An improvement in the faceoff circle proved vital to the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team, which was searching for its first win of the season.
The Buckeyes turned around their previous faceoff woes Saturday, taking down Marquette 11-7.
Despite falling behind 2-1 early in the first period, senior attackman Adam Trombley and the Buckeyes got in a rhythm offensively, scoring six unanswered goals to help propel them to a 7-4 lead at half.
Trombley, who finished the game with two goals, said the Buckeyes did a good job of distributing the ball and helped the offense develop some success.
“When we were moving the ball and stayed in our offense, it seemed to work,” Trombley said. “They were good (at) pressuring us and when we didn’t move our feet, we threw the ball away … when we got a lot of touches to everyone, that’s when it worked the best.”
Refusing to let Marquette back in the game, OSU turned to junior midfielder Jesse King, who found the back of the net four times after being held scoreless in the Buckeye’s previous game against Massachusetts.
One difference-maker for the Buckeyes Saturday was the improvement at the faceoff circle.
Coming into the game, OSU was 13-51 in its previous two losses against Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts.
However, freshman midfielder Jake Withers stepped up for the Buckeyes, winning 14 of 21 faceoffs against Marquette.
“We had a guy step up,” OSU coach Nick Myers said. “We liked the way (Withers) matched up in this situation and he took full advantage of the opportunity. I was really proud of the way he went after it.”
Defensively, the Buckeyes were led by their co-captains as senior defenseman Joe Meurer caused three turnovers and senior goaltender Greg Dutton stopped nine shots, including two late in the fourth quarter.
“Greg did a nice job limiting (Marquette) to three goals in the second half,” Myers said. “He’s worked hard all week. He knows he wants to continue to improve as the season goes on, and I think he took a step in the right direction today.”
Dutton said the defense as a whole improved from the previous two losses.
“I was seeing the ball a little bit better,” Dutton said. “Our defense did a good job when we played in our system. (Marquette) got a couple ones that we would like back, but overall I thought we did a pretty good job.”
Overall, the Buckeyes were led in scoring by King, who totaled his second six point game of the season after registering four goals and two assists, and sophomore attackman Carter Brown, who scored one goal and dished out three assists.
Up next, OSU plays host to future Big Ten rival Penn State, and Trombley said despite the win against Marquette, there are still areas where the Buckeyes need to improve.
“From an offensive standpoint, we’ve got to work on footwork and being strong with the ball,” Trombley said. “We had way too many turnovers for us today … It’s just working on being confident with ball and keep moving.”
The game against Penn State is set to get under way Saturday at 1 p.m.