COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its final ECAC contest of the regular season, the Air Force lacrosse team dropped an 8-6 road decision to Ohio State Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. With the loss, the Falcons fall to 8-4 overall on the season and 3-1 in the ECAC, while the Buckeyes improve to 6-6 overall and 3-0 in the league.
Sophomore Christopher Allen (Hillsborough, N.J.) was the Falcons’ leading scorer in the defensive battle, registering his second hat trick of the season. Meanwhile, Ryan Hunter led the Buckeyes, tallying four goals.
Ohio State was first to get on the board, finding the back of the net just over a minute into the contest. Local product Kyle Cassady (Sr., Upper Arlington, Ohio) tied it up for the Falcons, scoring with 12:20 on the clock. However, defense dominated the remainder of the opening period, with the score remaining tied at 1-1 going into the second quarter.
The Buckeyes regained the lead with a tally at the 9:13 mark in the second period, while Allen’s first goal of the tied the score at 2-2 with just over four minutes remaining in the opening half. However, another Ohio State score with 2:53 on the clock gave the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead at the intermission.
Hunter tallied his second goal just over a minute into the third quarter to push Ohio State’s lead to two goals, but Air Force responded with the next two scores, getting goals from Tommy McKee (Sr., Holt, Mich.) and Allen to tie the game once more. After another Ohio State goal, senior Erik Smith (Golden, Colo.) notched his lone score of the game with 4:11 remaining in the third period, as the score remained tied at 5-5 heading into the final stanza.
Ohio State regained the lead with a two-man up goal less than a minute and a half into the fourth quarter, and the Buckeyes held on to their one-goal advantage for much of the period before Allen completed his hat trick with a score at the 4:16 mark. The tie was short-lived however, as Hunter scored his fourth goal of the contest a minute later to put Ohio State back on top.
With the Falcons pulling their goalie from the net to provide extra defense, the Buckeyes added an insurance goal with just under two minutes to play, holding on for the 8-6 victory.
Air Force had a slight edge on shots taken, while Ohio State won the battle at the face-off X, winning 10-of-17, including 5-of-7 in the opening half. Buckeyes’ goalkeeper Scott Spencer also had a strong performance, tallying 14 saves, including nine in the first half alone. Meanwhile, Air Force’s man-down unit had a big day, allowing just one Ohio State goal on six man-up opportunities.
The Falcons wrap up the regular season next weekend, April 26, with a non-conference contest at Quinnipiac.