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AMHERST, Mass. – Tre Leclaire’s four goals and a 17-save performance by Josh Kirson lifted No. 13 Ohio State to an 11-7 victory on Saturday over Massachusetts at Garber Field. With the win, the Buckeyes are 3-0 on the season with UMass falls to 0-2. It was also Ohio State’s first-ever victory at Garber Field.
THE SHORT STORY
Leclaire’s offensive performance was backed up by two goals and two assists from Jack Jasinski and a one-goal, three-assist effort from Jack Myers. Jackson Reid, Ryan Terefenko, Colby Smith and Johnny Wiseman all added scores as well. Justin Inacio was also key to the Buckeyes’ effort, winning 14 of 22 face-offs. It was his eight straight game with 10 or more wins, dating back to the 2018 season.
Head coach Nick Myers: “I thought we grew up a little bit today. We talked all week about the challenge to be on the road against a really tough opponent. We were confident that if we stuck with our gameplan, executed on the offense end a bit better and gave Josh the shots he needed to see, that really gave is a lot of momentum. Justin did an outstanding job in the X of winning the face-offs that we needed. Those extra possessions were a big deal.”
Goalie Josh Kirson: “It was a close game coming out of halftime and we had a good plan. We play a seven defense that doesn’t work without the guys in front of me. It was a great team effort in the second half.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• Kirson made six first-half saves and had his biggest effort in the third quarter as he stopped eight shots while the Buckeyes scored four unanswered goals to build a 10-6 lead. Leclaire started the run with a goal at the 12:37 mark and that was followed one minute later by Myers, who snuck one past UMass goalie Sean Sconone to give the Buckeyes a two-goal lead.
• Colby Smith took a pass from Jasinski midway through the quarter and scored to make the score 9-6 and Leclaire finished the rally at the 5:21 mark of the quarter off a feed from Myers. Kirson, meanwhile, turned away all eight UMass shots on goal during the quarter and was complemented by a strong effort in front of him by Matt Borges, Jeff Henrick, Buchanan Dunavant and a host of others.
• UMass opened the fourth quarter scoring midway through the final stanza to make the score 10-7, but the Ohio State defense stood strong for the remainder of the quarter and Leclaire closed out the scoring with 1:37 to play.
• Ohio State never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 3-1 first-quarter lead behind Jackson Reid, Ryan Terefenko and Leclaire. The Terefenko and Leclaire goals came on man-up situations.
• UMass tied the game at 3-3 early in the second quarter, but a pair of freshmen – Wiseman and Myers – teamed up to give the lead back to the Buckeyes at the 10:48 mark. Four minutes later, Jasinski netted an unassisted goal to make the score 5-3.
• The Minutemen scored twice in a three-minute span late in the second quarter to knot the score at 5-5, but Jasinski gave the lead back to Ohio State with his second goal of the day with just 2:18 remaining in the first half. UMass’ Jeff Trainor made it 6-6 with 1:40 to play in the half, and that’s where the score stayed through halftime.
THIS AND THAT
• Leclaire has opened the season with at least three goals in all three contests. He leads the team with 11 goals and is second with 12 total points.
• Jasinski, who now has a team-high 14 points on the year, has registered at least one point in 15 consecutive games. His goal in the second quarter of today’s game was the 50th of his career.
• Kirson has 16 or more saves in each of his two starts this year.
• Wiseman’s goal in the second quarter was the first of his career.
• Myers’ registered three assists for the second consecutive game.
• The Buckeyes were winless at UMass’ Garber Field in three previous trips. It was the sixth game in a series that began in 2011.
JUST THE STATS
Scoring: Leclaire (4G), Jasinski (2G, 2A), Myers (1G, 3A), Reid (1G, 1A), Terefenko (1G), Smith (1G), Wiseman (1G)
Shots: UMass 45, Ohio State 41
Saves: UMass (Sconone) 20, Ohio State (Kirson) 17
Face-offs: Ohio State 14-of-26, UMass 8-of-22
Ground balls: Ohio State 25, UMass 23
Turnovers: Ohio State 15, UMass 12
Clears: Ohio State 13-of-16, UMass 14-of-17
The Buckeyes return to Columbus next weekend and host Bucknell inside Ohio Stadium for a noon face-off.