Two weeks away from Selection Sunday, Maryland was trying to win a share of the regular season Big Ten title with two games remaining. Meanwhile, Ohio State was trying to salvage their season with a marquee win to boost their postseason resume.
The unranked Buckeyes (7-6, 2-2) upset the No. 1 Terps (10-2, 3-1) 12-10 to not only avenge last season’s NCAA National Championship loss but also spoil Maryland’s senior day celebrations in front of 6,395 fans at Capital One Stadium.
Despite contrasting starts to the season, the game was a back-and-forth contest from the start. Freshman faceoff specialist Justin Inacio dominated the X, winning 17-of-26 faceoffs on the day behind some great wing play from senior long stick midfielder Freddy Freibott and sophomore midfielder Ryan Terefenko. Those wing players combined for seven out of the team’s 17 groundballs on the day.
“If there’s a better wing group out there, I haven’t seen them,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said.
Junior attackman Jack Jasinski posted a career-high five assists and two goals while senior Colin Chell scored four goals to lead Ohio State to victory.
“They’re not an overly complicated group, and they haven’t been all year,” Maryland head coach John Tillman said. “They didn’t give us anything different than what we have practiced.”
Senior midfielder Connor Kelly had his senior day game spoiled despite his four goals and one assist. It’s the second straight year the Terps failed to win on their senior day, despite half of the 10 seniors being celebrated getting drafted into Major League Lacrosse earlier this week.
The Buckeyes blitzed Maryland out of the gate. Inacio won the first three faceoffs of the game, and Ohio State’s offense converted on all three of those possessions.
Jasinski came out firing, blasting the opening goal past a screen and into the top left corner. Senior attackman Colin Chell scored the next three goals, all on quick catch-and-shots from the outside as Jasinski found him for two of those scores.
“We had some communication errors and if you don’t do a great job and aren’t buttoned up, they’re not afraid to jam it in there,” Tillman said. “And based on last week and what we did, I would jam it in there too.”
The Terps matched Ohio State’s 3-0 run, using some transition magic to tie it up at three. First, Kelly found freshman attackman Logan Wisnauskas in transition off a good effort on the ride. Redshirt junior Nick Brozowski, who celebrated his senior day with his fellow upperclassmen, then sparked a break with a highlight-reel defensive check. He found sophomore attackman Jared Bernhardt on the other end before Kelly fired a low shot home.
Senior midfielder Tim Rotanz then tied the game at three with a nifty dodge inside before avoiding the crease. It was a freshman connection to tie it back up at four when Bubba Fairman found Wisnauskas on the back post for his second of the game. Kelly kept momentum going for the Terps with his signature rollback dodge and shot.
Two minutes later, Kelly’s third goal was sandwiched in between a couple Ohio State goals set up by Jasinski, who broke his career-high with four assists in the first half alone. Sophomore standout Tre LeClaire and freshman Jackson Reid, the team’s two top scorers this season, benefited from those two Jasinski assists.
Reid and freshman Colby Smith got things going again for the Buckeyes in the third, as both took advantage of short stick defensive matchups. LeClaire then found Chell for his fourth goal of the game from terrific ball movement.
Bernhardt responded with a turnaround goal coming around goal line extended. Senior midfielder Adam DiMillo fooled the defense with a rocker step dodge on the left wing before finishing inside to cut the lead to one goal with 4:49 remaining in the third.
Still, the Buckeyes defense grew strong towards the end of the quarter, while their offense drew out long possessions to keep the lead. It was the first game Maryland entered the fourth quarter trailing.
Redshirt freshman midfielder Anthony DeMaio tied the game at nine with a jumpshot on the left wing two minutes into the fourth quarter. Ohio State replied almost immediately, as Chell found Reid to take advantage of a failed clearing pass from junior defenseman Curtis Corley.
Jasinski notched his fifth assist of the game as senior attackman Hank Bethke scored a dagger step down to give the Buckeyes some breathing room at 11-9 with 6:09 left. Jasinski sealed the victory with an open net goal with 33 seconds left.
A few turnovers in the clearing game and some poor shots left the Terps without a real chance to stave off the upset. Kelly scored his fourth goal of the game with 22 seconds left as the only comeback effort.
The Terps will look to rebound from only their second loss of the season in their rivalry game against Johns Hopkins at Homewood Field next Sunday afternoon.
There were some extracurriculars after the final whistle, as Bernhardt and Wisnauskas got involved with the Buckeyes’ celebration after Bernhardt delivered a late hit out of frustration during the dying embers of the game. Similar events took place after the final whistle of the Big Ten championship between the same teams last year.
Extra-curriculars 👀 pic.twitter.com/Z5Brh2rf9g
— Dan Aburn (@Dan_Aburn) April 22, 2018
Ohio State’s Jasinski said the bad blood between the teams was refueled before the game, when the Terps crossed the 50 yard line during pregame warmups.
“We stood our ground and said, ‘Hey you’re not going to come in here and bully us,’ and that showed with the very first play of the game too,” Jasinski said.
Said Myers: “There’s a line on the field and you don’t cross it. There’s a way you prepare for a game and when you step on the field there’s a 50 yard line and you don’t cross it. Period.”
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