The second game of the Fall Face Off matched Ohio State against Maryland. Ohio State was very physical in this game, dishing out body checks throughout the game. Joe Breschi’s Buckeyes played with a certain swagger today and the crowd was partisan to the Buckeyes, cheering loudly as a Terp would hit the turf. The Buckeye bench was very loud cheering for every defensive stand and offensive score. They are more animated than in the past.
Notwithstanding the physical play, Maryland ran at will on Ohio State and would have scored 3-4 more goals if it were not for some errant passing. The Ritz boys went unchecked with Max Ritz tallying 2 goals and an assist and Xander converting 2 and helping on 2 more. Joe Walters tossed in 3 goals and 1 assist. Despite Maryland’s scoring, the Buckeyes refused to knuckle under and appeared to play better in the waning minutes. Part of this may have been due to the free use by Cottle of his younger players, but the Buckeyes never let up trying. The winner of the game between them and Notre Dame next spring will decide the winner of the GWLL and who gets to go to the big dance.
Prior to the game, the first class of the Missouri Lacrosse Hall of Fame were inducted. The inductees included tournament organizer Mike Sennett, Bob Ladue and Kathy Shortell were inducted. All have been responsible for the growth of lax in Missouri and all have been successful high school coaches. Ohio State won the opening faceoff and promptly scored at 14:23 on their first possession as senior attackman Josh Wittenberg rolled the cage and beat Terp keeper Harry Alford with a hard overhand shot. Alford recorded at least 6 point bank saves and the outcome would have different without him between the pipes. Alford also ran out a few times to stuff an oncoming attacker. Cottle replaced Alford in the 4th quarter and inserted Teddy Murphy, who also recorded two point blank shots, but let one roll off his shoulder into the net as shown in one of the games photos. Mike Rimmer started in the nets for the Buckeyes and yielded to Drew May later in the game.
Walters used a hard shot from the right GLE to score first and even the game. Billy McGlone fed Walters who dumped quickly to Xander Ritz to score and tie it 1-1. Alford made the first of his point blank saves shortly afterwards. Waleters fed Ritz four minutes later. 2-1, Terps. Waleters scored his second off a feed from McGlone at 7:14 to make it 3-1. Max Ritz scored to go ahead 4-1 to end the first quarter. Both teams consistently stymied each other in the second quarter and the half ended with Maryland in extra man opportunity, but holding the ball so they could avoid facing off to begin the third quarter. Maryland 5, Ohio State 2.
Maryland lost the ball as they moved it around in the beginning of the third quarter and the Buckeyes scored the first two goals of the third quarter to narrow the lead to 5-4 and cause concern to Cottle. Craig Nolan ran toward the net to freeze the defense and Alford, and then hit Ben Wolff on right for the first score and Andy Bender put in the second goal. Breschi ahd his players rotate the ball around one direction first, then reverse direction and then ran a play out of a box formation, sometimes moving into a 1-4-1 and having the top middie cut in as one of the middle middies moved out. Maryland countered with well timed slides and superb one on one defensive play. One edge the Buckeyes held int his game was rides. They rode very hard forcing Alford to move up north of the restraining line and then jumping him with a fast attackman. This tactic worked the best in the fourth quarter on the younger Maryland players.
Maryland hit four serial goals to increase their lead to 9-4. Max Ritz scored when the Terps were man up and McGlone combined with a feed from Xander Ritz to edge up to 8-4. Drew Evans scored solo to make it 9-4. Maryland and OSU traded goals with Ricky Pages assisting Craig Nolan for the Buckeyes to narrow it to 10-5. Chris Li and Bender each tallied solo goals in the last 3 minutes to end it at 10-7, with Li's goal being a point blank attempt on Murhpy that rolled over his left shoulder. Murphy stuffed another point bank shot by Ben Wolff, but let Bender beat him to end the game.