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

With the game tightening up in the fourth quarter, redshirt junior goalie Josh Kirson was able to make seven saves to preserve the lead for Ohio State men’s lacrosse Saturday.

The Buckeyes (4-2) held on for a 12-10 win over Hofstra (3-3) after a comeback attempt from the Pride fell short at Ohio Stadium.

“Wins are hard to come by. I thought we settled into the game early and found some success both offensively and defensively,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said.  

Kirson made a season-high 19 saves in the game for a 65.5 save percentage, and came up with double-digit saves in the second half.

“For us, we just talk about constantly getting better during the week, and try to take a step forward from a Cornell game that was tough,” Kirson said. “My job as the goalie is to be the backstop, to try and bail us out a couple of times and make the saves that I should make.”

The Buckeye offense came from varied sources Saturday, as eight different players scored goals. 

Junior midfielder Griffin Hughes led the team in scoring with three goals and an assist. Senior attackman Tre Leclaire scored two goals and added an assist, while sophomore attackman Jack Myers and junior attackman Jackson Reid each scored a goal and had two assists. 

Leclaire and Myers are now tied for the team lead in points with 28, and Reid is third with 21 points. Hughes improved his total to 15 points. 

The Pride were led by a trio of two-goal scorers in the game. Sophomore attackman Whit Stopak, who scored the opener, sophomore midfielder Sterlyn Ardrey and freshman midfielder Kyle Steinbach. 

The faceoff battle was even, as both teams won 13. Ohio State junior midfielder Justin Inacio went 13-of-24, while Hofstra junior midfielder Brian Herber went 13-for-26 and added a goal.   

After the opening goal was scored for Hofstra by Stopak, an Ohio native, the rest of the quarter was all Buckeyes. Four straight goals, including two from Hughes, gave them the lead. 

Redshirt senior midfielder Lukas Buckley scored his first of the season, rolling it past the goalie after catching a pass in front of the net from Jack Myers. 

The Buckeyes continued the run to start the second quarter with a goal from sophomore midfielder Johnny Wiseman –– his first of the game. 

Hofstra answered with a goal after an Ohio State turnover from senior attackman Ryan Tierney, but the Buckeyes scored three of the next four. 

Hughes found Wiseman, a fellow Olentangy Liberty High School alum, for his second goal of the game and third of the season to take an 8-3 halftime lead.  

The start of the third quarter was dominated by Hofstra, which began with a three-goal run sparked by junior midfielder James Philbin. 

However, the Hofstra streak was halted when Leclaire found junior attackman Colby Smith for a goal, his fourth of the season. 

“It just didn’t feel like we came out in the third quarter with the same intensity. Credit Hofstra, they made a nice push, but ultimately did what we needed to do to get the win,” Nick Myers said.  

Hofstra scored again on a goal from sophomore midfielder Sterlyn Ardrey to bring the game within two. The Buckeyes answered to end the third quarter, as redshirt senior midfielder Brandon Barker made a run down the field in to finish in transition. 

Senior midfielder Ryan Terefenko found Reid in transition to open the fourth quarter with a goal for the Buckeyes. Hughes scored his third to give the Buckeyes a five goal lead shortly after. But the Pride fought back going on a three-goal run to end the game.

The Buckeyes have a short turnaround, taking on Notre Dame Tuesday at Ohio Stadium. The first faceoff happens at 5 p.m.

“We’ll try and take what we did here today and use the quick turnaround as a confidence booster,” Kirson said.