Buckeyes’ Rebound From Last Minute Irish Goal to Win GWLL Opener 9-8.
Buckeyes’ Rebound From Last Minute Irish Goal to Win GWLL Opener 9-8.
South Bend has not been kind to the Ohio State mens lacrosse team with Ohio State not winning in the Bend for the last 16 years. Today was an exception. The Buckeyes were like junkyard dogs, contesting everything they encountered. Notre Dame has the best record in the GWLL for extra man goals, but the Buckeyes beat them in that statistic today scoring on 4 of 5 EMO opportunities while the Irish had to settle for 4 of 7 on their end. Apart from the porous man down defenses, both teams contested ground balls and clears today with Notre Dame successfully clearing 12 or 15 attempts, yet riding the Buckeyes hard permitting them to clear only 10 of 19 clears. The Buckeyes weathered the 3 goals the Irish scored in the third quarter to go up 7-3 and then with a minute left in the quarter, Tom Randisi lit up the Irish net, scoring three straight to bring the Buckeyes within one. Shaun Lyons then nailed the net to tie the game. Both Randisi and Lyons were very effective from out and up top today. According to Breschi, they were in “their zone”. Stewart Crosland, the Irish goalie stuffs everything close up and within 3-5 yards out, but seems to give up most of his scores from 10-15 yards out. It was difficult today against Randisi, who would constantly dart up to the top and pass to either Lyons or Tony Gilardi. The top shot did the Irish in and with the duo of Randisi and Lyons, Breschi jokes that the Buckeye opponents “have to pick their poison”.
The game was a standard GWLL game with ND controlling the ball and the tempo of most of the first quarter with goals by Brian Hubschmann, Pat Walsh and Matt Howell. With ND up 2-0 , at 2:25, the game was delayed for about 25 minutes, when OSU defender defender Chris Brown took a hard shot from ND’s Matt Karweck in the chest (see the pictures) and collapsed to the ground to the left of the goal. Play was stopped and Brown was assisted from the field but mostly under his own power. Nevertheless, and due to the incident at Cornell wearlier in the month, he was brought to the sideline and examined. The paramedics were called when Brown began coughing up blood, and Brown was taken to a hospital. When loaded onto a gurney, he gave the OSYU parents and the Buckeye bench a thumbs up. His departure from the field fired up the Buckeyes, who let ND score once and then ended the first quarter with two straight goals to narrow the deficit to 3-2, ND. OSU came out hot and scored at 14:40 of the second to tie the game.
The injury to Chris Brown provided the Buckeyes with some spark, but according to Breschi, “we have been playing this year with a lot of adversity and [the players] always seem to rise to the occasion. This team is a magical group of guys with a terrific set of senior leadership.” Breschi is an emotional guy and a great guy who is still coping with his own personal tragedy. He carries his son’s lacrosse stick with him on the sidelines and more than once, when the Buckeyes either tied or went ahead, he looked up to the heavens.
The second half saw ND use its extra man offense effectively at 13:15 wit Steve Clageet getting an unassisted goal and less than a minute later, a 30 second push call on the Buckeyes give the Irish the extra man again with Hubschman finding senior Matt Howell for the score. OSU reined in the wagons and played good close defense for the next three minutes, but at 9:09 Walsh fed Berger who beat Tony Russo to put ND up 7-3. Both teams traded possessions with ND using its typical deliberate offense, working the ball around and waiting for Hubschmann or Howell or Berger to get open. Hubschmann uses his height and weight to force his way close ina nd a defender to manage him has got to push with all he has got. However, many times the Buckeyes defense out just enough pressure on Hubschmann to throw him off balance when he shot, limiting him today to only two goals. At the 0:53 mark, Ohio State was awarded possession on a push and ND was late in setting up. Randisi was 15 yards out on the right and was fed by Gilardi and nailed the net with a hard overhand shot.
That brought the game into the fourth quarter with the Buckeyes down 7-4, and Crosland started the quarter by stoning Craig Nolan. Crosland then stuffed Ben Wolff. At 13:13, Drew Peters was called for an illegal body check and the EMO unit of OSU converted with Randisi off a feed from Jason Bloom. ND was whistled again and OSU converted at 10:01 with another hard shot by Randisi. Both teams were checking hard and every ground ball seemed to be caught, then checked, then caught again, then checked again in this period. Neither team was willing to concede. Russo began to pull some saves out of his pocket what helped the Buckeyes stymie the Irish. Russo shut down two close shots by Howell and then picked Walsh low ball out of the air on the left side. On another notable save, Russo had come out to clear, way out and tries to dump the ball off to a middie. Brian Giordano for ND jumped him and stripped the abll away. Goirdano hesitated for a second to get control and Russo made an acrobatic dive to the right of the goal, stick extending forward and managed to deflect Giordano’s shot. This kid was in his own zone today.
OSU went up for the first time at 4:27 on a solo shot from Ryan Laffey. Russo then shut down shots by Howell and Berger. At 0:51, the Irish brought the ball down and Hubschamann tried to bull the ball in again. He fell , dropped the ball, recovered it and got creamed between two Buckeye defenders and fell down shooting (wide). OSU was called for an illegal body check on the play and they would apparently end the game man down. Hubschmann took the ball and shot from 8 yards out and put it behind Russo at 0:28.
Craig Bishko took the face for ND against Josh Lesko for the Buckeyes and Lesko used a sideways rake to goose the ball out back to the Buckeyes defense. ND was called for a push (loose ball) and OSU got the ball. OSU had no time outs, so their plan was just to get it close and hope for a lucky shot. Middie Ryan Laffey took the ball down the side and stepped to the right and quickly passed to Ben Wolff a few feet off the crease near the back side which was open for the first time in the game, and he was too close for Crosland to stop. OSU led at0:12. OSU stopped using set plays in the fourth quarter and let Breschi’s motion offense do the work for them.
Breschi gathered his players afterwards and emotionally congratulated them telling them they never quit out there today. He gave much of the credit for the win to his assistant coaches, who did a tremendous job in preparing the Buckeyes , and that they played their hearts out. Today’s game “was a typical game for us, we don’t quit, we just keep fighting and scrapping” noted Breschi.
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State