#9 UVa. men’s lacrosse loses to #12 Ohio State, 11-10
Nick O’Reilly had four goals and one assist, but it wasn’t enough as the No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers (5-3) dropped a Saturday afternoon meeting with the No. 12 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1) inside Klöckner Stadium, 11-10. UVa’s three losses this season are by a combined three goals and each opponents’ game-winning goal has all come in either overtime, or in the final 1:31 of regulation.
“I like my team a lot,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “They work at it, we had a great week of practice coming in. If we had played the first three quarters the way we played these last 15 minutes, we probably wouldn’t find ourselves in this situation at the very end here. There are a lot of good teams out there – you have to be playing your best all the time. You have to continue to work hard and get better. We’re finding our way a little bit. We are going to be involved in a lot of these close games. We just have to keep getting better so that we can win this the next time around.”
The game’s first three quarters were separated from the games final 15 minutes by a lightning delay that lasted one hour and 43 minutes. Virginia clawed its way back with two goals in the fourth quarter, tying the game, 10-10, with 1:48 left in the contest. After a caused turnover by Tanner Scales, Greg Danseglio found Ryan Tucker in transition for the equalizer.
In the scrum on the ensuing faceoff, Dominique Alexander came up with the ground ball and scored in transition for Ohio State with 1:31 left in the game, which proved to be the game-winning goal. Virginia managed an extra-man situation to close out the game, but both shot attempts didn’t connect, including a doorstep opportunity by O’Reilly. Ohio State goalie Greg Dutton stuffed the shot and UVa’s chance at winning the game with roughly five seconds on the clock.
The fourth quarter flew by due to some long possessions by both teams.
“They were playing the zone – so it took us a little time to get organized on offense,” said Starsia. “Like I said, I thought we were all over the play in the fourth quarter. Still required some patience on the offensive end, but we had our chances and we just didn’t get enough goals.”
The game started out well in UVa’s favor, O’Reilly scored back-to-back unassisted goals to start the UVa scoring and gave the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead. Both times O’Reilly wrapped around from X and scored high. Ohio State finally got on the board at 4:58 in the first period on a Jesse King goal on a Carter Brown assist, cutting the UVa lead to one goal, 2-1.
The Cavaliers scored the next two goals, taking a 4-1 lead. Mark Cockerton found Ryan Tucker for a goal at 2:08. O’Reilly secured the hat trick with 47 seconds left in the first period when Matt White found the attackman.
Ohio State won the ensuing faceoff and deposited a goal just as time expired in the first quarter, cutting into UVa’s lead, 4-2. Ohio State would experience the same fortune at the end of the second and third quarter.
The Buckeyes reeled off three goals to start the second stanza, taking a 5-4 lead. King, David Planning and Turner Evans scored during the run. Evans’ goal was an extra-man score after a Scott McWilliams penalty. Cockerton stopped the Ohio State surge after O’Reilly found the junior with 1:10 left in the first half. But again Ohio State tallied a goal with 12 seconds left before the intermission, taking a 6-5 lead into the break.
Logan Schuss scored his first goal of the game at 14:21 in the third quarter. UVa came back to tie the game at 7-7, as White and O’Reilly scored back-to-back goals. O’Reilly’s tied the game at the 10:09 mark in the third quarter. On the ensuing faceoff Mick Parks won the ground ball for UVa, but then turned it over on the pass. The errant throw serendipitously found a waiting Carter Brown who quickly deposited the UVa turnover into an empty net after Rhody Heller exited the goal to set up a clear opportunity for the Cavaliers. The goal gave Ohio State an 8-7 lead.
Rob Emery tied the game at 8-8 on a pass from Owen Van Arsdale, but Ohio State scored with 5:29 left in the third quarter to take a 9-8 lead. Schuss gave the Buckeyes a 10-8 advantage at the end of the third period when his errant pass with time running down caromed off a crowd in front of the goal and finding its way into the net, passing Heller with four seconds left. Then the lightning day came.
Virginia won the shots battle, 33-27, the ground balls battle, 39-24, and had more saves, 8-6. Turnovers were the same, 12-12, and faceoffs were dead-even, 12-12.
White had two goals and one assist, while Cockerton had a goal and two assists to help pace UVa. King led Ohio State with two goals and one assist.
Virginia returns to action next Saturday when they face Johns Hopkins in the seventh annual Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. The battle for the Doyle Smith Cup will commence with a 4:30 p.m. faceoff inside Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium and will be televised in HD on ESPNU.