COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 3 seed Ohio State men’s lacrosse team lost to top seed Johns Hopkins, 13-6, in the inaugural Big Ten Tournament championship game Saturday at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. No. 14 ranked Ohio State is now 11-6 on the year, while the No. 17-ranked Blue Jays improve to 9-6 and receive the B1G’s automatic berth into the 2015 NCAA Championship field.
“This loss is certainly a disappointment, but credit Johns Hopkins on a great game and congratulations to them on the first Big Ten Tournament title,” Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. “If a couple of our early shots fall, maybe it’s a different game, but we weren’t able to take advantage and their goalie made some great saves. Our men fought to the very end. It’s tough to play two games in three days and both teams played hard the entire game.”
The 2015 NCAA Championship field will be announced at 9 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU. Ohio State will await the announcement to see if the Buckeyes receive one of eight at-large spots in the field.
“We are certainly hopeful there’s more lacrosse for Ohio State this season,” Myers said. “I believe in our men and in our body of work. We have four wins over teams in the Top 20, including a Top 5 and Top 10 win. We’ll have to wait and see, unfortunately it’s not in our hands because we were unable to take advantage of the opportunity to earn the automatic qualifier tonight.”
Despite the Buckeyes outshooting Johns Hopkins 13-7, the Blue Jays scored the only four goals of the first quarter. Kelton Black opened the scoring at 10:39, followed by a goal from Cody Radziewicz at 8:55. The Blue Jays scored twice in the final 3:04 to extend the lead to four. After a long Buckeye possession that included eight shots (with three JHU saves and a shot that hit the pipe), Connor Reed scored soon after for the Blue Jays at 3:04 and John Crawley added a goal with 59 seconds left in the quarter. Hopkins’ goalie made six saves, with Buckeye goalie Tom Carey making two stops, in the stanza.
Ohio State scored the first two goals of the second quarter to cut the Hopkins’ lead in half (4-2). Senior David Planning scored unassisted at 12:54 and sophomore JT Blubaugh drove the cage and scored at 11:22. The Blue Jays scored the next two, with Holden Cattoni tallying at 9:15 and Wells Stanwick following at 8:05 to push the lead to 6-2. At 2:39, Buckeye junior Carter Brown found sophomore John
Kelly and his shot found the top corner to draw the Buckeyes within three (6-3). Shots were 10-9 in favor of the Blue Jays in the quarter, with Carey making four saves.
The Blue Jays outscored the Buckeyes 5-0 in the third quarter to take an 11-3 lead. Cattoni scored an extra-man goal 37 seconds into the quarter, followed by a goal from Joel Tinney at 11:59 and a John Crawley score at 8:06. The Blue Jays added goals at 2:01 and with three seconds left in the quarter. Hopkins had 13 shots in the stanza, holding Ohio State to five.
Ohio State had three goals in the fourth quarter, with the Blue Jays scoring twice. JHU’s Cattoni completed his hat trick at 13:39. At 6:57 Buckeye senior Jesse King found junior Ryan Hunter for a score. The Blue Jays’ Ryan Brown tallied at 3:29 before King and Carter Brown scored unassisted for the Buckeyes at 2:24 and 2:06. Ohio State outshot Johns Hopkins, 10-8, in the fourth quarter, with the Blue Jays’ goalies combining for three saves.
The Blue Jays had 38 shots in the game, with Ohio State attempting 37. Carey had seven saves in the Ohio State cage, with the Blue Jays’ Eric Schneider stopping 11 in 58:19 and Will Ryan making one save in the final 1:41.
Ohio State had the edge in faceoffs, 12-11. Graduate student Christopher May won 8-of-18, with sophomore Jake Withers capturing 4-of-5. May led the Buckeyes with six groundballs and has a team-best 127 this season.
After the game, King, Planning and junior defenseman Robby Haus were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
Brown and King each had two points on a goal and an assist to lead the Buckeyes. King has a team-high 37 goals, 27 assists and 64 points, all career highs, with multiple points in all but one game this year. Brown is second with 31 goals, 17 assists and 48 points and has a point in each of his last seven games. Kelly is on a seven-game scoring streak.