The momentum was with Ohio State. Then it was with Hofstra. And then it suddenly started blowing at gale force in the other direction again Saturday inside Shuart Stadium.
The unranked Pride men's lacross team scored four straight goals to pull even with an undefeated Buckeyes team that came in ranked seventh in the country in one poll and ninth in two others. There was 6:46 left in the second quarter.
But Ohio State took charge from there, scoring five times in the final 5:15 of the half. That launched a run of 10 straight goals. Tre Leclaire finished with four goals. Jack Myers finished with three goals and three assists. And the Buckeyes finished with a 14-8 win to move to 6-0.
So following two victories to start the season, Hofstra has dropped four straight, two by one goal and then two not-so-closes games against top 20 teams.
Seth Tierney lost 20 players from last season. So the Pride coach understandably used the “R” word after this latest lacrosse loss: Rebuild.
“Work in progress,” Tierney said. “I’m very proud to coach these guys. They’re young. When you have youth, you have inconsistency. That’s just the way it is. You’re not going to play 60 minutes yet with these guys. This is going to have to be a total rebuild.
“We’re certainly going to stay with them, mostly because I love them. … We’ve got to keep them up.”
A 4-0 game had turned into a 4-4 game on goals by Ryan Kinnard, Sterlyn Ardrey, Riley Forte and Whit Stopak.
“It showed a lot right there,” Tierney said. “That’s a positive of what’s going. But we need to not go down 4-0.”
Ohio State responded. Jack Jasinski and Myers beat goalie Bobby Casey in a 26-second span to put the Buckeyes back up by two. Leclaire gave himself at hat trick from the doorstep with 2:01 left in the half. Then Myers and Justin Inacio scored in an eight-second span, and it was a 9-4 game at the intermission.
“What I was proud of was we didn’t hit the panic button,” Ohio State coach Nick Myers said of that 4-4 intersection.
Jack Myers scored and Leclaire did as well, on a behind-the-shoulder flip, to make it a seven-goal game just 2:51 into the third. Jackson Reid eventually stretched it to 14-4 21 seconds into the fourth.
Stopak found the net for his second of the game against Josh Kirson to stop the 10-0 run with 10:12 remaining. That began a burst of four straight Pride goals to make the final score respectable.
“I think you see spurts of what they can be,” Nick Myers said. “They’ve got some guys that can certainly cause pause.”