With Ohio State and Notre Dame men’s lacrosse tied 11-11 and only 1:40 on the clock, the Buckeyes had an extra-man opportunity.
Junior attackman Jackson Reid took advantage, finding senior attackman Tre Leclaire for the game-winning goal.
The Buckeyes (5-2) won a back-and-forth game 13-11 against No. 13 Notre Dame (2-3) at Ohio Stadium in a contest that saw six Ohio State conversions on extra-man opportunities.
“Wins like that over a team like Notre Dame, that’s a rivalry game, played them for almost 30 years straight, at home midweek with short rest — I’m just really proud of the way the boys fought tonight,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said.
The Buckeye offense was led by Leclaire’s five goals, while Reid scored three goals and four assists. The extra-man opportunities were key for the Buckeyes in the game.
“We were due. We’ve been a little snake-bit there and hadn’t broken through, I knew tonight was an opportunity,” Myers said.
The Buckeye defense played a big role in the victory, causing five Fighting Irish turnovers and holding Notre Dame to fewer than 12 goals for the third straight game.
“They were great, they stepped up, they did a really nice job supporting each other, I thought, the first half especially,” Myers said. “Notre Dame made some plays in the third quarter and we were able to make enough stops in the fourth to give our offense a chance to win the game.”
Ohio State redshirt junior goalie Josh Kirson made 10 saves in the game for a 47.6 save percentage.
Both defenses started off the game well, with the only goal of the first quarter scored by Ohio State junior midfielder Colby Smith, who fired a shot past the opposing goalie off a pass from Reid.
Kirson made three saves in the quarter, including a stop off a point-blank shot from the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame freshman goalie Liam Entenmann made two saves in the quarter and finished with nine for the game.
The second quarter was about runs as Notre Dame opened its scoring on a goal from sophomore midfielder Quinn McCahon. The Buckeyes answered with a three-goal run highlighted by a rocket from Leclaire on a man-up opportunity. Senior attackman Nick Musci scored his first of the season on the run.
Notre Dame returned fire with a four-goal run to take the halftime lead at 5-4. Senior midfielder Brian Willetts scored two goals in the stretch, including a backhanded scoop shot late in the second quarter to give the Fighting Irish the lead.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair.
Reid scored the opening goal of the quarter on a man-up opportunity to tie the game. Leclaire added two third quarter goals, each breaking a tie.
The Fighting Irish answered with back-to-back scores, including a goal from senior midfielder Bryan Costabile. Smith scored his second of the game to even the tally heading into the final quarter.
Costabile opened the fourth with his second goal of the game. Reid tied the game back up after a pass from redshirt senior midfielder Lukas Buckley. Junior attackman Wheaton Jackoboice scored the next two goals for the Fighting Irish, sandwiched around another Ohio State goal.
Sophomore attackman Jack Myers found Reid to score his third of the game and tie it once again.
“There’s a lot of hidden plays that make that happen, guys cutting through doing their job in our offense, I think that really speaks to what we were doing all night, playing as a team knowing that our shots were going to fall,” Buckley said
Leclaire added an empty-net goal with the Fighting Irish pushing for a turnover to create a two-goal margin of victory.
The Fighting Irish were led on offense by Costabile, Jackoboice and Willetts, who each tallied two goals.
Ohio State will play Denver at noon Sunday in Ohio Stadium.