Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
April 25, 2009
The Game Story:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In front of an NCAA men’s lacrosse regular-season record crowd of 30,192 watched as the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team lost to No. 3 Notre Dame, 14-8, in sunny, warm Ohio Stadium Saturday.

Buckeye junior goalie Brandon Freeman made a career-best 18 saves in the defeat, while senior Jeff Ryan had four goals and an assist for his second-consecutive five-point game. Senior Joel Dalgarno’s goal in the first quarter was the 123rd of his career, as he tied the program record set by Terry Gilmore in 1979.

The loss drops the Buckeyes to 7-7 on the year and they end Great Western Lacrosse League play 3-2. Notre Dame, the only undefeated team in the nation, moves to 13-0 and wraps up the GWLL regular-season title with a 5-0 ledger. Notre Dame enters the GWLL tournament next weekend as the No. 1 seed and will take on Quinnipiac. Ohio State and Air Force will play in the other semifinal, with final seeding set after the Falcons’ game vs. Denver Saturday night.

Ohio State led 3-0 in the first quarter but Notre Dame outscored the Buckeyes, 4-1, including a goal with one second remaining, in the second quarter to send the teams into halftime tied at 4. The Irish scored the next seven goals to take the lead and push the score to 11-4. Ohio State ended the run with a goal with 3:16 left in the third quarter. Each team scored three times in the fourth.

The Buckeyes opened the scoring at 10:46 of the first quarter when Dalgarno found Mario Ventiquattro at the far post with a cross-crease pass. Dalgarno scored a goal of his own at 8:02. Junior Keith Lovett forced a turnover in the Buckeye zone and rushed the ball upfield, sending Dalgarno in on the Irish net for his record-tying goal. Ventiquattro added his second of the game at 6:45, set up by Ryan. Notre Dame got on the board when Zach Brenneman tallied at 4:24. Shots were 12-9 in favor of the Irish in the first quarter.

The Irish tied the game with the first two goals of the second quarter. Ryan Hoff scored at 10:11 and Peter Christman scored man-up with 3:00 on the clock. With Ohio State on a man-up chance, Ryan put Ohio State ahead when Justin Hayes found him with a quick-stick pass. The Irish tied the game with just one second remaining when Christmas found the back of the net on a rising shot from a sharp angle. Ohio State was outshot in the quarter, 11-6, with Freeman making five saves.

Notre Dame poured it on coming out of halftime, opening with a 7-0 run. Christman and Hoff (man-up) scored in 28 seconds to put the Irish up by two, followed by a goal from Brennaman at 10:58. The Irish scored four goals in 3:23, with goals from Duncan Swezey (7:23), Brennaman (5:50), Neal Hicks (5:43) and Hoff (4:00). Ohio State stopped the run when Ryan scored unassisted with 3:16 left in the quarter. Freeman made seven saves in the quarter, as the Irish outshot the Buckeyes, 20-7.

Notre Dame scored twice in 20 seconds in the fourth quarter, with goals from Grant Krebs at 11:45 and Hicks at 11:25. Freshman Eddie Bambino found the back of the net for the Buckeyes and 10:01. There was no scoring until Mike Pires set up Ryan at 3:17. Nicholas Beattie scored a goal for the Irish at 1:57 and Doug Ruhnke set up Ryan for the final goal with 39 seconds left. Shots were 10-8 for Notre Dame in the quarter.

Each team won 12 faceoffs, with senior Nick Carr going 8-5 for the Buckeyes. Lovett was 3-4 and had a team-best five groundballs in the game.

Notre Dame was 2-for-5 on EMO chances in the game. Ohio State was 1-for-2, with its last chance starting with three seconds left in regulation.

Postgame Notes
Dalgarno has a team-best 30 goals, 23 assists and 53 points this season. Dalgarno, who became the second Buckeye all-time (and in 30 years) to cross the 200-point mark for his career, now has 123 goals and 219 career points, ranking second in both categories in the Ohio State record book. He is tied with Terry Gilmore for first all-time in goals. Dalgarno has 97 assists to stand one back of second place Cliff Murray. He is on a 20-game point streak (49-34-83).

Ryan now is second on the team with a career-best 45 points, including a personal-high 29 goals and 16 assists. It was his third five-point game this season and the fifth of his career. It was the third four-goal game of his career and the second this season.

Ruhnke is on a six-game scoring streak (6-4-10).

Freeman topped the 15 saves he had at Air Force last Saturday. He has double-digit saves in each of his last three games.

The previous attendance record was 29,601 set in Ohio Stadium last year when the Buckeyes downed Denver in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeye game vs. Notre Dame preceded the Ohio State spring football game, which set the national attendance record for a spring football game with 95,722 fans in attendance.