COLUMBUS – Three-goal efforts from senior Jack Jasinski and junior Tre Leclaire, coupled by a 16-save performance in goal by sophomore Josh Kirson, powered the 15th-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team to a 12-9 season-opening victory over Cleveland State on Saturday in front of a sold out crowd at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
THE SHORT STORY
Six different players scored for a well-balanced Ohio State offense as the Buckeyes never trailed after the 8:00 mark of the first period. Ohio State scored multiple times in each quarter, keyed by a two-goal run beginning at the 11:18 mark of the third period that turned a 7-6 lead into a 9-6 advantage. On defense, Kirson set a career high with his 16 stops – nine coming in the first half.
Head coach Nick Myers: “Credit Coach Sheridan and his staff – they did an outstanding job. We’ve been fortunate to play them each year since they started and this is by far their best team. For us, it’s great to get that first win under our belt. It will get tougher from here as we go into week two. We’ll need to do a great job focusing in on the things we need to do better moving forward.”
“Offensively, we found a rhythm, and for us to improve we have to do a great job on extra man, in the face-off and on defense. It all connects. Josh did a nice job, he made the saves that he needed to and we’ve got to continue to do a better job in front of him.”
— Ohio State Men's LAX (@OhioStateMLAX) February 3, 2019
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• Cleveland State opened the scoring at the 8:18 mark of the first quarter, but the Buckeyes responded with three unanswered goals in four minutes, starting with a Jasinski to Lukas Buckley goal, followed by a Jasinski unassisted tally and then ending on Leclaire’s first goal of the day.
• The Vikings converted a man-up opportunity early in the second quarter to make the score 3-2, but a quick two-goal spurt in eight seconds pushed the Ohio State lead to 5-2. Jasinski scored off a pass from Colby Smith off a failed clear with 9:42 left in the half and Justin Inacio won the ensuring face-off, raced up-field to found sophomore Jackson Reid for a goal.
• The Buckeyes led 6-4 at halftime and scored on their first possession of the third quarter to push the advantage to 7-4. Two Gabe Reno goals for Cleveland State – less than a minute a part – brought the Vikings within one, but that’s as close as they would get.
• Ohio State opened its largest lead – 12-7 – on Buckley’s second score of the afternoon with 5:42 to play in the fourth quarter. Cleveland State closed out the scoring with two goals in the final three minutes of the game.
THIS AND THAT
• Josh Kirson’s 16 saves are the most in a single game since Tom Carey stopped 16 against Marquette in 2016.
• Sophomore Griffin Hughes, a native of near-by Powell, Ohio and Olentangy Liberty graduate – scored his first career goal at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter.
• Junior Jeff Henrick and sophomore Jed Manning earned the first career starts.
• Jasinski has at least one point in 13 consecutive games dating back to the 2018 season. His three goals were just one shy of his career high of four, set on April 9, 2017 vs. Johns Hopkins.
• Leclaire has 22 multi-goal games in his 37-game career.
• Ohio State improved to 23-0 all-time inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. It was also the Buckeyes’ third consecutive indoor sellout.
• The Buckeyes are 9-2 in season openers under head coach Nick Myers.
• Inacio won 10 or more face-offs for the sixth consecutive game dating back to last season.
JUST THE STATS
Leading scorers: Jaskinski (3G, 2A), Lukas Buckley (2G, 1A), Jackson Reid (2G, 1A), Tre Leclaire (3G)
Shots: Cleveland State 37, Ohio State 30
Ground Balls: Ohio State 27, Cleveland State 24
Face-offs: Cleveland State 13-of-25, Ohio State 12-of-25
Clears: Ohio State 17-of-19, Cleveland State 15-of-16
Extra Man: Cleveland State 3-of-6, Ohio State 0-of-4
Saves: Ohio State (Kirson) 16, Cleveland State (Espinoza and Russo) 10
Ohio State is back in action next Saturday at noon against Boston University at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Game time is set for noon and it will be carried live on BTN Plus (subscription required).