s pair of goals led the Buckeyes in scoring, with six players scoring in all in the loss. Senior goalie Matthew Smidt, who split time with sophomore Josh Kirson Saturday, had six saves to Denver’s four. The Buckeyes had just 11 shots on goal on the day, while the Pioneers logged 19. Denver held a 28-23 advantage in ground balls on the day, and won 14-of-23 faceoffs.
Next up, the Buckeyes return home to face No. 4 Notre Dame before kicking off their five-game conference slate.