COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team wrapped up the regular season with a 13-7 win at Bellarmine Saturday afternoon. The win gives the Buckeyes a spot in the ECAC tournament, which begins Thursday in Denver.
Ohio State tied for third in the final ECAC standings and will be the tournament’s No. 4 seed, opening play vs. No. 1 seed Denver at 9 p.m. ET Thursday. No. 2 Loyola and No. 3 Fairfield will meet in the first semifinal at 6 p.m. ET Thursday. Both semifinals will be streamed online at denverpioneers.com. The championship game will be at 1 p.m. ET Saturday and televised live on ESPNU.
Ohio State (8-7, 3-3 ECAC) led Bellarmine (4-11, 0-6 ECAC) 3-1 after the first quarter and 6-3 at halftime. The Buckeyes extended the lead to 10-4 after the third quarter and each team scored three goals in the final stanza for the 13-7 final. Freshman Tyler Frederick led Ohio State with four points, with a hat trick and an assist. Sophomore Dominique Alexander scored three goals, while classmate Logan Schuss had two goals and a helper. Senior Zach Boyt had the first two-goal game of his career while junior Eddie Bambino had a goal and an assist. Freshman Shawn Kaplan won 13 faceoffs and had a team-best eight groundballs in the win.
All four goals came in the final 3:36 of the opening stanza. Redshirt junior defenseman Matt Kawamoto scored his first career goal at 3:36 to open the scoring. At 2:51 Alexander tallied and Boyt scored, assisted by Bambino, at 1:56 for a 3-0 Buckeye lead. The Knights’ Austin Bright scored with just one second left in the quarter to put BU on the board. Shots were 10-5 in favor of Ohio State in the stanza, with Dillon Ward and Dutton both stopping four shots.
The teams combined for five goals in the second quarter, giving the Buckeyes a 6-3 advantage at halftime. Frederick scored a man-up goal unassisted at 13:34 before back-to-back goals by Bellarmine’s Craig Carson at 13:38 and Andrew Wolford at 9:13 cut the lead to one (4-3). Schuss scored the final two goals to regain the three-goal lead for Ohio State, as he found the back of the net at 4:24 and with 22 seconds remaining. Bellarmine’s Scott Bowles made seven saves in the quarter, as Ohio State outshot the Knights, 11-6. Dutton had two saves for Ohio State.
Ohio State took a six-goal lead in the third quarter, outscoring Bellarmine, 4-1. After Luke Acton tallied for the Knights at 14:34 Ohio State scored four unanswered, beginning with a man-down goal by Alexander, set up by Frederick, at 11:42. Frederick scored a goal of his own at 10:48 and Schuss then set up Alexander at 9:30. Bambino scored his third goal of the year with 6:04 left in the quarter. Ohio State took 17 shots, while holding Bellarmine to two. Dutton made one stop and Bowles had seven saves for the Knights.
Each team scored three goals in the fourth quarter for the 13-7 final. Frederick tallied at 11:44 before Bellarmine’s Mitch Mclaren and Andrew Bulgarelli scored twice in nine seconds at 10:09 and 10:00. Ohio State scored the next two, as Boyt added his second of the game at 8:11 and freshman Michael Italiano followed 27 seconds later. The final goal was scored by the Knights’ Clark with 1:02 left. Ohio State outshot Bellarmine, 11-9, in the quarter. Dutton made two stops, while senior Ryan Keneally played the final 4:15 and had one save. Bowles had six saves for the Knights.
For the game, Ohio State outshot Bellarmine, 49-22. Dutton played 55:45 and had nine saves for Ohio State, allowing six goals. Keneally made one save and allowed one goal in 4:15. The Bellarmine goalies combined for 24 saves. Ward started and played the first quarter, making four saves on seven shots. Bowles had 20 saves, allowing 10 goals, in the final 45 minutes.
The teams combined for 13 penalties and 13 penalty minutes. Each team had one man-up goal – Ohio State was 1-for-7 and Bellarmine was 1-for-5.
Kaplan again led the Buckeyes at the faceoff X, winning 13-of-18 draws and picking up a team-best eight groundballs. Ohio State won the groundball battle, 40-25. Junior Mike Smail and senior Tyler Dolphin were second with four groundballs apiece. Ohio State forced eight turnovers, led by Kawamoto and Joe Bonanni with two each.
Postgame Notes • Schuss leads the Buckeyes with 31 goals, 19 assists and 50 points. The 50 points are tied for 21st in the Ohio State record book for single-season points. He extended his point streak to 29 games and has 106 points as a Buckeye (62 goals, 44 assists), ranking 24th in program history. He has multiple points in all but one game this year and multiple goals in 10 games. • Frederick extended his point streak to 13 with his first career hat trick, adding an assist for his second four-point game. He is third on the team (and leads the squad’s freshmen) with 16 goals and 30 points and ranks second with 14 assists. He has eight multiple-point outings. • Alexander is fourth on the team with 15 goals and 23 assists. It was his second hat trick of the year and fifth multiple-point outing in the last 10 game. His man-down goal was the first for the Buckeyes since Ohio State had three in 2008 (Jeff Ryan, Kevin Buchanan, Chris Friel). • Kaplan has won 37-of-54 (.685) faceoffs in the last three games combined and has 21 groundballs in the stretch. • Kawamoto’s goal was the first of his career and came in his 46th game. • Dutton has started the last 14 games and has an 8.15 goals-against average and .525 save percentage. • Ohio State has held opponents to seven goals or less seven times this year. • The 49 shots were a season high for Ohio State, led by Schuss with 10 and Frederick with nine. • Boyt had the first two-goal and two-point game of his career. He has a career-high four goals and six points this year.