The struggle to piece wins together continues for the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team.
The Buckeyes (1-5, 0-0) dropped their third straight game early in the season after falling to No. 9 Denver, 9-5, Saturday.
Playing as non-conference opponents for the first time since before 1998, freshman midfielder John Kelly opened up the scoring after recording his first career goal on an assist from junior midfielder David Planning, who led the Buckeyes with a career-high three goals and four points.
However, Denver responded quickly as freshman attackman Zach Miller scored his first of five goals just more than a minute later.
After two more goals put the Pioneers up 3-1, the Buckeyes used a man-up goal from Planning as well as a goal from freshman attackman J.T. Blubaugh to tie the game at three before halftime.
Junior midfielder Jesse King, who leads OSU in scoring with 22 points on the year, recorded the assist on Blubaugh’s goal to extend his point streak to 29 games.
The teams traded goals coming out of the break, but Denver used a five-goal run to seize a 9-4 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Planning scored the fifth goal for the Buckeyes off an assist from Kelly, but OSU — who was stymied for much of the second half — could not draw any closer as the Pioneers closed out the victory.
This was the second consecutive game the Buckeyes were limited to five goals, after they fell to Hofstra, 7-5, March 8.
Offensively, the Pioneers were led by Miller, who finished with a career-best seven points on five goals and two assists. Senior midfielder Jeremy Noble, who was drafted sixth overall in January’s Major League Lacrosse Draft by the Denver Outlaws, had three points (one goal, two assists) on the night.
OSU senior goaltender Dutton made six saves for the Buckeyes.
OSU is scheduled to return home next week for its first of three straight games in Columbus, set to take on ECAC opponent Bellarmine (4-2, 0-2).