COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 6 Denver broke open a close game in the second half with a five-goal third-quarter rally and topped No. 18 Ohio State, 12-7, at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Sunday afternoon in Denver, Col. The Pioneers improve to 5-2 on the year while Ohio State is 5-3.
THE SHORT STORY
Holding a 5-3 lead in the with just 1:39 remaining before the half after JT Bugliosi’s second goal of the game, Ohio State allowed a pair of quick DU goals before the second quarter was over – the second coming with just 12 seconds left before halftime. The Pioneers carried that momentum into the third quarter, scoring five times to open up a 10-5 advantage.
The Buckeyes’ offense was paced by a pair of scores from Bugliosi – his third and fourth goals of the year – along with two assists from Tre Leclaire, who now has a team-high eight on the season. Five different players scored multiple goals for Denver while Austin French handed out four assists for the Pioneers.
HOW THE GOALS WERE SCORED
In a back-and-forth first quarter, Denver struck first just 10 seconds into the game as Trevor Baptiste won the opening face-off and raced upfield to make the score 1-0 at the 14:50 mark. Less than two minutes later, however, John Kelly had the equalizer off a feed from Leclaire and Bugliosi have Ohio State its first lead of the game when he took a pass from Austin Seiple to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead at the 10:22 mark.
Denver knotted the score at 2-2 of Colin Rutan’s unassisted goal with 3:28 to play in the first quarter, but freshman Jackson Reid closed out the early scoring with his 10th goal of the year at the 1:32 mark. Ohio State then went ahead 4-2 when Seiple scored off a pretty feed from Jack Jasinski midway through the second quarter. Denver pulled to within 4-3 with 4:00 remaining before halftime, setting up a flurry of goals in the final two minutes of the half that eventually saw the Pioneers tie the score at 5-5 with just 12 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Pioneers scored all five goals in the third quarter and then the first two of the fourth quarter to build their lead to 12-5. Ohio State stopped the nine-goal rally as Freddy Freibott scored in transition off a pass from Ryan Terefenko with 5:29 remaining. Lukas Buckley scored out the scoring with his fifth goal of the season at 1:23 in the fourth quarter.
THIS AND THAT
– Freshman Justin Inacio won eight face-offs against Baptiste, a Tewaaraton Award finalist last season who came into the game ranked No. 2 nationally in face-off percentage.
– Reid has at least one point in five consecutive games.
– Leclaire’s two assists ties his season high – he also had two against Hofstra and Detroit.
– The Buckeyes lead the all-time series against Denver, 15-12.
– Sophomore goalie Josh Kirson saw his first career action, playing the final 23 minutes of the second half and making one save.
JUST THE STATS
Shots: Denver 36, Ohio State 27
Ground Balls: Denver 28, Ohio State 23
Face-offs: Denver 14-of-23, Ohio State 9-of-23
Clears: Ohio State 12-of-13, Denver 18-of-18
Saves: Ohio State (Smidt and Kirson) 7, Denver (Matte) 4
Turnovers: Ohio State 15, Denver 8
The Buckeyes return to Ohio Stadium next Sunday, March 25, for a noon tilt with No. 4 Notre Dame. The game is the first of four this regular season that will be carried live on ESPNU.