COLUMBUS, Ohio Buckeye senior Joel Dalgarno had five goals and seven points but the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team was clipped by No. 10-ranked North Carolina, 12-11, Saturday afternoon at Calvert Hall College High School’s Kelly Field in Baltimore, Md. Ohio State, in the midst of four-consecutive games away from Columbus, falls to 6-5 on the year. The Tar Heels improve to 9-4.
The teams were tied 3-all at the end of the first quarter before UNC outscored the Buckeyes, 4-2, in the second to take a 7-5 lead into halftime. The Tar Heels were able to extend the lead to three twice in the third quarter and led 10-7 heading into the final stanza. Ohio State outscored UNC, 4-2, in the fourth, including three goals in the final 3:11, and was backstopped by goalie Brandon Freeman who made six saves in the quarter, but could not get the tying goal and suffered the one-goal loss.
The teams were tied at 3 at the end of the first quarter, with Dalgarno scoring all three goals for the Buckeyes. North Carolina tied the score each time the Buckeyes took a one-goal lead. Dalgarno opened the scoring with an unassisted tally at 12:43, followed by a Mark Staines goal for UNC at 11:33. Jeff Ryan set up Dalgarno at 9:22 and OSU held the lead until Jimmy Dunster’s goal at 4:14. Dalgarno responded 1:13 later to make the score 3-2, but UNC’s Sean Delaney found the back of the cage with 19 seconds remaining in the quarter to again knot the score. Ohio State outshot UNC, 15-7, in the stanza.
The Tar Heels extended their goal run to four, taking a 6-3 lead less than five minutes into the second quarter. Bart Wagner scored unassisted 39 seconds into the quarter to give UNC its first lead of the game, followed by a Sean Burke goal 44 seconds later (13:37) and Gavin Petracca’s goal at 12:01. Buckeye senior Doug Ruhnke ended UNC’s run with a goal at 8:38 and Dalgarno set up junior Mario Ventiquattro at 4:09 to draw the Buckeyes within one (6-5). The Tar Heels’ Billy Bitter scored his first of four goals with 1:30 left in the half to give UNC a 7-5 lead when the teams left the field for halftime.
Ohio State again cut the UNC lead to one (7-6) on a James Green goal at 11:38 of the third quarter. Bitter scored back-to-back goals for North Carolina at 10:16 and 2:58, putting UNC ahead, 9-6. Ryan scored off a Dalgarno pass at 2:18 but Burke responded for the Tar Heels 1:04 later to regain UNC’s three-goal lead (10-7) heading into the fourth quarter.
The Buckeyes outscored North Carolina, 4-2, in the fourth quarter, but could not get the equalizer. Green scored man-up just 13 seconds into the quarter. Wagner answered with an EMO goal of his own at 11:37. The teams were then scoreless until combining for four goals, with three for the Buckeyes, in the final 3:49. Bitter tallied UNC’s 12th goal of the game at 3:49. Dalgarno followed just 38 seconds later and junior Andrew Stimmel set up sophomore Dan Bain 28 seconds later to cut the UNC lead to two (12-10). Dalgarno scored unassisted with 14 seconds left in regulation, drawing the Buckeyes within one (12-11). UNC won the final faceoff and was able to hold the ball to seal the one-goal victory. UNC outshot the Buckeyes, 17-9, in the quarter, as Freeman made five stops.
Freeman played all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes in the cage and had 10 saves, as OSU outshot UNC, 44-43. James Petracca had 11 saves for the Tar Heels.
Ohio State converted 1-of-3 EMO chances, with the Tar Heels scoring on their only opportunity.
Ohio State heads to Colorado next weekend for Great Western Lacrosse League games with Air Force at 6 p.m. ET Friday and Denver at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday.
Dalgarno had the third five-goal game of his career and first since April 27, 208 vs. Notre Dame. The seven points were the fourth-highest total of his career. He now has a team-best 26 goals, 18 assists and 44 points this season. Dalgarno, who became the second Buckeye all-time (and in 30 years) to cross the 200-point mark for his career, now has 119 goals and 210 points, ranking second in both categories. He is third with 91 assists, six back of second place. He is on a 17-game point streak (45-29-74). UNC held Dalgarno scoreless in the Buckeyes’ win vs. the Tar Heels last season, the only game he was held without a point in his collegiate career.
Ryan is second on the team with 22 goals and 35 points. In his third year with the squad, he is 23rd in Buckeye history with 110 career points (74g, 36a). He has at least one point in each of his last 13 games.
Bain has a goal in three-consecutive games. Ruhnke is on a three-game point streak (2g, 2a, 4p).
Ventiquattro, who has at least one point in each game this year, is third on the team in goals (16) and points (24).