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Men’s Lacrosse: No. 9 Ohio State drops comeback effort in overtime 10-9 to No. 2 Maryland

Ohio State sophomore midfielder Justin Inacio (30) wins the face off against Rutgers at Ohio Stadium on Mar. 31. Ohio State lost 14-6. Credit: Willow Mollenkopf | For The Lantern

The No. 9 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team fell to No. 2 Maryland in overtime in the Buckeyes final home game of the regular season with a goal from Maryland junior attacker and leading goal scorer Jared Bernhardt.

Ohio State (8-3, 1-3 Big Ten) suffered its third Big Ten loss of the season after coming back from down four goals the second half, but ultimately lost 10-9.

The win for Maryland (11-2, 3-1 Big Ten) was its third straight victory and second overtime win on the year.

“Things just didn’t break our way, these are heartbreakers,” head coach Nick Myers said.

Maryland’s sophomore midfielder Logan Wisnauskas was a key component to the Terrapins wins, scoring a hat trick and providing an assist on the day. Wisnauskas ended the game with 37 goals on the season.

The matchup between a pair of faceoff specialists in sophomore Justin Inacio and senior Austin Henningsen was won by Inacio on 11 of 17 matchups. Inacio won 15 of the 23 total faceoffs for the entire game.

Halfway through the first quarter, Wisnauskas opened the scoring with two goals before the Terrapins added on two more to come out to a 4-0 lead. Just before the end of the quarter, the Buckeyes found the net as sophomore attack Jackson Reid scored his 23rd goal of the season.

The Terrapins scored midway through the second to increase their lead back to four, but freshman attack Jack Myers gave the Buckeyes a goal for his 15th on the season. Maryland’s senior midfielder Christian Zawadzki scored two make it 6-2 at the half.

The two goals are tied for the fewest amount of goals scored in a half for the Buckeyes all season.

Ohio State’s 10 turnovers and 2 to 17 goals-to-shots ratio hurt the Buckeyes in the first half, negating the faceoff play and ground balls that Inacio, who finished with eight ground ball pickups, was giving.

“Offensively we finally got into a rhythm in the second half, started generating some really quality looks against a good defense,” Myers said.

The Buckeyes started the second half by scoring 15 seconds in, and then scored two more straight, including one from Ohio State leading goal scorer junior attacker Tre LeClaire before Maryland was able to get a goal back.

Myers, LeClaire, Reid and senior midfielder Jack Jasinski have now accounted for more than 67 percent of Ohio State’s points this season.

In the fourth quarter, Ohio State gained momentum, scoring four goals in the quarter and taking the lead for the first time in the game with less than four minutes left. However, Wisnauskas tied the game with less than 24 seconds left, getting injured in the process of the game-tying goal.

Overtime was over in 31 seconds, as Maryland’s Bernhardt found the net for his 40th goal on the season and ending Ohio State’s hope of another comeback this season.

“This one stings,” Myers said. “We’ll have to get over this emotionally, and the best way to do that, is focus on the greatest rivalry in this university’s history.”

The Buckeyes have Michigan as their final game of the regular season on Friday in Ann Arbor before the start of Big Ten tournament play.

Saturday’s game was the last regular season game at Ohio Stadium for the senior Buckeyes, and even in the loss, Myers had nothing but for praise for his veteran players.

“[I] just told them I loved them,” Myers said. “The seniors are a special group for sure, and a loss doesn’t reflect what they’ve done here.”

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