Ohio State vs. Denver
April 19, 2002
The Game Story:
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Curtis Smith scored three goals and Mike Norton posted three assists to lead the No. 16 Ohio State men's lacrosse team to a victory over Denver, 8-4, in Great Western Lacrosse League action Friday in front of 903 fans in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The victory improves the Buckeyes' record to 7-4 overall and evens their conference record at 1-1. The Pioneers fall to 5-6 overall, 0-3 in GWLL play.

The Buckeyes ended the first half leading, 4-1. OSU's Ryan Laffey (So., Huntington, N.Y./Huntington) opened the scoring at the 12:13 mark of the first quarter before Denver's Darren Sasaki-Scanlon scored at 9:58 to tie the game at one. The Buckeyes scored the last three goals of the half. Pat Donohue (Jr., West Babylon, N.Y./ West Babylon) tallied with just two seconds remaining in the first quarter to give OSU the lead it would not relinquish the rest of the game. In the second quarter, Curtis Smith (Jr., Victoria, British Columbia/Oak Bay) took a pass from Donohue and scored at 13:55 to put OSU up, 3-1, before Bryan Mulford (Jr., Lutherville, Md./Calvert Hall) scored the last goal of the half with 5:30 on the clock, assisted by Norton (Jr., Timonium, Md./Calvert Hall).

Ohio State extended its lead to 6-1 less than four minutes into the third quarter. Anthony Gilardi (So., Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin), assisted by Pat Myers (Jr., Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk), scored an extra-man goal at 14:11, followed by an unassisted score by Tom Randisi (Fr., Towson, Md./Calvert Hall) at 11:18.

The Pioneers then scored the next three goals to cut OSU's lead to two (6-4). Andrew Huelskoetter scored with 5:17 remaining in the third quarter before Jeff Biggs (at 12:35) and Adam Stifel (at 10:18) tallied for Denver in the fourth stanza. Curtis Smith put the game out of reach for the Pioneers, scoring unassisted at 6:55 and then tallying an extra-man goal, assisted by Norton, with 3:19 on the clock.

The Buckeye defense was solid, as it allowed the Pioneers just 24 shots. OSU goalie Tony Russo (So., Fallston, Md./Calvert Hall) made six saves in net for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes stopped Denver on its extra-man opportunities. For the Falcons, goalie Jeff Nunziato made 16 saves.

"Tony Russo and the defense were spectacular tonight," Joe Breschi, OSU head coach, said. "Any time you give up only four goals in a lacrosse game, you're going to win. The defense won the game for us, but it was a total team effort at both ends of the field."