WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's lacrosse team held off a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Otterbein University 17-15 in the Ohio Athletic Conference and regular season finale inside Memorial Stadium.
With the win, BW (14-2, 8-1 OAC) ties the program's single-season wins record at 14 and also sets records for most single-season OAC victories and road wins with eight apiece.
Senior attack Blake Bower (Lewis Center/Olentangy) and junior All-OAC midfielder Ben Kubiak (Wooster) both scored a game-high tying five goals while Kubiak also dished out two assists to total seven points. Sophomore midfielder Nicholas Nanosky (Medina) netted a career-high three goals and tied his career high of four points. Senior midfielder Thomas Moesch (Ithaca, N.Y.) also chipped in a pair of scores.
In the net, sophomore goalkeeper Trent Davis (Ottawa Hills) made nine saves to pick up his ninth consecutive win.
Senior attack Jake Grundey matched Bower and Kubiak to lead Otterbein (11-6, 6-3 OAC) with five goals. Senior midfielder Joe Sanfillipo was the leading scorer, though, with four goals and two assists for six points. Senior attack Drew McDonald added a pair of scores in the loss.
Kubiak found the back of the net in the first minute while the Yellow Jacket defense held Otterbein scoreless in the first six minutes of action. Once the Cardinals finally got on the scoreboard, they were able to double up BW two separate times as they led 2-1 and then again at 4-2. A pair of goals from Steinwachs and Moesch in the final minute of the period evened things up at 5-5, marking the third tie of the game already.
A man-up opportunity allowed senior two-time All-OAC attack Mike Nanosky (Medina) to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead of the game before Otterbein rattled off four consecutive goals for a 9-6 advantage. Nicholas Nanosky put an end to the run with an unassisted goal at the 6:49 mark, which the Cardinals answered almost three minutes later. BW closed out the half on a 3-0 run with goals from three separate players to tie the game 10-10 at the intermission.
The Yellow Jackets spanned their run into the third quarter with four combined goals from Bower, Kubiak, and Nicholas Nanosky. Meanwhile, the defense made some adjustments coming out of the locker room and did not allow a Cardinal goal until the 6:27 mark. The score ended up being the lone mark for Otterbein in the period before BW added two more goals to close the period and go up 16-11.
Although the Yellow Jackets had their fair share of scoring opportunities early in fourth quarter, no one could find the back of the net. Instead, the Cardinals began their attempt at a comeback, adding a goal every couple of minutes in the midst of a methodical 4-0 run. Only leading by one goal, 16-15, with 1:23 left in the game, sophomore faceoff specialist Alexander Bishop (Avon Lake) won the ensuing faceoff which eventually helped to set up BW's final goal of the game. Senior All-OAC midfielder Cole McClary (Perrysburg) found Bower for the score with 1:08 remaining while Bishop proceeded to win his career-best 16th faceoff to seal the victory.
BW wraps up the No. 2 seed in the 2019 OAC Tournament and will host defending tournament champion, crosstown rival and third-seeded John Carroll University for an OAC Semifinal game on Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. inside George Finnie Stadium.