By Robert Cole
Looking to make their first-ever appearance in the NCAA National Semifinals, No. 3 seeded Ohio State men’s lacrosse team took the field at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. against Duke in game one of the Quarterfinals.
After falling short in 2008 to Duke 21-10, 2013 to Cornell 16-6, and to Denver in a close game 15-13 in 2015, the Buckeyes would not be denied this year, defeating the Blue Devils 16-11.
Ohio State scored first with 13:55 remaining in the period, on an unassisted goal by Eric Fannell. The Blue Devils would even the score at the 4:21 mark on an unassisted goal by Justin Guterding. With eight seconds remaining in the first period the Buckeyes would regain the lead and end the period with a 2-1 advantage as Lukas Buckley scored his 14th goal.
As he did in the first period, Eric Fannell would start the second period scoring tallying his 31 and 32 goals at the 14:23 and 12:37 marks respectively. With the goals OSU would increase their lead 4-1. Fannell would add two more goals in the third period, giving him a total of five goals for the game.
OSU would continue to apply the pressure throughout the second period, scoring five more goals, one with a man advantage, posting a 9-4 lead by halftime.
Duke would begin the second half scoring, on a power-play goal by Jack Bruckner at the 10:36 mark of the third period. Ohio State would however regain momentum by scoring four unanswered goals to end the period with a commanding 13-5 lead.
Duke would attempt a comeback during the final period, outscoring the Buckeyes 6-3 for the period however, it would not prove enough to prevent Ohio State from making history and gaining a birth into the Lacrosse final four.
In the second game of the day, No. 4 Notre Dame faced off against No. 5 Denver.
After allowing the first goal of the game by Notre Dame’s, Mikey Wynne at the 11:49 mark, Denver would score the next 16 of 17 goals to blitz pass the Irish 16-2.
Denver’s Trevor Baptiste would win 21 consecutive face-offs after losing the first one to begin the game.
Both teams would play their reserves in the fourth period, and Notre Dame would score the final two goals, making the final score 16-4 in favor of Denver.
Denver will meet top seeded Maryland, which defeated Albany 18-9 in the final quarterfinal game played in Delaware on Sunday. Ohio State, will play Towson, wh0 upset Syracuse 10-7 to reach the semifinals.