Lantern file photo
As the preseason gives way to the regular season for the No. 20 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team, confidence might continue to build in the Buckeyes’ locker room.
Saturday’s doubleheader and preseason finale against No. 12 Syracuse and Robert Morris yielded positive results for the Buckeyes, who had a chance to test out their younger players with the physical toll of playing two games in a day.
Dropping the first match, the Buckeyes lost to Syracuse 8-7, conceding a late goal to the Orange that proved to be the difference in the game.
After about a three-hour break, the team came out and took down Robert Morris, 17-9, outscoring the Colonials 11-2 in the second half.
Coming into the day, some fans circled the team’s game against Syracuse as a potential thriller.
The teams did not disappoint.
OSU captain, senior midfielder Dominique Alexander, kicked the scoring off early in the first half putting the Buckeyes up, 1-0.
The Orange answered, though, and showed why their defense is considered one of the best in America, holding the Buckeyes’ goalless for almost 20 minutes during the game’s first and second quarters. After giving up four straight goals, OSU went into the half trailing, 3-5, and needing a spark on offense.
The Buckeyes came out on fire in the second half, tying the game, 7-7, by the midpoint of the fourth quarter, though.
In the end, OSU could not capitalize on its momentum, and Syracuse scored the winner with just more than two minutes to play in the match.
While Robert Morris came out and played Syracuse, OSU got a chance to head back to the locker room for a little recuperation and game planning for the second match.
Starting remarkably similarly to the way they had earlier in the day, the Buckeyes scored the first goal of the match but conceded four straight scores to give Robert Morris a 3-point lead heading into the second quarter.
Senior midfielder Dan Wertz and senior attacker Patrick Riffee turned it on after the break between quarters. Scoring a combined 11 goals, seven of which were from Wertz, the two seniors spurred the Buckeyes to a dominant performance in the final three quarters.
Once the dust had settled, OSU led, 17-9, which finished the preseason unofficially 2-2.
OSU is set to play the Detroit Titans for the regular season opener on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.