After rallying from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team was unable to cap off the comeback as they fell to Massachusetts, 12-11, in overtime Sunday in the Moe’s Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic.
The Minutemen struck first, when senior attackman Matt Whippen ripped a shot into the top right corner just over two minutes into the game.
The Buckeyes (0-2, 0-0) found themselves trailing by two before junior attackman Reegan Comeault was able to get his hands free and score to get his team on the board with 34 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Buckeye junior midfielder David Planning tied the game after unloading a shot to beat redshirt-sophomore goaltender Zach Oliveri, who made 13 saves in the game.
After Whippen scored his second goal of the game, junior midfielder Ryan Izzo scooped up a groundball and ran down the field before finding freshman attackman Nick Mariano, who extended the UMass lead to 4-2.
Less than two minutes later, OSU sophomore attackman Carter Brown got Oliveri hung up outside the cage and found a cutting Turner Evans, and the junior midfielder buried the ball into the open net.
Comeault then knotted things up for the Buckeyes, beating his defender off a dodge and scoring just past the outstretched leg of Oliveri.
However, Massachusetts answered back 43 seconds later to take a one-goal lead into the half, 5-4.
The Minutemen continued their momentum into the third quarter as they scored three times, including Whippen completing his hat trick after fighting through a double team.
Trailing 8-5, Brown turned the tide for OSU as he scored a quick stick goal off a feed from Evans with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Senior goaltender Greg Dutton then made a save after Massachusetts won the ensuing faceoff and threw a frozen rope to sophomore attackman Gordie Koerber who then fed Brown, who scored what was his second goal in 14 seconds.
Seeing their lead shrink to 8-7, the Minutemen wasted no time responding as freshman midfielder Jeff George scored his second goal of the game less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
With the Buckeyes leading scorer — junior midfielder Jesse King — being held in check, senior attackman Adam Trombley stepped up and scored his first three goals of the season to get the deficit back to one at 11-10 with 4:30 left in the game.
The Buckeyes were able to tie the game for the first time since second quarter after a poor substitution left Comeault wide open, resulting in his third goal of the game.
King, who had been frustrated throughout the contest, had a chance for the potential game-winning goal with less than a minute remaining, but his behind-the-back shot from close range was stopped by Oliveri.
A faceoff violation gave OSU the ball to start the extra frame, but two huge saves by the Ronkonkoma, N.Y., product gave the Minutemen the ball back.
Junior attackman Grant Whiteway thought he ended the game moments later, but his shot rang off the crossbar.
However, Massachusetts was able to collect the rebound, and with just seven seconds left, Mariano got separation from senior defenseman Dominic Imbordino and snuck a shot just inside the post to give the Minutemen their second win of the season.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” OSU coach Nick Myers said in a press release. “We fought hard, but we need to execute better in all phases to get the result we want. We’ll get back at work this week to prepare for our home opener vs. Marquette Saturday.”
OSU is set return home on Feb. 22 to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles (1-1) inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Game time is scheduled for noon.