No. 13 Buckeyes Close Regular Season with 14-8 Win over No. 20 Fairfield
April 27, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 13-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team broke open a game tied after the third quarter to defeat No. 20 Fairfield, 14-8, Saturday on Senior Day in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Ohio State trailed 7-6 late in the third quarter but used an eight-goal run to take command of the final regular-season game.
The Buckeyes move to 10-3 on the year, the most regular-season wins for the squad since the 2004 team had 12 and the fifth time in program history a team had double-digit wins during the regular season. The squad, on a four-game winning streak, finishes ECAC play 5-2 and will be the No. 3 seed in the ECAC tournament, taking on No. 2 seed Loyola in the semifinals Thursday in Geneva, N.Y. No. 1 seed Denver will face No. 4 Fairfield in the other semifinal, with the championship game set for Saturday.
The nine members of the senior class – Dominique Alexander, Mark Crawford, Nick Liddil, Kevin Mack, Patrick Riffee, Logan Schuss, Patrick Toohey, Dan Wertz and Trey Wilkes – were honored in a pregame ceremony. Alexander, Schuss, Liddil and Wertz all scored in the win and all nine saw game action, with Wilkes winning 11 faceoffs. Schuss and Alexander both had two goals and an assist for three points, while sophomore Turner Evans led the Buckeyes with three goals and an assist for four points. Freshman Carter Brown and sophomore David Planning each scored twice and sophomore Jesse King had two points on a goal and an assist. Junior goalie Greg Dutton had a career-high 15 saves for the second game in a row.
“Logan and Dominique have been staples for us for the last four years,” Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. “It’s great to see all nine seniors finish here with a win. They made a real impact on this program and changed who we are. We are excited for the win and focused on what lies ahead (the ECAC tournament).”
Myers said the team came together offensively and defensively as it rallied for the win.
“We started making stops defensively,” Myers said. “On the defensive end we felt like we were giving them second chance opportunities and not making those one-stops we talked about. Greg was seeing the ball better in the second half and offensively we found a rhythm. I thought we played really unselfishly in the fourth quarter and found that extra man; we didn’t settle for the first shot.”
The teams were scoreless until Ohio State’s Evans scored with 7:54 remaining in the first quarter. The Stags tied the game 1:04 later on a Jordan Greenfield goal but Schuss put the Buckeyes back on top with a tally at 5:13. Fairfield scored the final two goals of the quarter – tallying at 3:28 and with seven seconds remaining – to lead 3-2 after the first 15 minutes. Fairfield outshot Ohio State, 11-5, in the quarter and Dutton had three saves in the stanza.
Ohio State scored the next four goals, including the only three goals in the second quarter, to take the lead. King set up Alexander at 7:40 to tie the game at 3 and Schuss regained the Ohio State lead (4-3) with a tally at 5:46. King gave the Buckeyes their first two-goal advantage of the contest with a goal with 4:08 left before halftime, sending the teams into the lockerroom with Ohio State ahead, 5-3. Shots were 10-6 in favor of the Buckeyes in the quarter, with Dutton stopping all five Fairfield shots on goal.
Schuss found Brown 1:16 into the third quarter for a 6-3 Ohio State advantage but Fairfield scored the next four goals (at 13:00, 10:36, 8:20 and 5:23) to take a 7-6 lead with 5:23 left in the third stanza. Liddil ended the Fairfield run, scoring from in close off an assist from junior Adam Trombley with 3:13 left in the third quarter, tying the game at 7-all. Fairfield had eight shots in the quarter, with Dutton making three saves, and Ohio State attempted six shots.
Ohio State took control in the fourth quarter, scoring seven goals in a row. Planning put Ohio State ahead 8-7 at 13:45 and Wertz tallied, assisted by freshman Charlie Schnider, at 10:36 for a 9-7 Buckeye lead. Alexander set up Evans at 8:26 before Evans assisted on a Brown goal at 6:10. Alexander scored unassisted with the timer on at 4:25 and Evans completed his hat trick with 3:40 left. Planning scored the final Ohio State goal with 2:05 remaining. Greenfield scored for the Stags with 19 seconds left for the 14-8 final. The teams combined for 25 shots in the fourth quarter, with Ohio State outshooting Fairfield, 15-10. Dutton made four saves.
Ohio State outshot Fairfield, 36-35, in the game. Dutton played the first 59:32 for the Buckeyes and had 15 saves, allowing seven goals. Junior Scott Spencer played the final 28 seconds and gave up one goal. Fairfield’s Jack Murphy had eight saves in all 60 minutes.
Fairfield had the advantage in groundballs, 35-28, and faceoffs, winning 13-of-24. Wilkes won 11-of-23 draws for the Buckeyes. Wilkes, Schuss, Dutton and junior Michael Italiano each had four groundballs to lead the Buckeyes.