April 20, 2013
USAFA, Colo. - Behind 15 saves from junior Greg Dutton and five-point games from senior co-captains Logan Schuss and Dominique Alexander, the No. 12-ranked Ohio State men's lacrosse team defeated Air Force, 10-9, Saturday in Falcon Stadium. Ohio State, now 9-3 overall and 4-2 in ECAC play, rallied from a 7-6 halftime deficit for the victory over the Falcons (6-7, 1-5 ECAC).
The win clinched a Top 4 spot in the ECAC Lacrosse League standings and berth in the conference tournament for the Buckeyes. Ohio State, Denver, Loyola and Fairfield will compete for the league's tournament title May 2 and 4 in Geneva, N.Y.
"The men showed guts on the road winning after being down at halftime," Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. "We started the second half two men down and made a stop, which really ignited our team. We got a number of great individual efforts but overall this was a solid team win."
After the teams ended the first quarter tied at 4, Air Force outscored the Buckeyes 3-2 in the second quarter to carry a 7-6 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, Schuss scored three times and the Buckeyes shut out the Falcons to gain a 9-7 lead. Air Force scored early in the fourth to make it a one-goal game but sophomore Turner Evans tallied with 6:48 left for a 10-8 Buckeye advantage. Air Force again drew within one with a tally in the final minute, but Dutton stopped the final Falcon attempt and Ohio State held on for the conference win.
Schuss had four goals and an assist for five points and now has 51 points on the year, his fourth season with 50-plus points. Alexander had two goals and three assists for a career-high five-point game. Senior Trey Wilkes won 15-of-21 faceoffs and Dutton made a career-high 15 saves in the game, including six stops in the third quarter as Ohio State pulled ahead.
The Buckeyes close the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday when they host Fairfield in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The senior class will be honored pregame, with the game streamed by the Big Ten Digital Network, available through Buckeye Vision and BTN.com.
The teams were tied at 4 after the opening 15 minutes. Schuss put the Buckeyes on the board just 50 seconds in and sophomore David Planning scored, assisted by Alexander, at 10:27. The Falcons went on a three-goal run to tie the game and take the lead, with a tally from Ryland De Pol at 9:38, Christopher Allen at 4:22 and Keith Dreyer at 3:31. Alexander and Planning scored unassisted 36 seconds apart, at 2:58 and 2:22, to put the Buckeyes back ahead (4-3), but a Kyle Cassady goal for Air Force with 32 seconds left in the quarter tied the game. Air Force outshot Ohio State, 9-8, in the stanza and Dutton made four saves.
Air Force led 7-6 at halftime. Mike Crampton put the Falcons ahead 5-4 early in the quarter before back-to-back goals from Alexander and junior Adam Trombley (assisted by sophomore Jesse King) 35 seconds apart gave Ohio state a 6-5 lead with 11:31 left. Crampton tied the game at 6 with a tally for the Falcons at 10:33 and Tommy McKee scored man-up eight seconds later to put Air Force ahead 7-6. The teams were scoreless the rest of the quarter. Air Force attempted eight shots, holding Ohio State to six.
The Buckeyes scored the only three goals of the third quarter, all by Schuss (with two assisted by Alexander) for a 9-7 lead. Schuss tied the game at 12:51, assisted by Alexander, put the Buckeyes ahead 8-7 with an unassisted goal at 5:56 and pushed the advantage to 9-7 at 3:10, scoring off a pass from Alexander. Ohio State outshot Air Force, 12-8, in the quarter and Dutton stopped all six shots he faced.
Air Force drew within one (9-8) 2:11 into the fourth quarter on a tally by Allen. Evans scored, assisted by Schuss, at 6:48 to put the Buckeyes up by two. With just 47 seconds left Crampton tallied for Air Force to make it a one-goal game. The Buckeyes won the ensuing faceoff but Air Force forced a turnover out of an Ohio State timeout. The Falcons cleared but Dutton made a save to preserve the lead. Each team had six shots in the quarter and each goalie had three saves.
Ohio State outshot Air Force, 33-30, in the contest. Dutton made a career-high 15 saves and Austin Fox had 11 saves for the Falcons.
The Buckeyes had the edge in groundballs, 28-20, led by Wilkes, who won 15-of-21 faceoffs, and freshman Robby Haus with four each.
Schuss moved his school-record career goal total to 133 and now has 216 points as a Buckeye, with at least one point in all 57 games. He leads the 2013 team with 31 goals, 20 assists and 51 points. He has five or more points in each of his last three, and four of his last five, games. He has 10 goals, 10 assists and 20 points in his last three games combined.
Dutton's 15 saves passed the 14 he had vs. Loyola earlier this season and at Hobart in 2011. He has an 8.39 goals-against average and .534 save percentage this season, with a 7-3 ledger, with double-digit saves in each of his last four games.
Alexander had the first five-point game of his career and matched his career high of three assists, set twice before (last April 14, 2012 at Michigan). It was his second two-goal game of the season and he has a 2-5-7 line in his last three games combined.
Planning had his sixth two-point game of the year and his third two-goal outing.
Wilkes has won 126-of-210 (.600) faceoffs this season and is first on the team with 49 groundballs. He has double-digit faceoff wins in eight games, with the 15 wins tied for his second-highest total this year.
Ohio State earned a berth in the ECAC tournament for the third year in a row.
King extended his point streak to 18, with a 27-21-48 line in the stretch. He is second on the team with 34 points and 15 assists and tied for second with 19 goals.
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