May 20, 2017

Buckeyes Advance to the Semis With a 16-11 Triumph

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May 20, 2017

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Hempstead, N.Y. – The third-seeded Ohio State men’s lacrosse team defeated No. 6 Duke, 16-11, Saturday in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals at James M. Shuart Stadium to advance to NCAA Championship weekend for the first time in program history. The Buckeyes will take on the winner of a game between No. 2 Syracuse and Towson in the semifinals at noon or 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. “The seniors don’t want this journey to end and you could tell with how they prepared this week. We were ready to go at the first whistle and we carried that energy throughout the whole 60 minutes.”

Buckeye seniors contributed 10 goals, four assists, 14 points, 17 faceoff wins, 18 groundballs and 14 saves in the victory.

Ohio State moves to 15-4 on the season, tying the program record for wins in a single season first set in 1965. The Buckeyes were making their fourth appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals, and their third in five years.

Ohio State 16, Duke 11 – The Short Version
The Buckeyes led Duke 2-1 after the first quarter on a goal with eight second left in the stanza. The Buckeyes pushed ahead 4-1 early in the second quarter before back to back goals by Duke made it a one-goal game. The Buckeyes responded with five goals before halftime, allowing just one, to carry a 9-4 lead into halftime. Duke scored the first goal of the third quarter but Ohio State shut out the Blue Devils the rest of the period for a 13-5 advantage through 45 minutes. Duke outscored the Buckeyes 6-3 in the fourth quarter but could get no closer than five.

Offensively, Buckeye senior Eric Fannell had a game-high and career-high tying five goals and seven points. Senior goalie Tom Carey had 14 saves for the Buckeyes and classmate Jake Withers won 17 faceoffs and had 11 groundballs. In all, eight Buckeyes scored at least one goal. Sophomore Jack Jasinski had four points with two goals and two assists, senior Johnny Pearson had two goals and an assist for three points and senior JT Blubaugh and freshman Lukas Buckley each scored twice. Junior LSM Freddy Freibott scored a goal, had three groundballs and a caused turnover.

The Buckeyes are shipping up to Boston! #NCAALax@OhioState_MLAX pic.twitter.com/SPK0V8Nf26

— NCAA Lacrosse (@NCAA_Lax) May 20, 2017

In the First Quarter
Ohio State scored the first goal of the game 1:05 into the contest with Fannell tallying unassisted, and Duke tied the game at 4:21. With just eight seconds left in the quarter, Buckley drove the net and scored for a 2-1 Ohio State lead. Duke outshot Ohio State 11-4 in the quarter, with Carey stopping four shots in the Buckeye cage.

In the Second Quarter
The Buckeyes outscored Duke 7-3 in the second quarter, with a 14-7 shot advantage, to carry a 9-4 lead into halftime. Fannell scored back-to-back at 14:23 (assisted by Jasinski) and 12:37 to push the lead to 4-1. Duke scored the next two, converting twice in the next 2:12, to make it a one-goal game (4-3).

Ohio State took a timeout after the second Duke goal and responded with five of the next six goals. The Buckeyes converted back-to-back man-up chances, with Fannell setting up senior Austin Shanks at 10:01 and Pearson at 8:51. Brad Smith scored for Duke at 7:00, but off the next faceoff, Freibott fought for the groundball, took the ball in and scored his fourth goal of the year. Freshman Tre Leclaire scored unassisted at 5:52 and at 4:25 Pearson found Blubaugh outside the crease for a goal. Shots were 11-8 in favor of Duke in the quarter and Carey had three saves.

In the Third Quarter
Duke scored the first goal of the third quarter at 10:36 with the man advantage. Ohio State notched the next four goals to push the lead to 13-5. Jasinski scored at 9:12 before back-to-back goals by Fannell at 8:20 and 5:03. The final goal of the quarter came with 11 seconds left, with Buckley again scoring late. On a clear, senior Tyler Pfister found Buckley all alone in front of the Duke cage. Shots were 11-8 in favor of Duke in the quarter and Carey notched three stops, giving the Buckeyes a 13-5 advantage heading into the fourth.

In the Fourth Quarter
Duke scored twice in the first minute of the fourth quarter for a 13-7 game. Jasinski then set up Blubaugh for a goal at 11:57. The teams traded goals in less than a minute, with Duke converting at 8:52 and Pearson answering for the Buckeyes at 7:57, making the score 15-8. The Blue Devils notched three of the game’s final goals, scoring at 6:31, 4:56 and :30. Ohio State’s last goal was scored by Jasinski with the Duke cage empty at 1:12. Shots were 16-5 in favor of the Blue Devils in the quarter. Carey made five saves for the Buckeyes.

Shots and Saves
The Buckeyes were outshot, 45-31, in the game. Carey had 14 stops, his ninth game with double-digit saves this season and the sixth time in the last seven games. He made 15 saves in the Buckeyes’ NCAA first round win over Duke in 2015.

Faceoffs and Groundballs
Withers won 17 of the 17-of-28 faceoffs against the Blue Devils and had 11 groundballs. On the year, he has won 252-of-381 (.661), ranking fourth nationally in faceoff winning percentage, and has a team-high 142 groundballs to rank eighth in the NCAA in groundballs per game (7.47). Duke had 34 groundballs, while the Buckeyes picked up 29. Junior Ben Randall, who also had a caused turnover, and Freibott were second for the Buckeyes with three groundballs each.

Noting the Buckeyes
• The Buckeyes converted 2-of-3 man-up chances and are now 28-for-58 (.483) this season.
• Fannell leads the Buckeyes with 29 assists and 63 points, tying for 12th in program history in points in a season.
• Leclaire notched goal 45, the most for a Buckeye since Logan Schuss had 44 in 2013. It is the fifth-most in a single campaign for a Buckeye. He has at least one point in all but one game as a Buckeye.
• Jasinski has six goals, five assists and 11 points in his last five games combined. On the year, he has 15 goals, 11 assists and 26 points.
• Shanks has eight man-up goals this year to tie for third in the NCAA.
• The Buckeyes’ 16 goals matched their season high, set vs. Jacksonville and Denver. The squad is now averaging 11.63 goals a game.
• The score when the Buckeyes beat Duke in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament was also 16-11.

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