FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The No. 3-seeded Ohio State men's lacrosse team came back from a five-goal third-quarter deficit to top Towson 11-10 Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes advance to the first national championship game in program history and will take on top-seeded Maryland at 1 p.m. ET Monday on ESPN2.
Ohio State moves to 16-4 on the season, breaking the program record for wins in a single season first set in 1965.
Ohio State 11, Towson 10 – The short version
After allowing the first goal of the game, the Buckeyes responded with a pair midway through the first 15 minutes before the Tigers answered late in the first quarter to knot the score at 2-2. Towson then scored five of the six second-quarter goals and used eight Buckeye turnovers to take a 7-3 lead at halftime. The Tigers scored the first goal coming out of the half to make it an 8-3 game but Ohio State scored five of the six goals the rest of the quarter to cut the Towson lead to 9-8 after three quarters. The Buckeyes opened the fourth with a pair of quick goals by Tre Leclaire and JT Blubaugh before Johnny Pearson notched an insurance goal to put Ohio State up 11-9. Towson got one goal back with less than four minutes remaining, but the Buckeyes were able to hang on for the one-goal victory.
In the first quarter
The Buckeyes fell behind 1-0 less than five minutes into the game, but goals from Jack Jasinski and Logan Maccani in an eight-second span gave Ohio State a 2-1 lead midway through the first quarter. However, Towson answered back with a Jon Mazza goal at the 1:52 mark to knot the score at 2-2 at the end of the first. Ohio State goalie Tom Carey stopped five shots in the first 15 minutes as Towson held a 10-7 advantage in shots.
In the second quarter
Towson’s Joe Seider scored a pair of goals and Ryan Drenner added another in the first three minutes of the second quarter to give the Tigers a 5-2 lead. LeClaire answered with his 46th goal of the season at the 11:21 mark, but Drenner responded with his second of the game to regain the three-goal lead with 9:40 remaining in the half. Brian Bolewicki then capped the first-half scoring with a goal off a Mazza assist with 1:20 left to make it a 7-3 Tiger advantage at the midway point.
In the third quarter
Seider pushed the Tiger lead to 8-3 at 11:46 of the third, but the Buckeyes’ Austin Shanks got the goal right back at 10:34. Leclaire then scored at the 7:19 mark before Shanks added a man-up goal to make it 8-6 at 5:25. An Eric Fannell tally made it a one-goal game at the 4:11 mark, and, after a Tyler Young goal for Towson at 2:20, Fannell scored another at the 1:50 mark to make it 9-8 after three quarters of play. The five Buckeye goals in the quarter tied for the most Towson allowed in a quarter all season. Shots were 11-9 in favor of the Buckeyes, with Ohio State holding a 7-3 lead in shots on frame.
In the fourth quarter
Leclaire opened the final stanza with his third goal of the game to even the score at 9-9 at the 11:42 mark before Blubaugh gave the Buckeyes the 10-9 lead with a tally at 10:20. Pearson then pushed the Ohio State advantage to 11-9 with 6:10 remaining but Drenner answered with his third of the game to make it an 11-10 contest with less than four minutes left to play. However, the Buckeyes held for the 3:17 as a Seider shot with 15 seconds remaining sailed wide to send Ohio State to its first national championship in program history.