COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State dominated all 60 minutes of its game against Cincinnati this afternoon with a 17-8 win over the Bearcats at Ohio Stadium, improving the Buckeyes to 6-0 all time when facing Cincinnati and 3-0 overall this season.
The Buckeyes jumped all over the Bearcats early and often, leading 5-0, 7-1 and 11-3 in the first 30 minutes.
The Scarlet and Gray took advantage of about as beautiful of a day as one could hope for in central Ohio during mid-February. Thriving in the 60-degree game time temperature, sophomore Mackenzie Maring (2G) scored Ohio State's first goal of the day at 28:43, quickly setting the tone for her team early on. The Buckeyes won the first five draw controls and went on to score the first five goals of the game, all within the first five minutes of the game. The goals came from Maring, sophomore Erika Keselman (2G), senior Morgan Fee (2G, 2A, 7DC) and two from freshman Liza Hernandez.
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Hernandez finished with a game-high four goals (4G, 2A) to lead both teams while freshman Alex Vander Molen led all players in assists with five (1G, 5A). Freshman Jill Rizzo continued her hot start to the season with 11 saves during the game. The young Buckeye picked up her third straight win as an Ohio State goalkeeper.
Buckeye head coach Alexis Venechanos was extremely pleased with how her group started the game.
"The theme all week was getting off to a fast start," Venechanos said. "We came in really focused and on a mission. Even when (Cincinnati) did make a little run, we closed the door. It was a great team effort."
Coach Venechanos was not exaggerating when she claims the win was a team effort. Ohio State recorded 11 assists throughout the game, while holding the Bearcats to only three. Nine different Buckeyes all scored at least one goal during the game.
Fee stood out in particular to coach Venechanos by winning seven draw controls against the Bearcats, which allowed Ohio State to have many early possessions and maintain control for the remainder of the game.
"Morgan had great momentum leaving our last game," Venechanos said. "She's been working really hard and is taking her senior year to heart. Her teammates love her and I'm glad she's stepping up."
Fee and the rest of her teammates refused to take their foot off the gas coming into the second half. Coming out of halftime with an eight-goal lead, the Buckeyes scored an additional five goals to end the game.
Monica Borzillo (3G, 3A) led Cincinnati in goals and assists, as well as shots with 11 throughout the game.
Ohio State will continue its three-game home stand next weekend when it plays host to Stanford at 6 p.m. Friday.
-- Chase Ross, Ohio State Athletics Communications
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