(Photo courtesy of Towson Athletics)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Towson University men’s lacrosse team fell to third-seeded Ohio State in the 2017 NCAA Semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
No. 11 Towson (12-5) got off to a strong start, holding the lead through the first three quarters. It would prove to not be enough as Ohio State (16-4) used three-straight fourth quarter goals to earn the close 11-10 win over the Tigers.
No. 3 Ohio State advances to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game, where it will face the winner of top-seeded Maryland and No. 5 Denver. The Terrapins and Pioneers face each other at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the second semifinal showdown.
How it Happened
The Tigers got an early scoring chance as Ohio State’s Matt Borges and Ben Randall were both flagged for pushing, giving Towson a 6-on-4 extra-man opportunity for 30 seconds at 11:08. Towson struck first on the man-up as Mike Lynch hammered one home at 10:36. Ryan Drenner had the feed to extend his point streak to thirty straight games.
Ohio State scored twice in eight seconds to take a 2-1 lead over the Tigers with 7:47 remaining in the first quarter. Jack Jasinski nabbed the first goal unassisted at 7:55 with a high shot past Towson goalkeeper Matt Hoy. After a faceoff win, Jake Withers centered the ball to Logan Maccani for a quick goal to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead. That would be their last lead of the game until 10:20 left in the fourth quarter.
Towson responded with a four-goal run, kicked off by an unassisted Jon Mazza snipe with 1:52 left in the first quarter. Ohio State goalkeeper Tom Carey made the initial save but the ball trickled in over the goal line.
Joe Seider continued the scoring rush with a pair of back-to-back unassisted goals over a one minute span. The Tigers took a 5-2 lead with 12:05 left in the second quarter as Drenner found his way around the post and scored left-handed.
Ohio State briefly stemmed the Tigers’ offensive push as Tre Leclaire scored unassisted on a low shot at 11:21. That ended a scoring drought of 11:36 for the Buckeyes.
A pair of Towson goals gave the Tigers a 7-3 lead into halftime. Drenner scored first unassisted, followed by Brian Bolewicki on a Mazza feed.
Drenner took a last second shot as the first half expired but the ball rang off the left post. Towson held a 7-3 advantage after the first 30 minutes of play.
Seider struck again out of the break, recording his third unassisted goal of the day. It was his third hat trick in as many NCAA Tournament games.
A four-goal run by Ohio State cut Towson’s lead to just one goal, 8-7. Austin Shanks scored from Eric Fannell at 10:34, followed by an extra-man chance for both teams, a one-minute opportunity for Ohio State and a 30 second call for the Tigers. Both teams were unable to capitalize on those man-up chances.
After Tyler Konen rang a shot off the post, Bo Lori snapped up the rebound and raced down the field, finding Leclaire for Ohio State’s fifth goal of the game.
The Buckeyes scored on a man-up opportunity at 5:25 as Chad Patterson was called for a slash to cut Towson’s lead to just two goals, 8-6. Shanks netted his second of the day on a feed from Leclaire.
Fannell capped the scoring run for Ohio State, scoring unassisted while falling to the ground with 4:11 remaining in the third quarter.
Towson used a goal by Tyler Young to break up the Buckeyes’ offensive push. Young fired the ball past Carey’s shoulder to end a scoring drought of 9:26.
Fannell scored unassisted with 1:50 left in the third quarter to bring Ohio State within one goal.
Three straight goals by the Buckeyes to open the fourth quarter gave Ohio State a two goal lead with 6:10 to play. Leclaire opened the run with an extra-man goal from Shanks at 11:42 on a pushing call to Towson’s Sid Ewell. JT Blubaugh continued the run, scoring unassisted at 10:20, followed by an unassisted Johnny Pearson goal at 6:10.
Drenner pulled Towson back within one with an unassisted snipe at 3:17. That ended a 14:03 scoring drought for the Tigers.
Towson looked to send the game into overtime as Seider took a shot that went wide with 15 seconds remaining. A turnover by Young with two seconds on the board secured the win for the Buckeyes.
Behind the Numbers
Towson narrowly outshot Ohio State, 40-35. Towson posted double-digit shots in the first two quarters, including outshooting the Buckeyes 15-5 in the second quarter.
The ground ball battle was even at 27 apiece. The Tigers held a 19-10 advantage in that category at halftime.
Ohio State won the majority of the game’s faceoffs as Withers went 15-of-25. Alex Woodall won nine faceoffs for the Tigers before being spelled by Connor Harryman who won one of his four chances.
Hoy tallied six saves in net for the Tigers, while his counterpart recorded 10 saves for the Buckeyes.
Towson was a perfect 14-for-14 in the clearing game while Ohio State cleared just 10 of its 13 attempts.
Ohio State went 2-for-2 on the extra-man chance while Towson scored on just one of its three tries.
Drenner led the Tigers with four points on three goals and one helper. He finished his career with 127 points, which ranks seventh all-time. Drenner also posted his fifth hat trick of the season and extended his point streak to 30-straight games. His moved into a tie for ninth-place for career goals with 92, matching Brad Reppert (1998, 2000-02).
Drenner’s helper on Towson’s first goal of the game gave him 80 assists for his career. He becomes just the seventh player in Towson history to reach the 80 career assist mark and the first to do so in 14 seasons. Ryan Oblog was the last Tiger to do so, tallying 85 helpers during his career (2000-03). Drenner is tied for fourth in CAA history for career assists.
Seider finished with three goals for his third hat trick in as many NCAA Tournament games. His goal with 13:58 left in the second quarter was his 125th goal of his career, tying him with Kevin Sturm (1995-97, 1999). Seider broke the tie one minute later to finish his career with 126 goals.
Tyler Mayes tied the program’s single-season caused turnovers record with 40. It took just 15 seconds into the game for Mayes to record the tying caused turnover. He is tied with Ted Turnblacher’s single-season program best set in 2005.
Towson held Ohio State to just three goals in the first half. That is the third NCAA Tournament game that the Buckeyes have scored just three goals over the first 30 minutes of play.
The Tigers allowed an opponent to reach double-digits for just the fourth time this season and first time in postseason action.
Towson is now 12-14 all-time in Division I NCAA Tournament games. Today marked Towson’s third appearance in the Championship Weekend and first since 2001.