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No. 18 Ohio State lacrosse falls to No. 4 Notre Dame, 9-8

The Buckeyes have dropped their last three games.

2017 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

The No. 18 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team dropped a close decision to No. 4 Notre Dame Sunday, falling by a score of 9-8 in Columbus, Ohio. With the loss, the No. 18 Buckeyes have lost three-straight as they move to 5-4 on the season.

Despite losing the opening faceoff, Ohio State struck first on attack, taking an early lead on a goal from freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi, assisted by sophomore midfielder Tre Leclaire. After trading possessions, Notre Dame scored the next two to take control of the game midway through the first quarter. Leclaire, however, fought back on a fast break with his 14th goal of the season to send the teams into the second tied at two-all.

The teams remained close throughout the second. Notre Dame added two quick goals in the first three minutes of the quarter, but freshman midfielder Jackson Reid connected off a pass from senior midfielder John Kelly to pull the Buckeyes within one. An unassisted goal from Leclaire once again tied things midway through the quarter. The Irish found the back of the net with 4:23 remaining in the half, but Leclaire pulled through yet again, completing a hat trick in the first half to tie things five-all at the break.

The third quarter remained a defensive struggle for both teams. Finally, after two assists in the first half, Kelly scored his first goal of the day with 2:42 remaining in the period to give the Buckeyes their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.

Things began to fall apart for Ohio State early in the fourth quarter, as Notre Dame scored the first three goals of the period while controlling possession on attack. A man-up goal from Bugliosi pulled the Buckeyes back within one, but an Irish score with 4:11 remaining in the game sealed the Notre Dame victory.

Leclaire’s three goals led all scorers, with five Buckeyes scoring in all. Shots on goal were 17-11 in favor of Ohio State. Sophomore goalie Josh Kirson, who earned his first career start against the Irish, had 13 saves on the day, while Notre Dame’s Matthew Schmidt had nine.

On the circle, the Buckeyes went just 4-of-21 on faceoffs on the day—a sad stat considering Ohio State entered the game winning 57.1 percent of faceoffs, while Notre Dame had been held under 50 percent on the season. Notre Dame also collected 31 ground balls to Ohio State’s 26.

Next up, the Buckeyes enter Big Ten play as they face Penn State in Columbus on Saturday.