OSU Drops Denver, Gains NCAA Spot

OSU Drops Denver, Gains NCAA Spot

OSU Drops Denver, Gains NCAA Spot

OSU Drops Denver, Gains NCAA Spot

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 8 Ohio State men's lacrosse scored the last four goals of the game, including Craig Nolan's overtime gamewinner, to come back and defeat Great Western Lacrosse League foe No. 15 Denver, 9-8, Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State trailed, 8-5, entering the fourth quarter.

The victory gives the Buckeyes at least a share of the GWLL title with a 4-0 record and the squad earns the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Ohio State is tied with Notre Dame in the GWLL, as the Irish ended league play with a 4-1 record with their loss coming to the Buckeyes. OSU can win the league title outright with a victory over Fairfield Saturday.

The win was Ohio State's 10th in a row, the longest active streak in the nation. The Buckeyes improve to 11-2 on the year. The DU Pioneers fall to 8-4 and end league play 3-2.

"The senior class is amazing," Joe Breschi, OSU head coach, said about his team's win on Senior Day. "Every guy stepped up, especially in the fourth quarter. They really buckled down. We've been focusing on one week at a time all season. We stay focused on the task ahead of us."

The Buckeyes trailed 8-5 entering the fourth quarter after they were outscored, 5-1, in the third. Ohio State scored the only three goals of the fourth to force overtime. Shaun Lyons (Sr., Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) scored twice in the quarter, sandwiched around a Tom Randisi (Jr., Towson, Md./Calvert Hall) score. Lyons tallied with 10:22 on the clock and Randisi, set up by Anthony Gilardi (Sr., Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin), cut the Pioneers' lead to one with 4:46 remaining in regulation. Lyons tied the game at eight with 1:33 left with an unassisted goal, his third of the game.

In overtime, Josh Lesko (Sr., Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) won the opening draw to give the Buckeyes possession. Greg Bice (Sr., Helotes, Texas/St. Mary's Hall) scooped up a loose ball and brought it into DU territory. The Buckeyes took a time out and on the ensuing possession a Denver player was assessed a penalty for tripping, giving the Buckeyes an extra-man opportunity. DU's Brian Sanders made a save on Gary Bining's (So., Delta, British Columbia/Delta Secondary) shot, but Nolan (So., Plano, Texas/Jesuit College Prep) picked up the ball and got it to Kyle Olson (Jr., Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington). Olson passed back to Nolan, who beat Sanders from the side of the cage to give the Buckeyes the win.

The first half of the game was back-and-forth as the score was tied three times, but OSU went into the lockerroom with a 4-3 advantage. Denver's Greer Hanlon tallied the first of his team-high three goals early in the first quarter, scoring just 32 seconds in. Exactly six minutes later (8:28), Buckeye sophomore Jason Bloom (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Centennial) answered back with a goal assisted by Jason Lutz (Fr., Burke, Va./Robinson), tying the score at one. Tom Randisi took the lead for Ohio State with a man-up goal, set up by Bloom at 5:32. Denver tied the score at two with 1:18 remaining in the quarter, as Adam Goodwin tallied.

Hanlon scored a man-up goal just 18 seconds into the second quarter to give Denver the lead. The score remained 3-2 until Nolan scored a man-up goal of his own, set up by Randisi, with 2:36 left. Shaun Lyons ended the scoring in the half with a goal with just four seconds left on the clock. OSU led 4-3 at the end of the first half.

Denver tied the game for the fourth time when Greg Weigel scored at the 12:21 mark of the third quarter. After a Ben Wolff (So., Owings Mills, Md./Calvert Hall) goal, assisted by Gilardi, with 10 minutes left that put OSU ahead, 5-4, the Pioneers went on a four-goal run to take an 8-5 lead. Darren Sasaki-Scanlon tied the game at five with 9:29 left in the third quarter. Hanlon put DU ahead at the 5:02 mark, followed by goals from Matt Brown at 3:59 and Geoff Snider at 1:14.

In net for the Buckeyes, senior goalie Tony Russo (Fallston, Md./Calvert Hall) had 10 saves, including six in the fourth quarter. Sanders made 16 stops for the Pioneers.

Lyons had a team-high three goals for the Buckeyes. Randisi had two goals and an assist for three points. Nolan tallied twice and Gilardi had a team-best two assists. Hanlon led the Pioneers with three goals. Sasaki-Scanlon had a goal and an assist for two points.

Ohio State was 3-for-4 on extra-man opportunities and stopped the Pioneers on two of three chances.

The Buckeyes end their GWLL schedule when they travel to face Fairfield at noon Saturday (May 8) in Fairfield, Conn.

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    by (#12531) on 4/29/04 @8:32PM
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    by (#76367) on 5/11/04 @1:41AM
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