February 19, 2012

Ohio State Slows It Down, Upends Denver 

by Dennis Bergin | LaxMagazine.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Ohio State game plan going into their conference match-up with the University of Denver was to slow the game down and create offense off of long possessions.

The Buckeyes plan worked to perfection.

Junior attackman Logan Schuss scored a game-high five goals and Dominque Alexander added two goals and two assists to rally unranked Ohio State to a 10-9 upset victory over fifth-ranked Denver in the second annual Moe's Southwest Grill Classic at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

"Our game plan was to have long possessions and keep their offense attack in check," said Alexander. "We ran our half-field sets really well today."

Junior attackman Logan Schuss scored five goals for the Buckeyes in a 10-9 early-season upset of Denver on Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla.
© Gray Quetti

The Pioneers (0-1) had five different players find the back of the net in the opening half to grab a 5-3 lead. Jeremy Noble, Wes Berg, Mark Matthews, Cameron Flint and Eric Law scored for Denver. Law's goal came off a nice feed from Berg in front of the Buckeye goal with five seconds left in the first half.

"I thought we played a good first half," said Denver coach Bill Tierney, who was looking for his 300th career coaching win today.

The Buckeyes, which lost both games with Denver last year in ECAC conference play, managed to tie the score at 8 on an unassisted goal by sophomore attacker Tyler Frederick with just one second left in the third quarter.

"I happened to be the guy with the ball as time was winding down," said Frederick, who blasted a shot from 12 yards to tie the game.

Ohio State (3-0) kept the momentum goung into the final quarter when Schuss and Alexander both scored off of passes from Frederick to jump out to a 10-8 lead with 12:05 left in the contest.

"We needed to control the tempo while maintaing our momentum," said Schuss, who was an All-ECAC first-team selection last season and a preseason honorable mention All-American this year.

The Buckeyes held the ball for 4:30 in one possession and basically played keep away from Denver until turning the ball over with 3:07 left on the clock.

"I could have pulled the goalie and forced their hand in that situation," Tierney said. "I told the players that it was on me because we didn't game plan on them holding the ball."

Denver closed to within one goal at 10-9 when Alex Demopoulos scored an unassisted with 1:45 left.

The Pioneers managed to win the ensuing faceoff but turned the ball over quickly to Ohio State and they ran out the clock to preserve the win.

"We don't like to play that way," Myers said. "Our offense was our best defense today. We were getting tired and Denver has such a knack to score quickly. It was a great win but they are still the favorites to win the ECAC and eveyone knows that."

The last time Denver lost to a non-ranked opponent was in February 2010 when the Pioneers lost to Jacksonville 13-12 in triple overtime. And now, Tierney will try to get his 300th coaching victory again, when the Pioneers host Michigan on Saturday in the DU Faceoff Classic.

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