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Ohio State lacrosse falls 12-4 in Big Ten opener to Penn State

The 8-point loss is the Buckeyes’ worst this season.

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

The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team fell in its conference opener to Penn State in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday by a score of 12-4. It’s the fourth loss in as many games for OSU—and worst of the season. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 5-5 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.

The Buckeyes got off to a slow start on the day which immediately put them in what proved to be an insurmountable deficit. After losing the opening faceoff, the Ohio State defense gave up four unanswered goals in the first quarter alone. Finally, in the second quarter, junior attackman Jack Jasinski slowed the bleeding with his 11th goal of the season. Penn State scored again midway through the quarter to maintain a four-goal advantage, but freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi answered with a goal of his own, assisted by senior attackman Colin Chell. However, Penn State found the back of the net on a man-up opportunity following a penalty for unnecessary roughness on Ohio State. A goal at the end of the second by freshman midfielder Jackson Reid kept the Nittany Lions’ lead to three heading into the break.

The second half did not start off much better for the Buckeyes. Penn State scored the first two goals of the half, including another man-up score following a penalty on sophomore midfielder Tre Leclaire. Leclaire made amends for his error with a goal of his own, assisted by senior midfielder John Kelly. Unfortunately, the Nittany Lions rallied for three unanswered goals to take their lead to seven late in the third quarter. A lengthy offensive possession by the Buckeyes to close the third--really the only time that Ohio State held the ball on attack in the quarter--came up empty, and Penn State took an 11-4 lead into the final 15 minutes.

Ohio State was unable to convert on another long possession to start the fourth quarter, leading to yet another goal from the Nittany Lions in transition for what would be the final score of the game.

Ohio State was held scoreless for two quarters against the Nittany Lions. Overall shots were 24-20 in favor of Penn State, and Nittany Lion’s goalie Colby Kneese had 16 saves on the day to 12 for Ohio State’s Josh Kirson. Penn State collected 38 ground balls to Ohio State’s 25, and the Nittany Lions won 13-of-20 faceoffs on the day.

Next up, the Buckeyes are scheduled to face No. 6 Johns Hopkins in Baltimore next Saturday.