Ohio State Stuns No. 3 North Carolina
from press release
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State wiped out an early 5-2 North Carolina lead with a 9-1 mid-game scoring run en route to defeating the third-ranked Tar Heels 13-8 in men’s lacrosse action Saturday at Ohio Stadium before 2,695 fans.. The win was only the second for the Buckeyes in 17 games against the Tar Heels and it marked only the second non-conference loss of the Joe Breschi coaching era in Chapel Hill.
Ohio State improved to 3-0 on the season while Carolina falls to 1-1 heading into a key home game next Friday night against Navy at Fetzer Field.
The Buckeyes outscored the Tar Heels 7-2 after intermission, outshooting Carolina 13-3 in the third quarter and outscoring Carolina 5-1 in the period. The Buckeyes had nine ground balls in the third quarter to two for Carolina as the game turned in OSU’s favor. Overall, Ohio State won the ground ball battle 32-18 while outshooting the Tar Heels 33-28 on the game.
Thomas Wood led the Tar Heels with three goals while freshman Nicky Galasso had two goals and an assist. Billy Bitter added a goal and two assists while Marcus Holman had a goal and an assist for UNC.
Freshman R.G. Keenan was a bright spot for the Tar Heels as he won 15 of 24 face-offs and had a game-high nine ground balls. Keenan had half of Carolina’s ground ball total. Fifteen different Buckeyes had ground balls led by Keenan Ochwat and Joe Meurer with five each.
Goalie Greg Dutton for Ohio State made eight saves while Chris Madalon had nine saves for the Tar Heels.
UNC jumped out to a 5-2 lead less than one minute into the second quarter but over the next 36 minutes the Buckeyes were relentless, oustcoring UNC 11-2 to take a 13-7 lead with 7:06 to play in the game.
Carolina started with goals by Thomas Wood at 13:57 of the first quarter and by Jimmy Dunster 37 seconds later. Jarred Bowman and Mike Pires wrapped goals around another tally from Wood to pull the Buckeyes with a goal at the end of the first period.
Galasso scored an unassisted goal 45 seconds into the second quarter and then fed Wood for a goal nine seconds later to make it 5-2 in favor of the Heels. But over the next seven minutes it was all Ohio State. Four different Buckeyes scored capped off by a goal by Bryce Woodson with 6:44 left in the half to put Ohio State up 6-5. Galasso’s second goal, assisted by Bitter, pulled the game into a 6-6 tie at the half.
In last year’s meeting, UNC and Ohio State were tied 10-10 at the half at Fetzer Field but UNC outscored the Buckeyes 9-3 in the second half of that game to emerge victorious. This year, Ohio State turned the tables on UNC and outscored the Heels 7-2 after the break.
The Buckeyes claimed the lead for good just three seconds into the second half as Jeff Tundo scored an extra man goal. Back-to-back goals by Logan Schuss and another by Pires made it 10-6 just 4:11 into the second half.
Billy Bitter scored with 5:07 to play in the third quarter but the Buckeyes ran off the next three goals in a row to silence any comeback thoughts by the Tar Heels. The lead grew to 13-7 with 7:06 to play and three penalties on UNC in the final 4:33 left the Tar Heels man down for most of the rest of the contest.
The loss was only the second in non-conference play for the Tar Heels since Joe Breschi’s arrival as head coach in 2009. UNC is now 23-2 against non-league foes under the third-year head coach. Carolina is 43-5 against non-conference teams dating back to late in the 2006 season.