GENEVA, N.Y. – The Ohio State University scored with 93 seconds left in the third quarter to trim Loyola University Maryland’s 11-9 lead to one goal going into the final 15 minutes, and the Buckeyes then reeled off seven unanswered in the final quarter to defeat the Greyhounds, 18-11, on Thursday night in the ECAC Lacrosse League Semifinals at Hobart College.
Ohio State (11-3 overall) tied the score at 9-9 on an unassisted David Planning goal from the left side with 8:41 to go in the third quarter, but Mike Sawyer face dodged a defender and scored 1:52 later to put the Greyhounds (10-4) back in front.
Davis Butts then made a left-to-right run at the top of the offensive zone and flipped the ball to Chris Layne who scored from 10 yards out at 3:59, pushing the Greyhounds out to a three-goal lead, 11-9.
The Buckeyes’ Dominique Alexander beat his defender down the left side and fed Carter Brown for a goal with 1:33 left in the quarter, and Ohio State was within a goal. Alexander had a career-high five assists in the game, as well as a second-quarter goal.
ECAC Offensive Player of the Year Logan Schuss then scored two in a row, both off Planning assists, and Jesse King tallied two straight after that, giving the Buckeyes a 14-11 advantage with 7:07 left on the clock.
Charlie Schnider added a goal with 3:46 remaining in regulation, and Schuss scored two more, including an empty-netter, before Michael Italiano added the final tally for Ohio State.
Schuss had five goals and an assist in the game, and King tallied four goals and an assist.
Loyola outshot the Buckeyes, 41-37, in the game, but Ohio State took 15 fourth-quarter shots to the Greyhounds five. Loyola also committed three turnovers in the final 15 minutes and had 13 in the game.
After Sawyer 17 seconds into the game following a loose ball in front of the Ohio State goal, the Buckeyes csored three in a row and led, 3-1, on Schuss’ first goal of the game with 6:14 to go in the first quarter.
Sawyer would add a goal at 1:25 off one of Nikko Pontrello’s two assists, and he tied the game 1:13 into the second quarter when Justin Ward threaded a fast pass across the crease to Sawyer on the left side.
Blake Burkhart, who won 10-of-15 faceoffs in the first half for Loyola, scooped up a ground ball on the faceoff after Sawyer’s game-tying goal, raced into the box and scored his first collegiate goal at 13:41 to put Loyola in front, 4-3.
The teams traded six goals before the end of the half, and a Ward goal with 22 ticks on the clock after he rolled off a check put Loyola up, 7-6, at the break.
Davis Butts then scored to open the second quarter, but Turner Evans got Ohio State back within a goal 10 seconds later. King then scored a minute later to tie the game at 8-8.
Matt Sawyer ripped a 13-yard shot off a Layne assist at 11:22, and the goal-trading continued between the teams.
Mike Sawyer finished with a team-high four goals for Loyola, giving him four hat tricks in the Greyhounds’ last four games. He has scored 15 goals since April 13.
Pontrello added two goals and two assists, while Butts and Ward each had a goal and an assist, and Layne tallied a goal and an assist. Matt Sawyer and Burkhart each had goals, and Sean O’Sullivan tallied an assist.
Loyola will find out its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday, May 5, at 9 p.m. when the NCAA Selection Show airs on ESPNU.