The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team early-season winning run came to an end on Saturday.
The Buckeyes lost to the University of Massachusetts Minutemen by a score of 16-9 for their first loss and the Minutemen’s first win of the season.
In similar fashion to their first two games, the Buckeyes fell into an early deficit. UMass won the opening faceoff, and junior attacker Gianni Bianchin scored his first of three goals in the half to give the Minutemen an early 1-0 lead.
The Scarlet and Gray rebounded, however, and went on a 4-1 run to end the first quarter. Junior midfielder John Kelly scored two of his four goals in the quarter, and senior attacker Carter Brown threw a strike into the upper corner of the net for his third goal of the season to give OSU a 4-2 lead heading into the second quarter.
However, on a mission to defend its home field, UMass came out of the gate strong in the second quarter.
Bianchin scored two early goals to tie the game at four, and sophomore midfielder Buddy Carr scored his first of four goals with 8:23 left to cap a 4-0 Minutemen run and give the home team a 6-4 lead.
OSU was unable to get any offensive momentum in the second quarter until Kelly scored with 4:47 remaining. An additional goal for each team to end the half gave UMass a 7-6 lead heading into the break.
The Minutemen outshot the Buckeyes 20-13 in the first half, while OSU had a 7-5 advantage in faceoffs, leading to a relatively even first half between the two teams.
Such was not the case in the second half.
UMass blitzed the Buckeye defense in the second half, outscoring OSU 9-3 en route to a 16-9 finish. The Minutemen held a significant advantage in time of possession, leading to a 17-11 advantage in goal attempts.
One reason for the disparity in goals scored in the second half was how UMass was able to capitalize on its opportunities. The Minutemen were able to score off OSU turnovers and empty-netters late in the game.
On the other hand, the Buckeyes were unable to capitalize on extra-man opportunities following UMass penalties the entire game, including a small stretch when the OSU had a two-man advantage.
One bright spot for the Buckeyes was the play of junior midfield specialist Jake Withers. Although he was unable to gain an extreme advantage in faceoffs like the previous two games, he did win the overall faceoff battle 13-12, extending his streak of positive differentials to three games.
The Scarlet and Gray will try to rebound from the loss when they are set to go up against University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Friday at Ohio Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.