The No. 19 Ohio State Buckeyes men’s lacrosse team ended the regular season on a high note, defeating Rutgers, 10-7, Saturday in Columbus. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 8-6 on the season, including a 3-2 conference mark. The win also secured a spot in the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 3 seed. The tournament is scheduled to begin Thursday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to face Johns Hopkins, the two-seed, who defeated Ohio State 13-10 earlier this month. Maryland once again won the regular season title, and will be the top seed in this year’s tournament, facing fourth-seeded Rutgers.
On Senior Day, it was the veteran leaders on the team who stepped up early and often for Ohio State. In the opening quarter, senior defenseman and captain Erik Evans scored his first goal of the season less than three minutes into play to put the Buckeyes up one, assisted by sophomore midfielder Ryan Terefenko. Senior attackman Colin Chell, Evans’ co-captain, scored the next goal for Ohio State on a feed from junior attackman Jack Jasinski. Rutgers’ attack finally found a rhythm midway through the first, as Casey Rose scored unassisted to narrow the Buckeyes’ lead to one.
In the second quarter, freshman midfielder Jackson Reid responded with an unassisted goal of his own to keep the lead at two and breaking a nearly 13-minute scoring drought. Rutgers’ Tommy Coyne answered with an assisted goal before Reid found the back of the net for his first score of the game. One more goal for the Scarlet Knights sent the teams to the half with the Buckeyes leading 4-3.
In the third, however, the Buckeyes took control of the game, building an insurmountable lead as Ohio State’s attack held the ball for nearly the entire first half of the quarter. The Buckeyes scored four straight goals, kicked off by a shot from freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi, assisted by Chell. Sophomore attackman Tre Leclaire then scored his 25th goal of the season before Reid scored his second of the game, assisted by Terefenko. Sophomore attackman Lukas Buckley capped the run, putting the Buckeyes up 8-3.
Two-straight goals from Rutgers were not enough to mount a comeback, as Ohio State responded in the fourth with another score from Reid, with Chell on the assist, and another goal from Chell himself, sealing the win for the home team.
Reid led his team in scoring, and the senior Chell followed with two goals and two assists on the day. The Buckeyes shared the ball well, with seven players scoring in all. Led by freshman Justin Inacio, Ohio State controlled a dominant 18-of-21 faceoffs. Sophomore goalie Josh Kirson had nine saves on the day. The two teams were dead even with 16 shots on goal apiece, but the Buckeyes held a 26-16 advantage in ground balls.