Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
March 31, 2004
The Game Story:
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Buckeye sophomore Ben Wolff scored with 12 seconds remaining to cap a fourth-quarter rally and give the No. 17 Ohio State men's lacrosse team a 9-8 win over No. 13 Notre Dame Wednesday at Moose Krause Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind. The Buckeyes entered the final quarter trailing, 7-4, but outscored the Irish in the final stanza, 5-1, for the win.

The game was the Great Western Lacrosse League opener for both teams. Ohio State, which moved its winning streak to five, improves to 6-2 on the year. The Irish drop to 2-4. The victory marked the Buckeyes' first on the road at Notre Dame since 1988, stopping a seven-game losing streak in Notre Dame, Ind.

The game between the Buckeyes and Irish will be televised on a tape-delay basis by CSTV: College Sports Television at 5 p.m. Saturday and at 5 a.m. Sunday.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 3-0 lead with goals at 12:09, 8:38 and 1:18 of the first quarter. The Buckeyes answered back with two goals in the last minute of the quarter. Tom Randisi (Jr., Towson, Md./Calvert Hall) tallied a man-up goal, assisted by Gary Bining (So., Delta, British Columbia/Delta Secondary), with 51 seconds left, followed by an Anthony Gilardi (Sr., Baldwin, Md./Baldwin) unassisted score with just four seconds remaining in the first.

OSU's Craig Nolan (So., Plano, Texas/Jesuit College Prep) tied the score at three just 20 seconds into the second quarter with the Buckeyes' second man-up goal of the game, set up by Randisi. The Irish regained the lead with a Steve Clagett goal at 7:25 of the quarter to make the score 4-3 at halftime.

Notre Dame rattled off three goals early in the third, with man-up scores Matt Howell and Dan Berger at 13:15 and 12:50, respectively, followed by a Berger score at 9:09, to give the Irish a 7-3 advantage.

The Buckeyes then scored five consecutive goals to take the lead. Randisi scored three in a row, with the first coming with 53 seconds left in the third quarter. Randisi then tallied man-up goals at 12:57 (assisted by Jason Bloom) and 10:01 (set up by Bining) of the fourth to cut ND's lead to one (7-6). Shaun Lyons (Sr., Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) tied the game with an unassisted goal at 7:30, followed by a Ryan Laffey (Sr., Huntington, N.Y./Huntington) score at 4:27 that gave OSU the lead, 8-7. OSU held the one-goal edge until Notre Dame's Brian Hubschmann tied the game with just 28 seconds remaining on a man-up score. The Buckeyes responded just 16 seconds later, as Wolff (Owings Mills, Md./Calvert Hall) tallied the gamewinner, assisted by Laffey, following a Josh Lesko faceoff win, giving the Buckeyes the 9-8 victory.

In net, Tony Russo (Sr., Fallston, Md./Calvert Hall) played all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes, making 11 saves, including four in the fourth quarter. For the Irish, Stewart Crosland also had 11 saves in 60 minutes of play.

Randisi led the Buckeyes with a career-best four goals and five points. Gilardi and Laffey each had a goal and an assist for two points, while Bining had a career-high two assists. For the Irish, Berger, Howell and Hubschmann each had a team-best two goals, while Berger, Pat Walsh and Hubschmann each had three points.

Each team had four man-up goals in the contest. OSU went 4-for-5 and ND was 4-for-7.

Game Notes

The win was Ohio State's second in a row over the Irish. The Buckeyes topped Notre Dame last season, 11-5, in Columbus.

Randisi's four goals and five points both marked career highs. He tied his career high with three goals against Hartford last Thursday and set his previous best of four points against Drexel in 2003.

With 11 saves against Notre Dame, Russo moved into third place all-time in OSU history for career saves with 557. He now is 10 behind second-place Russell Salk (1991-94) and 53 shy of the all-time mark of 610 set by Jim Hartnett from 1979-81.

Gilardi and Wolff both extended their scoring streaks to eight. Each has at least one point in every game this season.

The Buckeyes return home to face No. 8 Duke at 1 p.m. Saturday at North Turf Field in Columbus.