COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule on Sunday with a 9-8 setback against No. 4 Notre Dame. The Buckeyes celebrated Veteran/Military Appreciation day by hosting a crowd of 3,218, the largest non-Spring Game attendance since 2016.
THE SHORT STORY
Sophomore Tre Leclaire paced the Buckeyes’ offense with a game-high five points (3G, 2A) while senior John Kelly scored once and handed out a pair of assists. Kelly’s tally with 2:42 to play in the third quarter gave Ohio State a 6-5 lead, but Notre Dame scored three times in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter to go ahead 8-6, an advantage they would never relinquish.
HOW THE GOALS WERE SCORED
– Ohio State jumped out in front quickly, getting a save on the opening possession from goalie Josh Kirson, leading to an opportunity on the offensive end for Leclaire to find freshman JT Bugliosi for an early 1-0 lead.
– Notre Dame scored twice in less than two minutes midway through the first quarter, but Leclaire found the back of the next for the first time on the afternoon at 3:36 of the first quarter to knot the score at 2-2.
– A total of six goals were scored in the second quarter, as the Irish built a 4-2 lead only to see the Buckeyes roar back with two scores of their own – one of a Kelly feed to Reid and the other on a Leclaire goal – to tie it at 4-4. Ohio State and Notre Dame then traded goals in the final four minutes for a 5-5 halftime tie.
– Kelly’s unassisted goal was the only score of the third quarter, but Notre Dame answered early in the fourth quarter. ND’s Mikey Wynne caused a turnover in Buckeye territory, picked up a ground ball and scored unassisted with 9:56 remaining to make the score 8-6. Ohio State would rally to within one goal on two occasions in the fourth quarter but couldn’t score the equalizer.
Head coach Nick Myers: “You saw two ball clubs go back and forth and day. A lot of things made a difference in the game but ultimately I’m really proud of the way our men fought. We had some chances all the way up to the very end. The biggest takeaway for us is that we got better this week. We didn’t get the outcome we wanted but we’re going to take the confidence we gained into Big Ten play and build on the positives.”
Senior John Kelly: “We’re doing some things really well offensively and now we have to put some of those other pieces together and connect all the dots. We have to stay the course. For the past two weeks we’ve gotten a lot better as a team. We have to trust our coaches, trust the process, lean on our blueprint and we’ll be successful.”
THIS AND THAT
– Senior Freddy Freibott picked up four ground balls and reached 100 in his career. The Wilmington, Del. Native has 86 groundballs in 30 games since the start of last season.
– Five of Ohio State’s last six games have been decided by one goal.
– Leclaire has multiple points in seven of nine games this year. His five points today was a season high. He leads the team with 16 goals, 10 assists and 26 points.
– With Kelly’s three-point day, he has already surpassed his total goal and assist output from last season. The senior from Towson, Md. is Ohio State’s second-leading scorer with 10 goals and five assists for 15 points.
– Kirson, a redshirt freshman from Newton, Mass., made his first career start today and responded by making 13 saves – including four in the fourth quarter to keep Ohio State within striking distance.
– In addition to celebrating Military/Veteran Appreciation Day, the Buckeyes also hosted several youth teams as well, including the Upper Arlington Lacrosse Association. On Saturday, members of the team and coaching staff conducted a clinic with team members.
JUST THE STATS
Shots: Notre Dame 44, Ohio State 28
Ground Balls: Notre Dame 31, Ohio State 26
Face-offs: Notre Dame 17-of-21, Ohio State 4-of-21
Clears: Ohio State 21-of-25, Notre Dame 18-of-19
Extra-Man: Ohio State 1-of-1, Notre Dame 1-of-1
Saves: Ohio State (Kirson) 13, Notre Dame (Schmidt) 9
Turnovers: Notre Dame 16, Ohio State 12
Big Ten play begins next Saturday when Ohio State hosts Penn State at 3 p.m. inside Ohio Stadium. The game against the Nittany Lions can also be seen live on ESPNU.