TOWSON, Md. – In a cold and bitter afternoon, the Towson University men’s lacrosse team, ranked 10th in the most recent USILA Coaches’ Poll, fell in a defensive struggle against No. 18 Ohio State, 6-3.
With temperatures in the low 20s and wind speeds in the teens, it was a less than ideal day for lacrosse. The game, which began at noon on Wednesday at Johnny Unitas ® Stadium was moved from Tuesday night because of snow and ice fall in the Greater Baltimore area.
How it Happened
Both teams struggled to get their offenses going in the early portion of the game. Towson (4-2) got five saves in the first period from junior goalie Josh Miller.
Ohio State (8-0) scored the first goal of the game at 2:32 of the opening stanza on Lukas Buckley’s 10th goal of the year. The Buckeyes doubled the lead nearly 90 seconds later as Johnny Pearson potted his 11th at 1:13.
Towson snapped a 20-minute scoring drought at 5:13 of the second quarter as senior midfielder Mike Lynch scored down the alley over the head of Buckeye keeper Tom Carey.
The Buckeyes took a 3-1 lead into the break after Jack Jasinski scored at the 3:38 mark of the second quarter.
Out of halftime, Towson pulled back within one as Ryan Drenner extended his scoring streak to 18 games at the 9:12 mark. The ever-dangerous Drenner was matched up against a short stick, whom he beat around the crease, ducking the slide and notching his 13th goal of the year.
Towson leveled the game at 2:42 as Joe Seider found Tyler Konen with a skip pass, allowing the latter to score his third of the year, giving the former his fifth helper of the year. Seider had the first assist of the contest.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Buckeyes, who reeled off three unanswered goals to pull away later. Eric Fannell started the run at 13:05, followed by John Kelly at 7:35. Tre Leclaire got a pass from Jasinski at 2:39 after a failed Towson clear led to an offensive possession for Ohio State.
Miller kept Towson in the game late has he came out of the cage to force an Ohio State turnover. Jasinski shot at what he thought was an open cage, only to have Miller step in at the last second to make the save.
Behind the Numbers
For the first time this season, Towson’s opponent picked up more ground balls as Ohio State won the battle 25-20. The Buckeyes also out-shot the Tigers 34-27.
A key to the game would be the faceoff battle. Ohio State won 11 of the game’s 13 faceoffs, with Jake Withers collecting all of the wins. Towson’s faceoff specialists, Alex Woodall and Connor Harryman, went 1-for-7 and 1-for-6, respectively.
Miller made 11 saves in goal for Towson, including five in the first period. He stopped two shots in each of the ensuing quarters. Carey made eight saves for Ohio State, stopping three attempts in each of the second and fourth quarters.
Towson struggled in the clearing game as the Tigers gained the zone on 14 of their 18 clears. Ohio State cleared 15 times on 15 tries.
Both teams have traded road wins in the last three seasons. Ohio State won 7-6 at Unitas ® Stadium in 2015 before the Tigers topped the Buckeyes 10-9 last season in overtime at Ohio Stadium.
The six Ohio State goals are the second-fewest Towson has allowed in a game this season and the fewest at Unitas ® Stadium so far in 2017.
Up Next for the Tigers
Towson has a bye weekend as the Tigers take 10 days to prepare for their next opponent.
The Tigers host Denver, currently ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches’ and Inside Lacrosse Media Polls, on March 25 as Towson’s annual Military Appreciation Day game.
Opening faceoff is set for noon at Unitas ® Stadium, followed by a women’s lacrosse game between the Tigers and Oregon.
Both games will be broadcast by Lax Sports Network. There will also be audio feeds available on TowsonTigers.com.