COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team upset No. 3 North Carolina, 13-8, Saturday afternoon in front of 2,695 fans on a beautiful day at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes trailed early but chipped away at the lead to go into halftime tied with UNC at 6-all. Ohio State took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Tar Heels, 5-1, with four goals in the first five minutes. The Buckeyes held North Carolina to just 11 shots and two goals in the game’s final 30 minutes.
Sophomore Logan Schuss led the Buckeyes with three goals, two assists and five points. Freshman Tyler Frederick and seniors Jarred Bowman and Mike Pires each had two goals, with Bowman adding an assist for a career-high three points. Sophomore Jeff Tundo had a goal and an assist in the win, with freshman Michael Italiano and sophomore Dan Wertz also scoring. Sophomore Trey Wilkes won 10 faceoffs and freshman goalie Greg Dutton had eight saves in the win.
The Tar Heels scored twice in the first 1:30 to take a 2-0 lead. Thomas Wood scored 1:03 into the game and Jimmy Dunster followed 27 seconds later. Senior Jarred Bowman put Ohio State on the board with a goal at 11:50. The score remained 2-1 until the teams traded goals in the final 3:46, with Wood scoring for UNC and senior Mike Pires answering off an assist from Zach Boyt at 2:24. Shots were 8-7 in favor of Ohio State in the quarter, with Dutton making three saves for the Buckeyes and Chris Madalon stopping two shots for UNC.
The Tar Heels again scored quickly to open a quarter, with goals from Nicky Galasso and Wood (assisted by Galasso) in the first 54 seconds to put UNC ahead, 5-2. Ohio State then went on a four-goal run to go ahead, 6-5. Senior Scott Lathrop found Frederick in transition at 13:10 and Bowman scored at 10:01 to bring the Buckeyes within one (5-4). At 7:14 Schuss scored off a no-look, over the shoulder shot to tie the game at 5 with 7:14 left in the quarter. Schuss then found a streaking senior Bryce Woodson with a pass to send him in on the UNC goal and Woodson converted at 6:44 to put the Buckeyes ahead for the first time (6-5). The Tar Heels’ Galasso scored with 4:30 in the quarter to deadlock the score at 6-all. UNC outshot Ohio State, 10-7, in the quarter. Dutton had three saves in the Ohio State net.
Ohio State controlled play throughout the third quarter to pull ahead in the game, scoring four times in the first 4:11 of the stanza to take a 10-6 lead. Ohio State started the quarter man-up with the ball in the Tar Heel zone and Tundo took just three seconds to score unassisted to give Ohio State a 7-6 lead. Tundo then set up Schuss 1:06 later and Schuss had his third of the day at 12:25, beating the defense and driving to the cage. Pires had his second of the game at 10:49 to extend the lead to 10-6. Bitter ended the Ohio State run with an unassisted goal at 5:07 but Bowman found sophomore Dan Wertz for a goal at 3:15 to put Ohio State on top, 11-7. Ohio State took 13 shots in the quarter and held the Tar Heels to just three. UNC’s Madalon had five saves in the stanza.
The 11-7 lead held for the Buckeyes until freshman Michael Italiano scored at 7:51 (assisted by Schuss) and Frederick tallied 45 seconds later for a 13-7 Ohio State advantage. The final goal came from UNC’s Marcus Holman with 2:57 remaining in regulation. Each goalie had two saves in the quarter, with UNC outshooting the Buckeyes, 8-5.
Ohio State won 10-of-25 faceoffs on the day, with sophomore Trey Wilkes winning all 10, including going 5-for-6 in the third quarter when Ohio State gained control of the contest.
Ohio State was 18-for-20 on clears, holding the Tar Heels to 15-of-22.
The Buckeyes outshot the Tar Heels, 33-28, in the game. Dutton made eight saves in the Buckeye cage, with Madalon stopping nine Buckeye attempts .
Ohio State won the groundball battle, 32-18. Junior Keenan Ochwat, who had two caused turnovers, and freshman Joe Meurer each had five to lead the Buckeyes, with Frederick scooping up four. Kevin Mack and Schuss each had two caused turnovers.
The Buckeyes will play at Massachusetts at noon Feb. 26 in their next time out, followed by a matchup with Penn State in State College, Pa., March 5. The next home game is March 8 against Lehigh at 7 p.m.