Although showing signs of improvement, the Buckeyes were unable to leave their road trip with positive momentum in the standings.
In an incredibly close game throughout, the Ohio State No.14 (3-4) came close to avenging his 12-22 loss to No.8 Rutgers (5-2) in February, but the Buckeyes have eventually fell 10-9 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The Buckeyes quickly took the lead in the first quarter as junior Jack Myers found the cage to open the scoring. From that point on, however, Rutgers would score three consecutive points.
In the second quarter, Ohio State and Rutgers traded goals. Unable to put multiple goals together, Ohio State struggled to take the lead in the Rutgers’ first quarter.
Rutgers graduate forward Adam Charalambides scored a goal and an assist in the first half.
In winning the third quarter, Ohio State reduced Scarlet Knight’s lead to two and put themselves within striking distance.
Entering the fourth quarter with just two goals, Ohio State looked to build on the momentum of the previous period. After a back-and-forth quarterback, it appeared Rutgers had a win, up two goals with less than a minute to go.
However, Myers shot the Buckeyes in under one with 38 seconds left in regulation. Senior Justin Inacio would win the next face-off and give the Buckeyes one last chance.
With one final shot from the field in the dying seconds, Ohio State missed and dropped its fourth game of the season and second to Rutgers.
Offensively, the Buckeyes struggled to find their rhythm in the first half as Rutgers played his fast-paced lacrosse style. Charalambides and graduate forward Connor Kirst were the Scarlet Knights’ only multi-goal scorers, leading their team in the first half.
In the second half, Ohio State played their lacrosse style and slowed the game down, taking long possessions.
Myers and main forward Griffin Hughes both scored at least three goals.
Defensively, the Buckeyes settled in the second half. Holding offensive stars like junior midfielder David Sprock and senior striker Kieran Mullins for Rutgers in check.
Ohio State also managed to stop Rutgers from scoring more than 10 goals, a feat only achieved by Maryland.
However, Rutgers continued to play the aggressive defensive style the Buckeyes struggled with in February. With defensemen still in the hands of the Buckeyes’ offensive players, Rutgers was able to disrupt passes and cause unusual errors from the Buckeyes.
On goal, graduated goalkeepers Alec Van De Bovenkamp and Colin Kirst impressed. For the Buckeyes, Bovenkamp continued his success, recording 11 saves.
Kirst made 15 saves for Rutgers and held off the Buckeyes’ late return.
The state of Ohio continued its success in the faceoff.
Senior midfielder Justin Inacio dominated for the Buckeyes. Winning 17 out of 22 draws and forcing the Scarlet Knights to use a defender on the face-off at times.
Graduated midfielder Ryan Terefenko made a surprise return to the pitch this week after leaving the last game against Rutgers with an injury in their opener.
Ohio State returns to Columbus next Saturday in an unranked game with Johns Hopkins at 11 a.m.
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