ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A win is a win, but a win over a rival can have more significance.
After a 13-8 victory in Ann Arbor on Sunday, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team remained undefeated against Michigan and improved to 3-0 in Big Ten play this season. But the victory over the Wolverines was more than just a check in the win column.
“Coming into their place and seeing all these nasty colors out here, it means a lot to us to get this win on the road,” senior defenseman Evan Mulchrone said.
OSU struck first when senior midfielder David Planning put the ball in the goal 57 seconds into the game, followed by a strike from junior attackman Carter Brown 16 seconds later. But Michigan was quick to answer the Buckeyes’ fast start as the Maize and Blue went up, 4-2, early in the second quarter.
“The goalie was hot early,” OSU coach Nick Myers said. “We took 10 shots in the first quarter and only scored two goals.”
Myers said he was confident the goals would eventually fall, though, and they did. The Buckeyes retook the lead near the end of the first half with five unanswered goals, going up 7-4 before the break.
“They came out playing really well,” Mulchrone said. “We got back to playing our original game of sliding and making them earn their goals, stopping unassisted goal scoring.”
The Buckeyes acknowledged the Wolverines’ talent and effort going into the game, but Planning said he knows a rivalry victory requires more than just physical strength.
“At the end of the day, it’s about hustling,” he said. “It’s about how badly you want the win.”
Sunday’s game marked OSU’s first victory over Michigan as part of the Big Ten conference, making a “special rivalry” even sweeter, Myers said.
“It’s our culture versus theirs, and we did what we do,” he said. “The seniors now have completed their 4-0 streak, but now we can focus on next week and our fourth opportunity to get another conference win.”
OSU is set to return to Columbus to take on Maryland in its final home game on Saturday. The Showdown at the ‘Shoe is set to take place at 11 a.m. prior to the football team’s annual Spring Game.