Ohio State got some revenge on Thursday evening.
The Buckeyes topped Maryland men’s lacrosse 9-6 in the semifinals of the Big Ten men’s lacrosse tournament.
Five fourth quarter goals for Ohio State really swayed this game in the Buckeyes favor.
Midfielder Jesse King got the scoring started for the Buckeyes early on in the first quarter with 12:35 remaining. Ohio State was on a man-up advantage due to a hit by defender Casey Ikeda. They were methodical moving the ball around the cage, and the possession ended with King dodging long-stick midfielder Mike McCarney for the easy goal.
After freshman midfielder Connor Kelly drew iron on his shot on the man-up advantage, the ball ricocheted back out to midfielder Joe LoCascio, who found midfielder Bryan Cole. Cole then found attackman Matt Rambo for a heavy shot that found the back of the cage to tie the game with 10:43 left in the opening quarter.
Maryland was able to win the ensuing face-off, and some crisp passing ended in an even-strength goal for LoCascio from about 10 feet out. It would be one of two tallies on the evening for the senior midfielder.
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Much of this game was about defense as Maryland and Ohio State possess the top two defenses in the Big Ten, according to goals-against-average. The two teams combined for just five goals in the half with the Terps taking a 3-2 lead into halftime.
Prior to a goal by midfielder Turner Evans with 38 seconds remaining in the first half, the Buckeyes hadn’t scored for 26:57.
With 7:53 left in the third quarter, attackman Carter Brown made his move from behind the cage and juked around LoCascio, which allowed him to beat goalie Kyle Bernlohr to tie the game 3-3.
In a 50-second span late in third quarter, Rambo and attackman Jay Carlson found the back of the cage to give the Terps a 5-3 lead. Rambo was very patient and aggressively darted towards the goal, and beat a pair of Buckeye defenders. On Carlson’s tally, the senior attackman simply received a perfect pass from Cole right in front for the crease for the easy tally.
With the Terps having a good amount of the momentum late in the third quarter, the Buckeyes looked to be facing a two-goal deficit heading into the fourth quarter. However, midfielder David Planning scooped up a ground ball with three seconds left on the game clock and rifled it past Bernlohr to make it a 5-4 contest with just a single second left on clock.
Evans, who only had six goals coming into Thursday night’s game, open the scoring in the fourth quarter. He took advantage of freshman midfielder Adam DiMillo defending him and cut to the cage for the goal.
Just 40 seconds later, Planning also recorded his second goal of the game as he found the back of the cage to give Ohio State a 6-5 lead. The Buckeyes would score two more goals to give them a streak of six unaswered goals ranging from late in the third quarter to the 1:33 mark of the final stanza.
Attackman Colin Chell, Evans, and Planning all registered two-goal games in a contest where the Maryland defense really stymied King throughout. Every time King got the ball on his stick, the Terps would instantly double-team him.
Ohio State outshot Maryland 27-22 and also got to more 50/50 balls as the Buckeyes scooped up 25 ground balls to the 16 for the Terps.
Maryland did add a late goal with just 25 seconds left in the game. After getting three assists earlier, Cole was the beneficary of a nice pass from attackman Dylan Maltz as he found mesh.
With the win, Ohio State will face Johns Hopkins in the Big Ten tournament championship on Saturday at 8 p.m. On the other hand, Maryland will have to sit on eggshells until Sunday’s NCAA men’s lacrosse Selection Show at 9 p.m.
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