North Carolina vs. Ohio State
May 8, 2004
The Game Story:
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 6/7 Ohio State men's lacrosse saw its 11-game winning streak stopped, as it fell to No. 7/8 North Carolina, 12-6, Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Buckeyes trailed by one (6-5) at halftime, but were outscored, 6-1, in the second half. Ohio State falls to 12-3 on the year (5-0 GWLL), while the Tar Heels improve to 8-4 (2-1 ACC). The game ended the regular season for both squads.

Ohio State, which earned the Great Western Lacrosse League's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament as the regular-season champion, awaits the announcement of the 2004 NCAA Championship bracket. The selection show will be televised live on ESPNews at 3:40 pm. Monday.

The Buckeyes got on the board first, as Kyle Olson (Jr., Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) tallied at 12:44, before UNC's Bryant Will tied the game at one with 7:14 remaining. The score remained tied until Shaun Lyons (Sr., Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) scored twice, at 2:34 and :05, to put the Buckeyes ahead, 3-1, at the end of the first.

The Tar Heels tied the game with two goals in under two minutes early in the second quarter, as Jed Prossner scored at 14:44, followed by a Will goal at 13:18. OSU's Gary Bining (So., Delta, British Columbia/Delta Secondary) scored a man-up goal, assisted by Anthony Gilardi (Sr., Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin), at 8:18 to put OSU ahead, 4-3. Andrew Bender (So., Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) followed with a goal, set up by Craig Nolan (So., Plano, Texas/Jesuit College Prep), 24 seconds later. The Tar Heels then closed out the scoring with three goals, including a man-up tally with 1:12 remaining, to go into halftime with a 6-5 lead.

The Tar Heels dominated the second half, scoring five consecutive goals, with two in the third (by Will and Lance Zimmerman) and three in the fourth, by Prossner (at 13:22), Zimmerman (6:49) and Ryan Blair (at 4:17). Bender scored the Buckeyes' sixth goal with 3:31 remaining in the game, but Blair ended the scoring with a goal with 2:41 left.

Buckeye senior goalie Tony Russo (Fallston, Md./Calvert Hall) had a season-high 18 saves while playing all 60 minutes in net. Paul Spellman made nine saves for UNC.

UNC outshot the Buckeyes, 44-27, and picked up 47 groundballs, while OSU scooped up 23.

Game Notes The Buckeyes' 11-game winning streak was their longest since they won 13 in a row during the 1978 season. Ohio State had not lost since falling in double overtime at UMBC March 7.

Gilardi's assist moved him into a tie with Todd Walker (1976-79) for eighth place in OSU history for career assists. With 131 points in his career, Gilardi ranks 13th in program history. Gilardi is the only Buckeye with at least one point in every game this season.

The 12 goals scored by UNC marked just the second time this season OSU allowed more than nine goals. The squad entered the weekend tied for first in the nation in team defense.

Lyons extended his goal-scoring streak to nine with two goals in the game. He has a goal in all but two games this season. Olson moved his scoring streak to seven, while Nolan's streak improved to five.

The six goals scored by the Buckeyes were the fewest since the squad was held to four in the season opener against Penn State.