Hobart vs. Ohio State
April 17, 2004
The Game Story:
GENEVA, N.Y.-The Hobart College lacrosse team led by as many as seven goals late in the third quarter, but the eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes staged a furious comeback to avoid an upset and escape Boswell Field with a 13-12 win in overtime. Senior midfielder Ryan Laffey (Huntington/Huntington, N.Y.) scored the game-winner for Ohio State with 8.7 seconds remaining in the first overtime.

Hobart senior attackman Mark Williamson (Corning East/Corning, N.Y.) scored with 9:54 remaining in the third quarter to give the Statesmen (6-5) an 11-4 lead. He posted a game-high five points on two goals and three assists.

The Buckeyes (9-2) still trailed by seven with two minutes remaining in the third frame, but senior attackman Anthony Gilardi (Baldwin/Baldwin, N.Y.) started an 8-0 OSU run with a man-up goal at the 1:49 mark. In the fourth quarter, Gilardi scored twice more during the run, including his 13th tally of the season that tied the contest at 11 with 50 seconds left in regulation.

He finished with a game-high four goals.

Senior midfielder Josh Lesko (Annapolis/Annapolis, Md.) won the ensuing faceoff and junior attackman Kyle Olson (Upper Arlington/Upper Arlington, Ohio) finished a feed from senior midfielder Shaun Lyons (Hicksville/Hicksville, N.Y.) to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game with 28 remaining.

Hobart won the subsequent faceoff to give the Statesmen life. Looking to get a shot off, senior midfielder Brian Joy (West Genesee/Camillus, N.Y.) slipped to his knees near the top of the restraining box, but managed to get a pass off to junior midfielder Chris Scanlon (Corning West/Painted Post, N.Y.), who fired a blistering shot from 15-yards out past senior goalie Tony Russo (Calvert Hall/Fallston, Md.) to force overtime. Russo finished with 13 stops.

In the extra session, Hobart outshot Ohio State 3-2, but Laffey's charge and point-blank shot from the left of junior goalie Dan Valente (Mt. Hebron/Ellicott City, Md.) ended the Statesmen's hopes of an upset. Valente finished with 14 saves.

Hobart junior attackman Nate Hill (Hamburg/Hamburg, N.Y.) chipped in two goals and two assists, while Scanlon recorded a hat trick. First-year midfielder John Soden (Delbarton School/Chester, N.J.) dominated the faceoff X, winning 21 of the 28 restarts while collecting seven ground balls.

The Statesmen outshot the Buckeyes 54-42, but OSU controlled the fourth quarter with a 16-5 shot advantage. Hobart's Achilles' heel proved to be an 0-for-4 showing in man-up situations in the fourth quarter. The Statesmen finished 2-of-8 for the game.

Clearly a disappointing loss for unranked Hobart, but the Statesmen made a case for inclusion in the next edition of the coaches poll, coming closer to knocking off OSU than second-ranked Navy (12-9) and 13th-ranked Duke (16-9). This young Hobart squad (just 4 seniors, 7 juniors) is the only team this season to score more than nine goals against the Buckeyes' No. 2 scoring defense (6.6 gapg entering the day).

The Statesmen will close out their Patriot League loop with a visit to ninth-ranked Army on April 24. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.