April 21, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team clinched a spot in the ECAC tournament with a 14-4 win over Air Force Saturday in the fifth annual Showdown in the Shoe in Ohio Stadium in front of 19,213 fans. More than 30,000 fans were in the stands by the end of the lacrosse game, as the Buckeye football team played the LiFE Sports Spring Game following.
“We are very thankful to Gene Smith and Coach Meyer for allowing us to share in this day,” Nick Myers, Ohio State lacrosse head coach, said. “It was great to see so many Buckeye fans here to watch us get a big conference win.”
The Buckeyes, now 7-6 on the year and 4-1 in ECAC play, shut out the Falcons (6-6, 1-4 ECAC) for the first 42:03, holding a 3-0 lead after the first quarter and an 8-0 advantage at halftime. Ohio State outscored the Falcons in the second half, 6-4, for the final 14-4 final. Junior leading scorer Logan Schuss led Ohio State with four goals and five points, with classmate Dominique Alexander posting four points on two goals and two assists. Sophomore Tyler Frederick had a team-best three assists and added a goal for a four-point game. Freshman Reegan Comeault and senior Brock Sorensen each scored twice and Comeault had an assist for a three-point outing. Sophomore Steve Knezick won 11 faceoffs for the Buckeyes and had a team-best seven groundballs.
“It’s amazing to be able to play in front of a crowd like this. It’s a special feeling,” Sorensen said. “This was our most complete game this year. I feel like we are starting to get on track.”
The Buckeyes led 3-0 after the first quarter. Alexander opened the scoring at 13:59. At 6:30, Frederick drove to the cage for a tally and then he set up Schuss for a goal at 2:45. Shots were 9-7 in favor of Air Force in the quarter and each goalie had one save.
The Buckeyes pushed the lead to 8-0 with a five-goal second quarter, maintaining possession the majority of the stanza and outshooting the Falcons, 14-1. Schuss scored at 13:38 and 11:43 (assisted by Alexander), sandwiching a goal by Sorensen that was assisted by Frederick. Frederick found Comeault at 9:45 and Comeault then set up sophomore Adam Trombley at the 5:20 mark. Knezick won five of six faceoffs in the quarter. Air Force goalie Austin Fox had four saves in the stanza, with Buckeye goalie sophomore Greg Dutton making one stop.
The teams combined for just three goals in the third quarter, with Ohio State taking a 10-1 lead through 45 minutes. With Ohio State man-up, Jesse King set up Turner Evans at 13:15 and Evans assisted on a Comeault tally at 9:34. Air Force broke the shutout at 2:57, ending a scoreless streak of 42:03, when Erick Smith connected. Ohio State outshot Air Force, 11-5, in the quarter. Fox had three saves in the stanza and Dutton stopped one shot.
The Falcons’ Mike Crampton scored the first goal of the fourth quarter at 13:39. After the next faceoff, Alexander scored from near midfield with the goalie out of position, giving Ohio State an 11-2 lead at 13:27. The Falcons netted the next two goals in a 1:17 span, with Tommy McKee scoring at 9:59 and Crampton tallying at 8:42. The Buckeyes scored the game’s last three goals. Schuss assisted on a goal by Sorensen at 7:12 and then tallied off an assist from junior Patrick Toohey just 15 seconds later. The final goal was scored by junior Patrick Riffee, assisted by Alexander, at 5:54. Shots were 13-8 in favor of Air Force in the stanza. Fox had two saves in the Falcons’ cage. Dutton had one save, with sophomore Scott Spencer, who finished out the game, also making a save.
For the game, Ohio State outshot Air Force, 40-28. Dutton played 57:44 for the Buckeyes and had four saves, allowing four goals. Spencer stopped the one shot he faced. Fox took the loss for the Falcons, playing 51:18 and allowing 11 goals while making 10 saves. Matt Sanders played the last 8:42 and allowed three goals.
The Buckeyes won 11-of-21 faceoffs on the day, with Knezick 11-8. Ohio State had the edge in groundballs, 34-22, led by Knezick with seven and Dutton with four. Ohio State had nine caused turnovers, with freshman Luke Howard recording three and seniors Keenan Ochwat and Joe Bonanni each causing two. Ochwat and Howard each had three groundballs.
• Ohio State will close out the regular season at Fairfield next Saturday. The teams will meet at 1 p.m.
• The Buckeyes will be joined in the ECAC tournament by league champion Loyola (6-0), Fairfield and Denver. Loyola will be the No. 1 seed, with Denver No. 4. The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and Stags will by the No. 2 seed. Fairfield was 6-0 in ECAC play, with Denver 3-3. Air Force and Hobart both are 1-4, with Bellarmine finishing 0-6.
• Schuss, who is on a 43-game point streak, has back-to-back five-point games and now leads the squad with 38 goals, 15 assists and 53 points, his third season with 50-plus points. He has 101 goals, 60 assists and 161 points as a Buckeye. He is sixth in program history in points, tied for seventh in goals and ninth in assists.
• Alexander has 11 points in his last three games combined. He is tied with King for second on the squad with 20 points, including 10 goals and 10 assists. The four points matched his career high, set four times before (last April 7 at Hobart).
• Ohio State is holding opponents to 7.46 goals a game this season. Dutton has a 7.17 goals-against average and .566 save percentage.
• Evans extended his point streak to seven with a goal and an assist. He has 12 points, including seven goals, this year.
• Comeault tied his career high with two goals and three points. He has five goals, four assists and nine points this season.
• Frederick’s three assists and four points were a season high. He is second on the team with 13 assists and fourth with 19 points.
• King extended his point streak to four (5g, 4a, 9p). He is tied for second on the team with 20 points and ranks second with 13 goals.
• Sorensen had his third multiple-goal game of the year and now has a career-high 11 tallies this season.
• Howard had a career high three caused turnovers and three groundballs in the game.
• Knezick’s 11 faceoff wins and seven groundballs both were career highs. His previous best was nine faceoff wins at Michigan last week and his previous high for groundballs was four March 9 vs. Robert Morris.
• Ochwat is first on the squad with 25 caused turnovers and is tied for second with 32 groundballs.
• The game vs. Air Force was televised live by BTN, the Buckeyes’ second-consecutive game on the network.
Video: NCAA Tournament Recap