No. 20 Buckeyes Edged by No. 4 Florida, 10-9
March 22, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior Jackie Cifarelli collected two assists and a goal and senior Katie Chase tallied three goals, but the Buckeyes fell just short vs. No. 4 Florida, 10-9, Saturday afternoon in the team’s 2014 opener at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes (6-4, 1-1 ALC) jumped out to a 7-4 lead following halftime, but a second-half push by the Gators (10-2, 2-0 ALC) that included six goals were enough to claim the conference win.
Ohio State was able to battle in the final moments of regulation to cut the Gator lead to one goal, but Florida was able to win a crucial draw control with under a minute to go and held possession to end a potential Buckeye comeback. The home loss snaps a four-game win streak for the Scarlet and Gray.
Junior Mary Kate Facchina had a pair of goals, while junior Jennifer Porretto, sophomore Cian Dabrowski and senior Kaila Gottlick also found the back of the net. Senior Cara Facchina also picked up a pair of assists vs. Florida.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 2-0 lead in a physical conference matchup. Gottlick scored her 17th of the season with an unassisted scored at 28:16 followed by Mary Kate Facchina, who netted in a shot at 27:34 on a free position. After the Gators scored two goals of their own, Porretto and Cifarelli hooked up for the team’s third goal with 1:27 remaining in the first half. But Florida rallied to tie the contest, 3-3, at half when Shannon Gilroy – the nation’s leading goal scorer – netted one of her four goals with 14 seconds on the clock on a free position shot.
At half, shots were 10-8 in favor of Ohio State, while draw controls were 5-2 in favor of Florida.
The Scarlet and Gray had the early momentum in the second half, scoring four-consecutive times after an early score by the Gators. Dabrowski started the rally with her 16th goal of the season at 29:44. Chase then netted the Buckeyes’ next three goals in a two-minute span. She was assisted by Cifarelli at 24:56 on a quick give-and-go goal and followed with a score on a free position shot at 23:38. Chase then gave the Buckeyes a 7-4 advantage when she fired in a shot at 22:22 on an unassisted score.
However, the Gators rallied with a four-goal swing, including two by Nora Berry. Down 8-7 with less than five minutes to go, the Buckeyes claimed possession on a failed UF clear and scored when Cifarelli took it the distance and scored on a low shot at 4:18 to tie the game, 8-8. Florida fought back to take a 10-8 lead, including an empty net goal by Sam Darcangelo with 2:17 to go.
Ohio State continued to battle and was able to make it a 10-9 contest when the Facchina sisters combined for a goal by Mary Kate Facchina with 59 seconds remaining. Overall, shots were 26-18 in favor of Florida, while the Gators collected a 12-9 lead in draw controls. Junior goalie Tori DeScenza made nine saves but falls to 6-4 in 2014.
The game was the Buckeyes Go Pink Contest, raising awareness for breast cancer research. The game also marked the team’s first competition with the state-of-the-art video scoreboard that was recently added to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Ohio State returns to play next Wednesday, hosting Oregon at 4 p.m. March 26 in Columbus. As always, admission is free.
Humphrey Highlights | Mackenzie Maring