Freshmen players scored five of Ohio State’s 13 goals in the first men’s lacrosse game of 2014.
Freshman attackman JT Blubaugh scored two goals and added an assist Saturday as the No. 7 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team held on to beat Canadian prep-school Hill Academy, 13-11.
Playing in their first game since the fall, the Buckeyes found themselves down early as Nolan Apers scored 28 seconds into the game for Hill Academy.
A pair of juniors turned things around for the Buckeyes as attackman Reegan Comeault and midfielder Jesse King scored three straight goals to help OSU take a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.
However, Hill Academy would not back down as Jake Cook scored a man-down goal late in the third quarter and the Buckeyes found themselves trailing, 8-7.
But freshman midfielder Sean Giampietro didn’t let the Buckeyes trail for long as the Garnet Valley, Pa. native scored just more than a minute later to tie the game.
“Sean this past week has really started to blossom,” OSU coach Nick Myers said. “Getting a chance to play as much as he did today, he will take a lot out of this opportunity.”
Junior midfielder David Planning, who tallied 17 goals last season, scored the Buckeyes’ second goal in 40 seconds to give OSU a lead it would not relinquish.
After the game, Myers credited Hill Academy for traveling from Canada to take on the Buckeyes, saying it gave his team a good challenge.
“I have to credit The Hill Academy for coming here,” Myers said. “That’s a very organized group. They gave us a very good look, those are some very skilled players … I’m happy we got challenged the way we did.”
Despite holding on and getting the victory, senior defenseman Dominic Imbordino said OSU still has work to do, especially in regards to discipline, as the team was called for eight penalties.
“It’s a point of emphasis for us to stay out of the box,” Imbordino said. “I feel like we could have done a better job with that today.”
Still, four different freshman scored a goal for the Buckeyes, an opportunity senior defenseman Darius Bowling said will help them later in the season.
“I wish I would have had an opportunity like this when I was a freshman,” Bowling said. “It was definitely good to get out here in an actual game and get that experience.”
Myers said the starters will open up their next exhibition game, but he is more focused on the team improving as a whole.
“We are trying to get better from A to Z,” Myers said. “This game was certainly a good first step for us.”
The Buckeyes will host their second of three exhibition games on Saturday, when the Navy Midshipmen are scheduled to come to Columbus. Game time is set for 12 p.m. at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.