COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 13/15 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team rallied from a three-goal deficit and went on to defeat Penn State, 6-5 in triple overtime, Saturday in University Park, Pa. The Buckeyes trailed 4-2 at halftime and 5-2 in the third but scored the game’s final four goals to win the nonconference game.
Sophomore Logan Schuss led the Buckeyes with four points on two goals and two assists, including the game-tying goal with 34 seconds left in regulation and the overtime winner.
This is the second-consecutive year the Buckeyes, now 4-1 on the year, beat the Nittany Lions (1-2) in overtime on a goal by Schuss to claim the unofficial “Big Ten Championship.” The game matches the only two Big Ten Conference schools that sponsor Division I men’s lacrosse.
“Our team showed poised after going down 4-1 at the end of the first quarter,” Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. “It was a total team effort to fight back and ultimately get a big road win. We have to give credit to our defense and freshman goalie Greg Dutton, who made some huge saves, for allowing just one goal in the second half. We didn’t lose a faceoff in the second half and overtime – freshman Shawn Kaplan did a great job for us. Our defense and faceoffs really sparked us to the comeback win today.”
The Buckeyes and Dutton shut out Penn State for the final 28:91 of the game, allowing the final goal at 5:49 of the third quarter. Dutton ended the game with nine saves.
The Buckeyes will be back in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday, hosting Lehigh in Columbus. The game, Ohio State’s only home game in March, is scheduled for under the lights outdoors in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes scored the first and last goals of the first half to trail 4-2 at halftime. Schuss set up freshman Tyler Frederick 1:21 into the game to open the scoring. Penn State then went on a four-goal run to close out the first quarter. Shane Sturgis tallied at 10:00 to tie the game. Billy Gribbin put the Nittany Lions ahead at 8:37, followed by a Nick Dolik score at 6:55. Gribbin found the net for the second time with 5:20 remaining in the quarter to give Penn State a 4-1 lead. Penn State outshot Ohio State, 14-8, in the opening stanza. Dutton had four saves in the Buckeye cage and Ohio State held Penn State scoreless on one extra-man chance.
Neither team was able to score in the second quarter until senior Zach Boyt drew Ohio State within two (4-2) with a tally at 2:36. Shots were 9-8 in favor of OSU in the quarter. Dutton had three stops and the Buckeyes stopped one man-up chance.
Ohio State held the Nittany Lions off the scoreboard for 29:31, with the streak ended at 5:49 of the third quarter on a goal from Sturgis to put Penn State ahead, 5-2. Schuss found classmate Jeff Tundo with 1:32 left in the third quarter to again pull the Buckeyes within two (5-3). The Buckeyes outshot the Nittany Lions, 9-5, in the stanza, forcing the Penn State goalie to make four saves. Dutton had one stop.
The Buckeyes converted their only man-up chance of the game when junior Brock Sorensen tallied, assisted by Tundo, at 7:52 of the fourth quarter to cut the Nittany Lions’ lead to one (5-4). With time winding down, senior Mike Pires found Schuss, who tied the game with just 34 seconds remaining in regulation. Shots were 11-3 in favor of Ohio State in the stanza, with PSU goalie Austin Kaut making five saves.
The teams were scoreless through the first two four-minute overtime sessions. Shots were 4-1 Buckeyes in the first OT, with Kaut making two saves. The Nittany Lions outshot the Buckeyes, 5-2, in the second overtime, with Dutton making one save with Penn State on a man-up chance.
Kaplan won the faceoff and scooped the groundball to open the third overtime. After a Buckeye timeout, Schuss fought for a loose ball, picked it up, turned and fired to give the Buckeyes the win.
After losing six of the first eight faceoffs, the Buckeyes were undefeated at the X the rest of the game. Kaplan was 9-of-11 to lead the squad, winning all three draws in the third and fourth quarters and the opening faceoff in each overtime period. Kaplan had a team-high six groundballs in the game.
Ohio State outshot Penn State, 44-36, in the contest, including 20-8 in the second half. In the cage, Dutton ended the game with nine saves in 68:52 for the Buckeyes. Kaut had 16 saves while playing 68:52.
The Buckeyes stopped Penn State on three extra-man chances and converted their lone opportunity.
Ohio State was 15-of-16 on clears in the game. Penn State had 35 groundballs, with Ohio State recording 34. Redshirt junior Matt Kawamoto was second for the Buckeyes with four groundballs on the day.
Postgame Notes The win was just the second for the Buckeyes at Penn State in the history of the program and the first since 2007. The Ohio State seniors wrap up their careers 3-1 vs. the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes are 4-1 vs. Penn State in last five meetings.
Tundo and Schuss now share the team point lead with 14 each. Tundo is first with 10 goals, while Schuss has a team-best six assists and is second with eight goals.
Schuss extended his point streak to 19 games and has multiple points in each of his games this season, with two or more goals in each of his last three games.
Frederick has a goal and at least one point in each of his last four games (5-4-9), while Pires also is on a four-game point streak (4-1-5).
Sorensen’s goal was his first since April 10, 2010 at Hobart.
After stopping all three Penn State EMO chances, Ohio State remains perfect on man-down defense this season (11-for-11).