Just weeks after Maryland ended Ohio State’s men’s lacrosse team’s hopes for a Big Ten tournament title, the Terrapins ended the Buckeyes’ shot at their first NCAA championship in program history.
Maryland defeated OSU 9-6 in the 2017 NCAA championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Monday. OSU’s six goals tie the team’s lowest total of the season.
This was the third matchup of the season between these teams. OSU beat the Terrapins 11-10 in overtime on April 22 on the Buckeyes’ senior night. On May 6, Maryland defeated OSU’s men’s lacrosse team defeated the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament championship game.
OSU struck first in Monday’s game as senior attackman Austin Shanks scored the first goal of the game, putting Maryland behind on the scoreboard for the first time in the postseason.
Both teams battled through a back-and-forth first quarter before the Terrapins took their first lead of the game when a familiar face to OSU, junior midfielder Connor Kelly, scored his 45th goal of the season. The offensive threat scored five goals against the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament championship game.
Maryland didn’t just capture the lead, it built a multi-goal advantage.
Two upperclassmen – senior attackman Dylan Maltz and junior midfielder Adam DiMillo – found the back of the net early in the second quarter to extend their teams lead to 5-2.
The Buckeyes had no answers.
Maryland shut down the OSU offense, holding them scoreless the entire quarter. The Buckeyes managed only four shots the entire quarter and struggled to control the ball, turning it over on multiple occasions.
OSU ended its 24-minute scoring drought with 10:53 remaining in the third quarter when Logan Maccani found the back of the net to pull within two goals. But unlike in Saturday’s game against Towson when the Buckeyes stormed back from a five-goal deficit, the Buckeyes couldn’t cut into their lead.
Maryland junior attackman Tim Rotanz scored his second goal of the game with 5:30 left in the quarter to give the Terrapins a 6-3 lead. His team hadn’t scored in nearly 20 minutes.
Maryland extended the lead to 8-3 early in the fourth quarter when Maltz scored his second goal of Monday’s game and senior attackman Matt Rambo scored his 42nd goal of the game.
Senior midfielder Jake Withers quickly responded, scoring OSU’s first goal in over 15 minutes, when he won a faceoff and found the back of the net with 10:24 remaining in the game. And finally, after being absent for the first three quarters, freshman attackman Tre Leclaire sniped his first goal to pull within three goals.
The run continued with 2:25 remaining when senior midfielder Johnny Pearson scored as the Terrapins led dwindled to 8-6.
But, that’s as close as the Buckeyes could come to completing their comeback.
Rotanz took advantage of OSU pulling its goalie and scored an empty net goal with :58.1 remaining to take a 9-6 lead, which Maryland hung onto until the clock struck zero.
OSU relied heavily on redshirt senior goalie Tom Crey to keep them in the game. He saved X shots against Maryland.
The Buckeyes reached the NCAA championship after defeating Loyola Maryland 7-4 in the first round, Duke 16-11 in the quarterfinals and Towson 11-10 in the semifinals on Friday.
Maryland earned its spot in the final after beating Bryant 13-10 in round one, Albany 18-9 in the quarterfinals then Denver 9-8 in the semifinals.
Though OSU extended its run further than any prior group of seniors in program history, eleven players played in their final game as Buckeyes on Monday.
Of the talented group, over half will have an opportunity to play their sport at the professional level.
A program-record six OSU players were selected in the Major League Lacrosse draft on Sunday. Withers was selected ninth overall – the third-highest OSU player ever drafted – by the Atlanta Blaze.
OSU will have to replace graduating goalie Tom Carey, who led the conference in save percentage (.544). He was selected by the Denver Outlaws in the eighth round of the draft.
Leclaire, who finished second on the team with 63 points and led the Buckeyes with 48 goals, returns along with fourth-leading point scorer attackman Colin Chell.