With basketball, hockey, and other winter sports having concluded, now it is time to turn our attention to those that are still in session. While baseball still has a decent amount of games left, we are already nearing the end of the regular season for lacrosse. The Ohio State men’s and women’s teams both will be playing their regular season home finales within the next nine days.
The Buckeye men’s team’s 5-5 record is a bit deceiving because of the quality of opponents they have played this year. On Sunday, Ohio State traveled to State College to take on Penn State, who entered the game ranked 11th in the country. This marked the fifth time this season the Buckeyes had taken on a team who was ranked higher, as Ohio State was ranked 16th. In their 10 games this year, the Buckeyes have faced seven teams that have been ranked at the time they squared off.
After opening up the season with three-straight wins, Ohio State dropped three-straight games. Over their last four games, the Buckeyes have alternated wins and losses. The latest came on Sunday, when they were defeated 17-9 by Penn State. Ohio State scored first in the game when Kyle Borda found the back of the net, but that would be their only lead of the game. The Nittany Lions held a 4-2 lead at the end of the first period, and a 10-6 advantage heading into halftime.
Borda would score a third of Ohio State’s goals in the contest, notching his third hat trick of the year. The Fairfield transfer currently sits second on the team with 16 goals this season, three behind Ed Shean. The 16 goals by Borda also match a career-high, which he set last season with the Stags. While Shean leads the team in goals, he has failed to score in the last three games.
Shean has done a lot of his scoring damage in three games, scoring five goals against Cleveland State and Denver, and four goals against Cornell. Jack Myers leads the Buckeyes with 31 overall points, 13 of those being goals, and a team-high 18 assists.
Ohio State’s schedule doesn’t get any easier over their final three games. The Buckeyes will play their final home game of the regular season on Friday when they host Maryland. Following the battle with the Terrapins, the Buckeyes hit the road to take on Johns Hopkins and Michigan before the Big Ten Tournament.
By the end of the regular season, it’s a very real possibility that 10 of their 13 regular season games will have been against ranked teams. With such a tough schedule, Ohio State could get an edge if they are fighting any other teams for an NCAA Tournament spot.
It has been a little tougher season for the Ohio State’s women’s lacrosse team, with Tuesday’s 13-12 loss at Marquette dropping the Buckeyes to 5-8. Marquette led 5-4 after the first period, and 9-7 at halftime. Even though Ohio State fell behind one of the best teams in the country, the Buckeyes fought hard until the end of the game.
There was a milestone that was reached in the loss on Tuesday. Nicole Ferrara scored three goals in the game, with the first of those goals being her 100th career goal at Ohio State. Ferrara now has 33 goals on the season, which leads the team by a wide margin. Along with Ferrara, Annie Hargravs also scored three goals against Marquette, while Maddie Barhorst and Zoe Coleman each put in two goals in the loss.
The second-highest scoring Buckeye is Jamie Lasda, who has netted 19 goals. Even though Ferrara leads the team in goals, Lasda is the leader in total points, with her 24 assists giving her a three-point edge over Ferrara. Jamie Level and Casey Roberts have also reached double digits in goals this year, with both players scoring 14 goals this season.
Another strong performance in the loss to Marquette came from goalie Regan Alexander, who registered a career-high 15 saves The mark eclipsed her previous high of 14 saves, which she recorded twice so far this season. Alexander has started 12 games this year. posting an 11.26 goals against average, saving 124 shots for a .490 save percentage. The junior was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in late February.
Prior to the loss to the Golden Eagles, Ohio State had beaten Louisville 16-6, which snapped a five-game losing streak. The Buckeyes play on Saturday at Maryland before returning home for their final home game of the regular season next Saturday against Northwestern.
After posting a 9-7 record last year, Ohio State is going to have to win their final two regular season games, as well as do some damage in the Big Ten Tournament if they want to at least match their win output from last season. The good news for the Buckeyes is the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals and Final is at Ohio State’s new stadium, so if they are able to advance they’ll have a bit of a home-field advantage.