No. 1 Penn State’s offense was too much for No. 9 Ohio State to handle, with the Buckeyes losing their second straight game with a 13-8 defeat to the Nittany Lions, leaving Ohio State without a win in Big Ten play so far.
On a wet and slippery Sunday night in State College, Penn State’s offensive efficiency and star players proved to be the key difference. Penn State junior attacker Mac O’Keefe scored three goals, while redshirt junior Grant Ament added two goals and six assists in front of the home crowd.
The Buckeyes (7-2, 0-2 Big Ten) were not able to capitalize on the shots they saw, scoring on eight of 37 shots and picking 16 ground balls to Penn State’s eight. However, Penn State made the most of its opportunities, making 13-of-26 shots and saving 14 shots to Ohio State’s seven.
Penn State (9-1, 2-0 Big Ten) scored within the first four minutes of the first quarter with a goal from sophomore midfielder Brian Townsend and added to another goal before Ohio State tied it with two straight goals from junior attacker and leading scorer Tre LeClaire. Both teams would score back-to-back goals to keep the game tied at the end of the first.
LeClaire finished the game with four of Ohio State’s eight total goals on 10 shots, five of which were on goal.
The second quarter started strong for the Nittany Lions, with Penn State’s two prolific stars making the difference.
O’Keefe scored two straight goals to stay as the second to top scorer in the country and Ament was the player on both assists, adding to his already nation-leading assist total. The Buckeyes would add a goal, but Penn State would get two more, one of which came from O’Keefe for the hat trick.
Ohio State made a strong run to get back into the game, scoring three goals in the third quarter — including LeClaire’s third of the day — but Penn State had an answer for the Buckeyes every time they made a run, answering with three goals in the quarter.
The final quarter about Penn State ending the Buckeyes hopes, scoring two straight before LeClaire found the net again, but it wasn’t as enough as Penn State scored again to end the game with the five-goal victory.
Ohio State moves on to face Johns Hopkins at noon Sunday.