After suffering its first loss of the season against Massachusetts on Feb. 26, the No. 16-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team bounced back in dramatic fashion, defeating Penn State, 6-5, in triple overtime on Saturday.
The win, the Buckeyes’ first on the road, moves OSU to 4-1 on the season.
OSU coach Nick Myers said there was no time to dwell on the first defeat of the season.
“We looked at the way we played in our facets, and just felt like we fell short of playing 60 minutes of Buckeye lacrosse,” Myers said after practice Wednesday. “And that’s certainly our goal every week when we step out there and we’re going to try and do that against Penn State.”
The Buckeyes did just that.
Sophomore attackman Logan Schuss recorded two goals and two assists on the day for the Buckeyes, and they could not have come at better times. He sent the game into overtime, scoring the game-tying goal with 34 seconds left in regulation.
Schuss also scored the game-winner against Penn State for the second consecutive year.
He has scored at least one point in 19 consecutive games.
Despite trailing, 4-2, at halftime and, 5-2, in the second half, OSU was able to battle back and did not allow a goal the rest of the match after the Nittany Lions scored at 5:49 in the third quarter.
Freshman goalie Greg Dutton continued to play well for OSU, making nine saves.
Also scoring goals for OSU were sophomore attackman Jeff Tundo, freshman attackman Tyler Frederick, junior defenseman Brock Sorensen and senior midfielder Zach Boyt.
OSU could claim itself “unofficial Big Ten champions” with the win against Penn State. The two schools are the only ones in the Big Ten that have Division 1 lacrosse programs. The Buckeyes have turned their attention to the unranked Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
The Buckeyes have been nationally ranked since Feb. 21, but Boyt said there is no added pressure to the team.
“It’s always been about us,” he said. “We don’t really look at those rankings this early in the season.”
Sorensen agreed and said the team just needs to focus on its next opponent.
“Those rankings don’t mean anything at this point,” he said. “We’ve got a long season ahead of us, so we’ve just got to keep getting better each day.”
The game against Lehigh will be the first home game for OSU since it defeated then-No. 3-ranked North Carolina on Feb. 19.
The Buckeyes and Mountain Hawks are scheduled to face off at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.