April 29, 2017

No. 3/4 Buckeyes Fall in OT at No. 12/13 Rutgers, 12-11


April 29, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3/4 Ohio State men’s lacrosse fell in overtime to No. 12/13 Rutgers, 12-11, Saturday in High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. The game ended the regular season for both teams. Ohio State is now 12-3 on the year and 3-2 in Big Ten play. Rutgers is 10-4 overall and was 2-3 in league action.

The Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights were tied seven times, including at the end of each quarter, and neither team held more than a two-goal lead. Buckeye freshman Tre Leclaire had a game-high four goals and scored the last two in regulation to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but Rutgers won the draw to open overtime and scored, as the Buckeyes played a second consecutive overtime contest.

Next up, Ohio State will host the Big Ten Tournament this week in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The Buckeyes will be joined by Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Penn State, with the bracket set Sunday following the completion of regular season play. Semifinal games will be at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, with the championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. BTN will televise all three games.

In the regular season finale, Rutgers opened the scoring at 12:36 of the first quarter, but the Buckeyes answered with two goals in a 47 second span for a 2-1 advantage. Redshirt freshman Lukas Buckley notched the Buckeyes’ first goal at 11:48 and senior Eric Fannell passed to junior Colin Chell for a goal at 11:01.

Rutgers scored the next goal to tie the game at two at 8:44, but Fannell set up Chell and Leclaire for back-to-back goals at 6:50 and 3:19 (man up) for a 4-2 Buckeye lead. In the final 35 seconds, Rutgers scored twice, including a goal as time expired to tie the game at four. Each team had nine shots in the opening stanza and Buckeye senior goalie Tom Carey had two saves.

Ohio State scored the first two goals of the second quarter, with Leclaire setting up senior JT Blubaugh at 14:06 and senior Tyler Pfister passing to Fannell, who scored at 12:17. Rutgers notched the next two, scoring at 10:14 and 7:37, to deadlock the score at six. Sophomore Jack Jasinski put the Buckeyes ahead at 6:39 but the Scarlet Knights again answered, as Jeff George scored at 2:25 for a 7-7 game at halftime. Ohio State had nine shots in the quarter, with Rutgers attempting seven.

Rutgers’ George scored twice in the third quarter, tallying at 13:26 and 6:16, for a 9-7 Scarlet Knights lead. Ohio State scored back-to-back in 34 seconds to tie the game for the fifth time. Leclaire scored a goal of his own at 4:25 and then assisted on a man-up tally by Johnny Pearson at 3:51. The teams were tied at nine heading into the fourth quarter. The teams combined for 22 shots in the quarter, with the Buckeyes ahead 12-10. Rutgers’ goalie made four stops and Carey had two for Ohio State.

In the first 2:37 of the fourth quarter Rutgers pushed ahead 11-9. Ohio State again answered, with Leclaire scoring back-to-back at 6:13 and 3:00 for an 11-11 game. Neither team was able to score the rest of the way in regulation. Rutgers outshot the Buckeyes 13-7 in the quarter and Carey made seven saves in the stanza, with the Scarlet Knights’ goalie making three stops.

Rutgers won the faceoff to open overtime. At 2:19, Kieran Mullins got to the front of the net and scored to give the Scarlet Knights the win.

Shots and Saves The Buckeyes were outshot, 41-37, in the game. Carey had 11 saves for the Buckeyes, his sixth game with 10 or more stops this season (and fifth in the last seven games). He has a 7.72 goals-against average and .556 save percentage this season, ranking among the NCAA’s best. He now has 436 career saves for the Scarlet and Gray, moving into the Top 10 in program history.

Rutgers’ goalie had nine saves in the game, including seven in the second half.

Faceoffs and Groundballs Buckeye senior Jake Withers won 12-of-19 (.632) faceoffs in the game and had four groundballs, while freshman Christian Feliziani had two faceoff wins for Ohio State. On the year, Withers has won 194-of-284 facoffs (.683) and has a team-high 105 groundballs.

Ohio State won the groundball battle vs. Rutgers, 26-20. Sophomore Matt Borges tied Withers for the Buckeye lead with four.

Noting the Buckeyes
• Ohio State was 2-for-3 on extra man chances and is 24-for-49 (.490) this season. Leclaire and Austin Shanks are tied for first with six EMO goals each, while Pearson and Chell both have five.
 • Leclaire leads the Buckeyes with 32 goals this season and is second with 45 points. It was his fifth game with three or more goals and his third game with six or more points. He has a point in all but one game as a Buckeye.  
• Fannell leads the team with 23 assists and 48 points, ranking second with 25 goals. He has 12 goals and 17 points in his last four games combined.  
• Chell had two goals for the second time in three games and had his fifth multiple goal game of the year. He has a 17-11-28 line this season.