May 3, 2013
GENEVA, N.Y. - The No. 10-ranked Ohio State men's lacrosse team will play for the 2013 ECAC Championship after defeating No. 4-ranked Loyola, 18-11, in the tournament semifinals Thursday in Geneva, N.Y. The Buckeyes trailed 7-6 at halftime and 11-10 at the end of the third quarter but closed the game on an 9-0 run to move to 11-3 overall and extend their winning streak to five.
Ohio State, the tournament's No. 3 seed, will face top seed Denver at 4 p.m. Saturday at Boswell Field in Geneva, N.Y. The Pioneers topped Fairfield, 10-8, in the semifinals. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Network, Fox College Sports and Fuel TV.
"We are excited to play for a championship Saturday," Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. "Tonight was a good team win. The men showed their true colors in the second half both offensively and defensively."
The Buckeyes led 3-2 after the opening 15 minutes but Loyola outscored Ohio State 5-3 in the second quarter for a 7-6 halftime advantage. An early third-quarter goal for the Greyhounds extended the lead to 8-6 but Ohio State answered with back-to-back goals for an 8-all contest with 12:43 left in the third quarter. The Greyhounds then scored three of the next four goals to go ahead, 11-9 with 3:59 left in the third quarter. Ohio State took control from there, drawing within one with 1:33 left in the third quarter and then scoring three times in the first 3:46 of the fourth quarter to tie the game and take the lead, scoring five times in the final 7:07 of the matchup.
Senior co-captains Logan Schuss and Dominique Alexander each had six points in the win. Schuss scored five goals, including four in the fourth quarter, while Alexander had a career-high five assists and six points. Sophomore Jesse King had a career-high four goals and an assist for five points and classmates Turner Evans (two goals, one assist) and David Planning (one goal, two assists) each had three points. Freshman Carter Brown scored twice and his fellow rookie Charlie Schnider had a goal and an assist for two points. Freshman Kacy Kapinos won 12-of-20 faceoffs and had a team-best and career-high eight groundballs. Buckeye junior goalie Greg Dutton made 12 saves, including six in the first quarter.
Ohio State led 3-2 after the first quarter. After Mike Sawyer opened the scoring just 17 seconds in, Ohio State scored twice in a 26 second span to take the lead. King tallied at 13:27, followed by a goal from Evans, assisted by Alexander, at 13:01. Logan Schuss put Ohio State ahead by two with an unassisted goal at 6:14 but Sawyer tallied at 1:25 for a 3-2 game. Loyola outshot the Buckeyes, 13-8, in the stanza, with Dutton making six saves.
The Greyhounds scored the first two goals of the second quarter six seconds apart to tie the game and take the lead (4-3). Sawyer completed his hat trick at 13:47 before Blake Burkhart scored after winning the faceoff. The teams then traded goals three times, sending Loyola into the lockerroom with a 7-6 lead. Brown tallied unassisted for Ohio State at 12:35, followed by a goal from Nikko Pontrello at 11:27. At 7:14 Buckeye senior Dan Wertz scored off an assist from Schnider but Loyola again responded with a Pontrello goal at 5:30. Alexander scored unassisted at 1:22 but Loyola had the ball late and scored with 22 seconds left in the quarter for the 7-6 lead. The Greyhounds had 15 shots, with Ohio State attempting seven, and each team's goalie had three stops.
Loyola took its first two-goal lead of the contest with a goal 1:07 into the third quarter but Evans scored just 10 seconds later and King tallied off an assist from Alexander a minute after that for an 8-all game. Loyola scored three of the next four goals, with Planning scoring unassisted for the Buckeyes at 8:41. After Loyola's Chris Layne scored at 3:59 to put the Greyhounds ahead 11-9, Alexander set up Brown to draw the Buckeyes within one (11-10) entering the fourth quarter. The teams combined for 15 shots in the third, with seven by the Buckeyes. Dutton had one save and Loyola's Jack Runkel had three saves.
The Buckeyes took control from there. Planning set up Schuss for back-to-back goals at 14:09 and 13:14 to tie the game and put the Buckeyes ahead (12-11). King then scored two in a row, assisted by Alexander at 11:14 and Schuss at 7:07. Evans found Schneider for a goal at 3:15, Alexander and Schuss connected at 2:08 and junior Michael Italiano closed the scoring with a goal at 1:26 with the timer on. The Buckeyes controlled play in the quarter, outshooting Loyola, 15-5, with Dutton making two saves.
Ohio State won the groundball battle, 41-27, including 16-3 in the fourth quarter. Ohio State won 18-of-33 faceoffs, including seven of nine in the fourth stanza. Kapinos won a career-high 12-of-20 and had a personal-best eight groundballs to lead the Buckeyes. Dutton had five groundballs, while Alexander had four.
The Buckeyes were outshot, 41-37. Dutton played all 60 minutes for Ohio State and had 12 saves, his sixth-consecutive game with 10-plus saves.
Schuss, the 2013 ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, extended his point streak to 59 games (each game of his collegiate career). He now has a career-high 60 points to lead the squad, with a team-best 38 goals and 22 assists. He has five or more points in six games this year, including in four of the last five games. His Ohio State career-goals record stands at 140 and he has 225 career points, just two back of Joel Dalgarno in second place.