The No. 4 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team started Big Ten play on the wrong foot Sunday at home, falling to Rutgers for its first loss of the season 14-6.
The Buckeyes (7-1, 0-1 Big Ten) came into Sunday as the only team in Division I lacrosse undefeated, but ultimately finally fell to defeat by the hands of the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers junior attack and leading point scorer Kieran Mullins was instrumental in upsetting the Buckeyes, scoring four goals and four assists.
Ohio State head coach Nick Myers was not focused on one single player that gave the Buckeyes issue.
“I don’t feel like we did a good job in the first 15 to 20 minutes of this game settling into this game,” Myers said.
The Buckeyes came out hot with a goal in the first 46 seconds as sophomore attacker Colby Smith recorded his first goal of the game. But the rest of the quarter saw Rutgers capitalize on the Buckeyes’ eight turnovers, scoring five straight goals to end the quarter, two of which came from Mullins.
The Rutgers (6-4, 1-0 Big Ten) defense was on full display, taking advantage of an Ohio State team that accumulated 16 turnovers.
The Scarlet Knights redshirt senior goalkeeper Max Edelmann, who leads the nation in saves, saved 17 shots to keep the Buckeyes to a season-low six goals.
“The goalie is a hell of a player, 17 saves,” Myers said. “He obviously played well today.”
The second quarter started with another Rutgers goal to extend its lead to five before Ohio State finally answered back with a goal as sophomore midfield Griffin Hughes got his third of the season before the Scarlet Knights got a goal back.
Myers felt as though the Ohio State offense was not getting quality shots across against the Rutgers defense.
“I felt like we just shot the ball, which is very uncharacteristic of us, really poorly in the first, 2-for-22 [goals to shots on target], and it cost us,” Myers said.
After attempting a comeback much like the Buckeyes had against Notre Dame on March 23, scoring two goals to start the quarter, Rutgers was able to cool off Ohio State’s hot streak, scoring two straight.
The final quarter was all Rutgers, scoring four goals to Ohio State’s one.
“Every time we chipped away at it, they made a big play,” Myers said. “It’s a game we are going to have to grow from.”
Ohio State will travel to State College, Pennsylvania next week to take on No. 1 Penn State at 7 p.m. Sunday.