Ohio State’s bid for its first-ever Big Ten tournament title fell just short as it lost to Maryland 10-9 in the finals of the Big Ten men’s lacrosse tournament at Jesse Owens Stadium.
This is the second consecutive Big Ten tournament title for Maryland and sixth overall conference title for the Terrapins. The win comes on the heels of their fifth straight regular season conference title (third straight Big Ten title), and their 31st overall.
This was the Buckeyes’ second appearance in the tournament final game. They fell to Johns Hopkins 13-6 in 2015.
Maryland junior midfielder Connor Kelly kicked off the scoring nearly three minutes in when he scored his first goal of the night off an assist from senior attacker Matt Rambo.
OSU responded quickly, however, receiving three straight goals from sophomore attacker Jack Jasinski, redshirt senior midfielder Tyler Pfister and junior defenseman Freddy Freibott.
With his team down now by two with 6:44 remaining in the first quarter, Kelly again put another tally on the board for the Terrapins, this time coming off an assist from senior midfielder Ben Chisolm.
The second quarter began much like the first, with a goal from Kelly coming three minutes into the quarter. His teammate, junior attacker Tim Rotanz, received a pass right in front of the net and buried his 22nd goal of the season to put his team up 4-3.
Freshman attacker Tre Leclaire, OSU’s leading goal-scorer, scored his 39th goal of the season to tie the score at four for the Buckeyes three-and-a-half minutes before the end of the half.
The Terrapins took the lead early in the second half, but senior attacker Eric Fannell tied the game at five on a perfect pass from LeClaire, leading Pannell right in front of the net for a goal just over the goalie’s shoulder.
Kelly scored his fourth goal of the game early in the fourth quarter to give his team the lead, but Leclaire quickly put up a pair of goals separated by only 1:25 to put the Buckeyes ahead 7-6.
Just nine seconds after Leclaire’s second goal, junior defenseman Bryce Young tied up the game with his first goal of the season. Maryland later took the lead on Rambo’s 34th goal of the season and third point of the game.
OSU tied the game shortly thereafter, but Maryland’s one-man-wrecking crew Kelly scored his fifth goal of the game with 6:46 remaining in the game.
Fannell, already with one goal in the game for OSU, became the Buckeyes’ second player in the game with multiple goals when he tied the game up at nine with 5:53 remaining.
With just 3:27 remaining on the clock, senior attacker Colin Heacock gave Maryland the 10-9 lead, in what would later prove to be the game-winning goal.