The Ohio State Buckeyes lacrosse team snapped a five-game losing streak Friday, defeating No. 17 Michigan, 8-5 in Columbus. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 7-6 on the season, including 1-2 in the Big Ten. Ohio State also improved its perfect record against rival, to 7-0 all-time.
The game was rescheduled due to inclement weather Saturday, which also moved the Spring Game to an earlier time slot.
Even with the new schedule, Ohio State wasted no time as it began its beatdown. After falling behind early in several instances during their losing streak, the Buckeyes found an early, 3-0 lead in the first quarter versus the Wolverines. Junior attackman Jack Jasinski led things off for Ohio State, scoring unassisted in transition. Sophomore midfielder Tre Leclaire followed up Jasinski’s effort, finding the back of the net from long range. Freshman attackman Colby Smith got in on the action as he scored on a man-up opportunity, assisted by fellow freshman Jackson Reid.
However, the tide began to turn against the Buckeyes at the end of the first, as the Wolverines scored three unanswered goals to tie things up. Michigan’s Brent Noseworthy capitalized on a man-up opportunity late in the quarter to cut Ohio State’s lead to two. Two more unassisted goals in the second from Decker Curran and Alex Buckanavage tied things at three-all heading into the break.
After halftime, Ohio State took control in earnest (perhaps because of this halftime performance from the TBDBITL), gaining a lead that they did not relinquish for the remainder of the game. Sophomore attackman Lukas Buckley led off for the Buckeyes, coming from behind the net to score unassisted. The defense held off the Wolverine attack on a two-man-down opportunity following penalties on Leclaire and junior attackman Gale Thorpe, and Leclaire redeemed himself with his second score of the game, assisted by Reid. Thorpe himself followed up with a transition goal during a man-up opportunity, assisted by Smith. Leclaire then completed his hat trick on behind-the-net feed from Jasinski, putting the Buckeyes up four. A Michigan score from Rocco Sutherland with three seconds left in the third brought the score to 7-4 heading into the final 15 minutes of play.
The Buckeyes maintained possession for much of the fourth quarter as they nursed their lead. Reid connected for his sole goal of the day early on in the quarter. A final Wolverine score midway through the fourth was not enough to mount a comeback as sophomore goalie Josh Kirson and the defense remained stout through several offensive onslaughts, sealing the win for Ohio State.
Leclaire’s three goals led the Buckeyes, with six players scoring in all. Ohio State went 10-for-17 on faceoffs on the evening, led by freshman midfielder Justin Inacio. The Buckeyes also won the ground ball competition, collecting 23 to Michigan’s 17. In such a tight game, Michigan turned the ball over 13 times, while the Buckeyes coughed it up just eight. Kirson had seven saves on the day on a dozen shots. Tommy Heidt, in goal for Michigan, saved 15 shots on 23 attempts.
Next up, the Buckeyes are scheduled to face No. 2 Maryland in College Park Sunday.