April 12, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the 2014 Showdown in the Shoe, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team beat Michigan, 15-6, on a beautiful day in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes, led by Jesse King with five goals and six points, scored 10 unanswered goals, shutting out the Wolverines for the final 35:24, en route to the win. The announced attendance was 17,641, with more than 31,000 fans in the stands by the end of the game, which preceded the Ohio State football spring game.
“I would like to thank Gene Smith, Janine Oman and Coach Meyer for the opportunity to be part of a very special event today,” Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. “I would also like to thank all of the Buckeye fans that came in strong to support us. It was a great team win and one we will be able to build on as we continue league play.”
The Buckeyes, who have won their last three games and four of the last five, close their regular season home schedule at 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Air Force in Ohio Stadium on Senior Day. The team will then travel to Fairfield for the final regular season game April 26 before hosting the ECAC Tournament May 1 and 3 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The tournament winner earns the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
The game, the sixth edition of the Showdown in the Shoe, was the first meeting between the Buckeyes (5-6, 2-0 ECAC) and Wolverines (4-9, 1-3 ECAC) as varsity foes in Columbus. King matched his career high with five goals, while sophomore Ryan Hunter had a career-high four goals. Junior Turner Evans had four points on two goals and two assists, while sophomore Carter Brown had a hat trick and junior Reegan Comeault had three assists. Freshman Jake Withers won 16 faceoffs for the Buckeyes and shared the team lead with Michael Italiano with six groundballs each. Senior goalie Scott Spencer made nine saves, moving to 3-1 on the year.
The Buckeyes scored the first goal but trailed 3-2 after the first quarter. The Wolverines took a three-goal lead (5-2) at 13:27 of the second quarter but Ohio State responded with a three-goal run for a five-all game at 10:48. The Wolverines again pushed ahead (6-5) at 5:24 but a goal from Ohio State with 1:40 left before halftime deadlocked the score at 6. Ohio State took its first lead since early in the first quarter 1:40 into the third quarter and scored five more times before the end of the stanza for a 12-6 lead after 45 minutes. The Buckeyes added three goals in the fourth, continuing to shut out the Wolverines, for the 15-6 final.
The first quarter ended with Michigan ahead, 3-2. King found Brown for a goal at 10:07 to open the scoring but Michigan scored the next two for a 2-1 lead at 4:54. King scored unassisted to tie the game at 2:53, however, the Wolverines scored with 17 seconds left in the quarter to regain the lead (3-2). Michigan outshot the Buckeyes, 10-8, in the quarter, with Spencer making two saves for the Buckeyes.
Michigan scored two goals in a 24 second span early in the second quarter, part of a three-goal run, to extend the lead to three (5-2). Ohio State answered with three goals in less than two minutes to tie the score at 5 with 10:48 left in the quarter. King scored, assisted by Comeault, at 12:44 before Evans and King each scored unassisted at 11:32 and 10:54. UM ended Ohio State’s run at 5:24 but Comeault found Hunter for a goal at 1:40, tying the game at 6 heading into halftime. Shots were 12-4 in favor of Ohio State in the quarter.
Ohio State scored six goals in the third quarter, shutting out Michigan and holding the Wolverines to five shots, to take a 12-6 lead through 45 minutes. Evans set up Brown at 13:20 to give Ohio State the lead for the first time since the first quarter. Junior Rick Lewis scored unassisted at 10:49 to an 8-6 Ohio State advantage. Soon after, defenseman Robby Haus picked off a Wolverine clearing pass and found King all alone in front, who scored his fourth of the game at 10:15. With Ohio State man-up, freshman J.T. Blubaugh set up Evans for a goal at 5:03 and 22 seconds later King scored off an assist from Comeault. Ohio State had 17 shots in the quarter.
Ohio State outshot the Wolverines, 49-26, in the game, making a season high for shots this year. Spencer played all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes and had nine saves, dropping his goals-against average to 7.80 this season, with a .525 save percentage. Michigan’s Robbie Zonino had 15 stops in all 60 minutes.
Ohio State is 3-0 vs. Michigan since the squad moved to a varsity program in 2012. The game was part of the Creator’s Trophy competition, the traveling award competed for by the Buckeyes, Wolverines and Penn State. The Nittany Lions won the 2014 title with victories over Ohio State and Michigan, with the Buckeyes ending 2014 play 1-1 and the Wolverines 0-2.
King extended his point streak to 33 games, with 64 goals, 50 assists and 114 points in the stretch and is on a 20-game assist streak (37 assists). He is first on the squad with 24 goals, 21 assists and 45 points this season. King has nine goals, 12 assists and 21 points in his last three games combined. The five goals vs. Michigan matched his career high, set earlier this season at Johns Hopkins.
Comeault extended his point streak to 11 (each game this season). He is fourth on the team with 22 points this year, on 11 goals and 11 assists, all career highs. His three assists vs. Michigan were a career high and just his second game with multiple assists.
Brown is second on the team with 18 goals and 28. It was his fifth multiple goal game this season and third in a row.
Ohio State scored 15 goals for the second game in a row and is averaging 9.91 goals a game on the year, allowing 8.45 an outing. The team has held opponents to less than 10 goals in six of the last seven games.
Withers has a team-high 53 groundballs and has won 89-of-172 (.517) of his faceoffs this season.
The Buckeyes, who entered the week second in the country in clearing percentage, were 13-for-15 vs. Michigan and are 184-for-198 (.929) on the year.