With time running out, Ohio State junior attackman Jackson Reid raced toward the Cornell goal, hoping to tie the game up and send it to overtime. But it was not meant to be, as Cornell goalie sophomore Chayse Ierlan made a stop to preserve the victory.
In a back and forth physical game, the No. 10 Big Red (4-0) held off a furious fourth quarter comeback attempt by the No. 18 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (3-2) to win 17-16.
“I’m really proud of the way the guys fought,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said. “They fought until the very end, never gave up and battled hard.”
Cornell was led by junior attackman John Piatelli, who scored five goals and added three assists. Senior attackman Jeff Teat scored four goals and had two assists.
Ierlan made nine saves in the game, including a point-blank stop on a shot by sophomore attackman Jack Myers in the second quarter.
The Buckeyes turned the ball over 25 times, which gave Cornell extra possessions.
“We have to be cleaner. Enough errors there where you feel like we had chances,” Myers said.
Junior midfielder Justin Inacio was dominant on faceoffs, winning 30-of-37 and setting a school record for most faceoff wins in a single game.
“It’s great having Justin back, he’s a hell of a ball player,” Myers said. “You can’t take anything away from [Ryan] Terefenko and [Jeff] Henrick as well, 50-50 balls –– they were fighting for and coming up with a lot of them.”
The Buckeyes were led on offense by senior attackman Tre Leclaire, who finished the game with six goals and two assists. He leads the team in goals with 19 this season. Reid scored three goals and added an assist.
A high-scoring first quarter saw both teams score five goals. Cornell opened the game with a goal from freshman attackman Michael Long, which was quickly answered by Ohio State junior attackman Colby Smith –– his first of two in the game –– giving him three goals on the season.
After goals by both teams, Reid found junior midfielder Griffin Hughes in front of goal to give the Buckeyes their first lead 3-2.
Three straight Cornell goals gave the Big Red a two-goal edge, then two late first quarter goals by the Buckeyes tied the game up, including one from senior midfielder Ryan Terefenko after picking up a ground ball.
Cornell scored two goals to start the second quarter, including the third of the game from Piatelli. Teat scored two of his four goals in the second quarter.
Leclaire scored his second of the game to bring the Buckeyes back within two heading to halftime.
After Smith’s second goal of the game, Leclaire drove through the Big Red defense, finishing near the net to score his third and tie the game up for the Buckeyes.
The rest of the third quarter was all Cornell, as senior midfielder Cooper Telesco scored his eighth of the season, the start of a five-goal run that stretched the Big Red advantage to 14-9.
The fourth quarter started off similarly, with two quick strikes from Cornell to gain what looked like an insurmountable lead. But a four-goal run by the Buckeyes brought the game back within two.
Junior midfielder Jonathan Donville scored his third of the game with 2:50 remaining for what turned out to be the game-winning goal. Donville also added an assist.
Jack Myers picked up a ground ball close to the net after a turnover by Cornell and finished to put the Buckeyes down one with 25 seconds remaining.
Nick Myers said there are some areas the team can improve on defense.
Ohio State will look to rebound from its second straight home loss against Hofstra Saturday at noon in Ohio Stadium.