The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team has been living on the edge early in 2014.
In both of its exhibition matches, OSU fell behind early, and even though the comeback was completed against Hill Academy Jan. 18, it was a different story Saturday against Navy.
The Midshipmen, who finished 3-10 last season, took down the Buckeyes 15-11 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Navy got off to a flying start when senior long stick midfielder Pat Kiernan scooped up a ground ball on the opening face-off and scored 10 seconds into the game.
Junior midfielder Jesse King tallied the first goal for OSU to tie the game, but the Midshipmen scored the next four to find themselves leading, 5-1, at the end of the first quarter.
After extending their lead to 8-2 in the second quarter, King and the Buckeyes took advantage of Navy penalties to get back in the game.
“We all move the ball really well,” King said. “We have a lot of the same guys from last year … I think it is just everyone being a threat and working together that makes our man-up really good.”
OSU was able to cut the Midshipmen’s lead to 11-10 with just more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter after senior defenseman Darius Bowling registered an unassisted goal.
But that was as close as the Buckeyes got as Navy went on to score four of the last five goals in the game to preserve the victory.
OSU coach Nick Myers gave Navy credit for coming out of the gates quickly and putting pressure on the Buckeyes.
“They got off to a great start on the very first face off,” Myers said. “We had five turnovers in the first quarter which really dug us into a hole.”
The Buckeyes were led offensively by King, who totaled seven points on two goals and five assists, as well as senior attackman Adam Trombley and sophomore midfielder Charlie Schnider who both netted hat tricks in the contest.
Sophomore attackman Carter Brown, who was third on the team last year in points with 43, has yet to dress for the Buckeyes in their exhibition games as he is recovering from an injury.
Myers did not give specifics about Brown’s injury, but said the team will wait and see if Brown can play next week and has no doubt that he will make an impact offensively when he returns.
“He is a little nicked up, so it is up to our medical staff,” Myers said. “Certainly, he will give us a little bit of a boost when he does get back in the lineup.”
Buckeye senior defenseman Joe Meurer said the team has to learn from its mistakes in order to avoid a second consecutive loss when OSU takes on Robert Morris Saturday.
“It’s just about continuing to work hard,” Meurer said. “We need to get in the film room and see what we are doing wrong in order to not make the same mistakes week after week.”
The game against Robert Morris is set to start at noon Saturday and is the final time the Buckeyes take the field prior to starting regular season play at Johns Hopkins Feb. 9.