No. 11 Ohio State Drops One-Goal Decision to No. 7 Denver

COLUMBUS, Ohio No. 11 Ohio State dropped its ECAC Lacrosse League opener to No. 7 Denver, 10-9, Saturday afternoon in front of 1,745 fans in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The loss is the Buckeyes' first this season, as the team falls to 4-1, while the Pioneers move to 5-1 overall.

The Buckeyes and Denver were tied at 2 after the first quarter and the Pioneers led 6-5 at halftime on a goal late in the second quarter. The Pioneers extended the lead to three (8-5) early in the third stanza before the Buckeyes were able to stop DU's five-goal run on a goal from freshman Charlie Schnider to draw Ohio State within two (8-6) to close out the third quarter.

In the fourth, Denver pushed its lead back to three (9-6) but Ohio State again cut the advantage to two at 6:45. Denver scored the eventual gamewinner at 4:38, again giving Denver a three-goal lead. Goals at 3:30 and 1:12 drew Ohio State within one for the first time since early in the third quarter. Ohio State was able to win the ensuing faceoff and had an offensive possession, but was unable to net a game-tying tally.

Senior Logan Schuss led Ohio State with three points, including two goals, while classmate Michael Italiano had two tallies and senior Dominique Alexander had two assists. Freshman Carter Brown and sophomores Jesse King and Turner Evans each had two points on a goal and an assist. Senior Trey Wilkes won a team-high 15 faceoffs and had a team-best eight groundballs. Junior Greg Dutton made nine saves in the Buckeye cage, including four fourth-quarter stops.

The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter. Denver's Cameron Flint opened the scoring at 8:26 before Evans tied the game 1:04 later. The Buckeyes took the lead (2-1) 28 seconds later on a man-up goal by Schuss, assisted by Brown. Denver deadlocked the score with 35 seconds on the clock when Sean Cannizzaro tallied with the 30-second timer on. Shots were 10-6 in favor of Ohio State in the quarter. Denver goalie Ryan LaPlante had three saves, with Dutton making two stops.

Denver held a one-goal lead (6-5) at halftime. The teams traded goals early to keep the score tied, as Schuss set up Brown for a Buckeye goal at 12:32, followed by an EMO goal from DU's Jeremy Noble at 10:03. Ohio State then scored back-to-back goals for a 5-3 advantage.

King assisted on a man-up goal by Schuss at 8:24 and Alexander and Italiano converted in transition at 4:29, with Italiano scoring his first goal of the year. Denver closed the quarter with three goals in the final 2:58, as Colin Scott tallied at 2:58 and Flint tied the game at 1:59. Noble gave Denver the lead with 30 seconds remaining in the quarter. Ohio State outshot Denver, 10-7, in the stanza. LaPlante had five saves in the stanza, with Dutton making one stop.

The Pioneers' Law scored twice in the first 4:04 of the third quarter, with goals at 13:28 and 10:56, to push the Denver advantage to 8-5. Schnider ended the Pioneers' five-goal run with an unassisted tally at 2:15, cutting the DU lead to two (8-6) at the end of three quarters. Ohio State put 11 shots on the Denver cage, with goalie Jamie Faus making seven saves. Dutton had two saves on five Denver shots.

Law converted man-up at 10:23 of the fourth quarter to make it a 9-6 lead. Evans set up sophomore David Planning for a tally at 6:45 but Denver answered just over two minutes later for a 10-7 lead. Italiano scored on a fast break at 3:30 and Alexander and King converted on a transition goal at 1:12 to make it a one-goal game.

Wilkes won the ensuing faceoff and Ohio State called timeout with the ball in the Denver zone. An Ohio State shot went high and the Pioneers won the race to the endline, giving DU the ball back with less than 30 seconds remaining. DU was able to clear the ball and hold on for the win. Ohio State was outshot, 12-7, in the quarter. Dutton made four saves for the Buckeyes, with Faus stopping three Ohio State attempts.

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