MOUNTAIN LAKES, N.J. -- The Ohio State women's lacrosse team fell to No. 9 USC, 16-7, Sunday afternoon in front of a packed house of 2,552 fans at Mountain Lakes High School in New Jersey.
The loss drops Ohio State to 6-7 on the year while USC improves to 7-3.
Junior Molly Wood recorded her seventh hat trick of the season with three goals and also added three draw controls. Erika Keselman, from nearby Colts Neck, N.J., led Ohio State with four points on two goals and two assists and also had three draws on the day.
Ohio State had things clicking early on, jumping out to a 2-0 lead as Baley Parrott scored the first goal less than a minute into the match at 29:04. That was followed by Keselman's first goal on a nice find from Morgan Fee at 26:24, forcing a USC timeout as the Buckeyes had upset on their minds with the two-goal lead.
The Trojans responded with four straight goals over the next 16 minutes before Parrott found Paulina Constant at 8:54 to bring the Buckeyes within one, 4-3.
But the Buckeyes were unable to contain the Trojans midway through the game as USC scored the next five goals extending into the second half for a 9-3 advantage.
Ohio State kept battling, however, as Wood scored two of the next three goals to keep the Buckeyes withing striking distance, 10-5. Wood added her third goal three minutes later, but not before USC tacked on two more goals for a 12-6 lead. A 4-0 run by the Trojans then made it 16-6 with under 4 to play, putting the game out of reach.
Jillian Rizzo made 13 saves in goal for the Buckeyes, eight coming in the first half.
Michaela Michael led USC with six goals on the day.
Ohio State returns to action next Saturday at Penn State. The game will be televised on BTN.
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