May 29, 2017
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The No. 3-seeded Ohio State men’s lacrosse team saw its historic season come to a close with a 9-6 defeat to top-seeded Maryland in the NCAA Championship game Monday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in front of a crowd of 28,971. The Buckeyes conclude the season with a program-record 16 wins and the first NCAA semifinal and title game appearances in program history.
The game ended the career for the 11 members of the Buckeye senior class – Lucas Bailey, JT Blubaugh, Tom Carey, Nick Doyle, Eric Fannell, John Kelly, Bryan Lichtenauer, Johnny Pearson, Tyler Pfister, Austin Shanks and Jake Withers. The group was a part of 41 wins over the last four years, the most in a four-year span in program history.
For their efforts in Foxborough, Carey, a goalie, and freshman attackman Tre Leclaire were named to the NCAA All-Tournament team.
— Ohio State Men’s LAX (@OhioState_MLAX) May 29, 2017
Maryland 9, Ohio State 6, – The Short Version
The Buckeyes scored first in a back-and-forth first 15 minutes, but Maryland answered with the final two tallies of the frame to take a 3-2 lead after the first quarter. The Terps then scored twice in the first six minutes of the second quarter to push the advantage to 5-2 at the half. After each team found the back of the net once in the third quarter, Maryland scored the first two goals of the fourth to make it an 8-3 game. Three-straight Buckeye goals cut the Terps’ advantage to 8-6 before an insurance tally in the final minute capped the scoring at 9-6.
Carey made 13 saves in the Buckeye cage, tallying double-digit save in every NCAA game this season, while Leclaire scored and added an assist. Sophomore Logan Maccani also had four groundballs and a goal.
In the First Quarter
Ohio State opened the scoring in a back-and-forth first quarter when Shanks tallied his 15th of the year at the 11:02 mark. Maryland’s Tim Rotanz answered at 5:53 but the Buckeyes’ Colin Chell put Ohio State ahead once again at 5:08. However, an Adam DiMillo goal at the 3:03 mark tied the game at 2-2 before Connor Kelly gave the Terrapins the 3-2 advantage with 59 seconds remaining in the quarter. Withers won five of six faceoffs over the first 15 minutes of play.
In the Second Quarter
Maryland’s Dylan Maltz opened the second quarter with a goal at the 12:37 mark and DiMillo scored again at 9:43 to push the lead to 5-2, where it would remain at the half. The Terrapins held an 11-4 lead in shots in the second quarter, with Carey making three saves.
In the Third Quarter
Maccani cut into the Maryland lead with a goal at the 10:53 mark of the third quarter to make it a 5-3 contest. Rotanz answered back at 5:30 for the Terps with his second goal of the game to make it 6-3 through three quarters of play. Carey made five more saves in the third quarter as Maryland held a 12-5 advantage in shots.
In the Fourth Quarter
Maltz then tacked on his second of the game to make it 7-3 with 13:18 left to play before Matt Rambo made it an 8-3 contest at the 10:36 mark. Withers won the ensuing faceoff and found the back of the net to make it 8-4 at 10:24 and Leclaire scored his 49th goal of the year to cut the lead to 8-5 with 5:01 remaining. Pearson narrowed the advantage to 8-6 at the 2:25 mark but the Buckeyes would not be able to close the gap any further as Rotanz third of the game, an empty-net goal with 59 seconds remaining, sealed the win for the Terps.
Shots and Saves
The Buckeyes were outshot, 41-25, in the game. Carey had 13 saves, the eighth time in the last nine games he had double-digit stops, with nine in the second half vs. the Terps. He ends the season with an 8.32 goals-against average and .547 save percentage, in the Top 12 nationally.
Maryland’s goalie made 11 stops in the game.
Faceoffs and Groundballs
Withers won eight faceoffs in the game and had a team-best seven groundballs. On the year, Withers won 275-of-425 faceoffs (.647) and had a team-best 159 groundballs. In his Buckeye career, Withers had a Buckeye-record 351 groundballs and won 614 faceoffs, with a .595 faceoff winning percentage, the best for a Buckeye since at least 2000.
Maccani had four groundballs in the game, while junior Freddy Freibott picked up three.
Noting the Buckeyes
• Leclaire ends the season with a team-best 49 goals, the third-most in a single season in program history. He was second on the squad with 65 points, ranking 12th for a Buckeye in a season.
• Eric Fannell ended the season as the Buckeyes’ leader in assists with 30 and points with 66; both marks are tied for 10th in a single year in Buckeye history.
• Blubaugh is the Buckeyes’ leader in career games played with 69.
• Ohio State was making its first NCAA final appearance.