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No. 6 Ohio State splits the weekend at the Midwest Lacrosse Classic

The Buckeyes lost their first game this season to Marquette, but bounced back Sunday with a win over Detroit Mercy.

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

The No. 6 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team had a mixed weekend at the Midwest Lacrosse Classic in Pontiac, Michigan. Friday night, the Buckeyes fell in overtime to No. 19 Marquette by a score of 8-7. Sunday, after playing from behind for most of the game, Ohio State flipped the script to pull out a narrow, 8-7 win. Ohio State is now 4-1 on the season as it heads into the toughest part of its schedule over the next few weeks.

On Friday night, Marquette won the game’s first possession on an Ohio State turnover, but it was Ohio State who got on the scoreboard first on a goal by sophomore attackman Lukas Buckley, assisted by junior attackman Gale Thorpe. Just over a minute later, junior attackman Jack Jasinski added to the Buckeyes’ lead on an unassisted score. Neither team was able to find the back of the net for nearly eight minutes, but two quick goals by Marquette in the final four minutes of the first tied things up. However, with 1:37 remaining in the opening quarter, senior attackman Hank Bethke gave the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead heading into the second.

Ohio State extended its narrow lead in the second quarter on a goal by freshman midfielder Jackson Reid, assisted by senior midfielder John Kelly, but Marquette came right back, closing the gap to one after a score by Anthony Orsini with 11:05 remaining in the second. Despite several shots on lengthy possessions by Ohio State, the Golden Eagles got the ball back. They tied things up on a man-up opportunity after a penalty on the Buckeyes’ Bo Lori for pushing, sending the teams to the break tied four-all.

After a slow start to the third, Orsini found the back of the net once again to give the Golden Eagles their first lead of the game with 10:10 remaining in the quarter. Senior attackman Colin Chell tied things back up on the Buckeyes’ only goal of the quarter, assisted by freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi. Marquette took advantage of another man-up opportunity midway through the quarter to go up one, and a final score by Ryan Fazio with 1:27 remaining in the third gave the Golden Eagles a two-goal advantage heading into the final quarter.

Jasinski and Buckley tied things up in the fourth on unassisted goals, while the Buckeye defense held Marquette scoreless for the duration of the quarter to send things to overtime.

Marquette won the opening possession of OT, but Ohio State goalie Matthew Smidt made a critical save to give the Buckeyes a shot at the win. Unfortunately, Reid’s shot attempt on the other end of the field fell short, and the Golden Eagles cleared successfully, leading to a score and the win.

Jasinski and Buckley led Ohio State with two goals apiece, with five players scoring in all for Ohio State. Overall shots were 29-26 in favor of Marquette, but Smidt saved 10 shots on the day to Marquette’s seven. The Buckeyes picked up 25 ground balls on the day, led by junior defenseman Matt Borges’ five. Ohio State went 11-19 on faceoffs on the combined efforts of Christian Feliziani and Justin Inacio.

The Buckeyes’ matchup Sunday was a different story, as Ohio State played catch-up for most of the game against Detroit Mercy. Despite the Buckeyes taking the opening possession and taking shots on goal, the Titans scored first on an assisted goal from Brennan Kamish. In fact, the Buckeyes would not score at all for the first quarter as Detroit Mercy took a 3-0 lead after the first 15 minutes.

It wasn’t until a man-up opportunity three minutes into the second quarter that Reid finally found the back of the net, assisted by sophomore attackman Tre Leclaire. Thorpe, assisted by Bethke, followed up with a goal of his own with 8:35 remaining in the half, but the Titans scored again to keep a two goal lead. After winning the ensuing faceoff, Buckley immediately took the ball on attack to score unassisted. Detroit Mercy connected once again, however, to take a two-goal lead to halftime.

Due to a holding call on Ohio State late in the first half, the Titans took a man-up opportunity for the first 21 seconds of the third quarter, converting to go up by three. Five minutes later, on a man-up opportunity of Ohio State’s, Leclaire finally scored his first goal of the weekend to close the gap to 6-4. Jasinski and Buckley once again rounded out the comeback to tie things at six-all heading into the final 15 minutes of play.

Finally, with 11:52 remaining in the game, the veteran Kelly found the back of the net on an assist from Leclaire to give Ohio State its first lead of the day. The Buckeyes kept the ball on attack, but, after several shot clock warnings, lost possession on a missed shot from Bethke. Smidt came up big for the Buckeyes with his seventh save of the day to keep Ohio State’s lead. Thorpe took advantage on the ensuing possession, giving the Buckeyes a two-goal lead with under four to go. Detroit Mercy found the back of the net once more, but Ohio State held the lead for the remainder of the game.

Thorpe and Buckley led Ohio State with two goals each, as six players scored in all. Ohio State held a 35-24 shot advantage, but Marquette’s goalkeeper saved 13 goals to Smidt’s seven. Inacio and Feliziani went a collective 14-of-18 on faceoffs, and Ohio State dominated ground balls 32-22.

Next up, Ohio State heads home to face Towson Saturday in Columbus.