Four games into the 2021 campaign, the Michigan’s men’s lacrosse team is still searching for its first victory. The Wolverines (0-4 Big Ten) fell on the road against No. 15 Ohio State (2-2) 13-10, in part due to a slow first quarter. As the Buckeyes outshot Michigan 14-6 in the first quarter and took a 4-1 lead, the Wolverines struggled to find offense outside of one goal by sophomore attackman Josh Zawada.
“I think in the first quarter, we kind of turned the ball over two, three times in the current game making silly mistakes, and the offense was never really able to kind of get rolling,” Michigan coach Kevin Conry said.
Five minutes into the second quarter, Buckeyes’ midfielder Griffin Hughes scored his second goal of the game to give Ohio State a 5-1 edge. Just as the Buckeyes appeared to be in cruise control, the Wolverines went on a 4-1 scoring run in the last 10 minutes of the second quarter to cut the lead down to 6-5 at the half.
“Yeah, I think we settled in a little bit, we were able to clear the ball a little bit more effectively and get our offense opportunities,” Conry said. “We talk about complementary lacrosse all the time so we could make sure we have a balance. If we make a stop, finish the stop and clear the ball so that we can get the ball to our offense.”
Even with all of the momentum heading into the second half, Michigan was unable to capitalize. As soon as the Buckeyes won the first faceoff, they immediately set up their offense only needing one shot to score the first goal of the second half.
After halftime, Ohio State erupted for three goals in the first three minutes of the third quarter. Michigan tried to mount a comeback with a late 5-4 run, but ultimately the Buckeyes were able to hold the Wolverines off and secure the win. Freshman attackman Michael Boehm and Zawada each netted hat tricks, but the late push proved to be too little, too late.
Ohio State capitalized with only 16 missed shots and 24 shots on goal while Michigan had more missed shots than shots on goal by 20-19.
Four games into its campaign, Michigan will need faster starts to complement its late scoring runs. It fell behind on Sunday in part to its 18 turnovers to the Buckeyes, giving away easy scoring opportunities and limiting its own scoring opportunities.
“If we do not clean those up, it is gonna be hard to win Big Ten lacrosse games,” Conry said.
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