The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team ran down the historic ramp into Ohio Stadium today trailing in the Big Ten standings and facing a three-game losing streak while it prepared to meet Penn State on the field needing a win.
The Buckeyes (5-5, 0-1 Big Ten) didn’t get the result they wanted, however, dropping the afternoon affair 12-4 to the Nittany Lions (7-3, 1-0 Big Ten).
With a season performance from sophomore goalie Colby Kneese and a dominant show in the faceoff x from sophomore midfielder Gerard Arceri, Penn State overpowered Ohio State both offensively and defensively to emerge from the game with its first conference win of the year.
“Well there wasn’t a whole lot of things that we were crazy about, I mean, at the end of the day hats off to Penn State,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said. “At the end of the day it’s a loss and we’re going to have to circle back up and make sure we put an emphasis on the things we’ve got to do to be successful in this conference and go after our first conference win on the road.”
Penn State worked tirelessly all game to command a significant seven-goal lead going into the final period — a mountain that proved too high for the Buckeye offense to overcome. The Nittany Lions’ offensive flexibility lent itself to plenty of high-quality passes, assists and goal-scoring opportunities, while their stolid defense and Kneese’s quick reflexes kept a staggering 80 percent of Ohio State’s shots out of the cage.
Penn State senior midfielder Ryan Keenan dominated offensively for his team, scoring a hat-trick and putting up seven shots against Ohio State sophomore goalie Josh Kirson. Three other Lions posted at least two goals in the scorebook.
Ohio State’s goals were few, but nevertheless impressive, especially given Kneese’s efficiency. In the second period, freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi, assisted by senior attack Colin Chell, shook a defender next to the cage and went behind his back, slipping the ball past an unsuspecting Kneese. Three other Buckeyes recorded goals.
Both teams put up 35 shots, but in the end it was Penn State that had more quality finishes. Meyers said the team had to take the tough decision and use it as a means for them to improve for next week’s game against No. 6 Johns Hopkins.
“You’ve got to make it about you,” Meyers said. “You know, you’ve got to go back to your training and hope that your training gets you through. I mean, kid had a nice job in the goal, he certainly had a lot of saves. We have to put that on ourselves, you know, putting the ball in the net is something we’ve got to make a priority and it starts with us in terms of the repetitions that we get.”
While the result might be on players’ minds in the short term, dwelling on it won’t be in their agenda as they embrace a full week of practice in preparation for another difficult conference matchup next weekend.
“You’ve just gotta move past this one and get back to work this week and prepare for [Johns] Hopkins next week,” Chell said.
Ohio State hits the road for its second Big Ten game and travels to Baltimore to meet Johns Hopkins (6-2, 0-0 Big Ten) at noon April 7.