Seniors go out victorious with 17-7 win over Rutgers

Cifarelli assisted Chase three times in the win over Rutgers Thursday.
Cifarelli assisted Chase three times in the win over Rutgers Thursday.
April 16, 2015

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 16/20 Ohio State led from start to finish in a dominating win on senior night, 17-7, over visiting Rutgers Thursday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The win snaps a three-game losing skid for the Buckeyes and makes the 2015 seniors the winningest class in program history with 43 victories, surpassing last year's senior class who finished with 42. Ohio State is now 11-5 on the season and 2-2 in the Big Ten heading into its regular-season finale next Saturday (April 25) at No. 7 Northwestern. Rutgers falls to 1-14 and 0-4 in the Big Ten.

"This class is one of the most special classes I've coached to date and maybe forever," head coach Alexis Venechanos said. "They all came out here with me, we've been together all four years and I've been very impressed with their leadership on and off the field. They're a selfless group and are always looking to get better and I know their teammates look up to them. So I'm very proud of them. They earned this. They deserve this and I'm looking forward to even more lacrosse with them."

Seniors Katie Chase, Jackie Cifarelli and Jennifer Porretto put on a show in their final home game, combining for 14 points (8g, 6a). Chase scored a game-high five goals and Porretto three while Cifarelli tied a career high with six assists. Senior defender Taylor Donahue also got in on the scoring action with her first career goal at the 20:55 mark of the second half off a free-position attempt. Fellow senior Kelsea Ayers had two goals and classmate Mary Kate Facchina had one. Freshman Molly Wood added two goals of her own as did junior Cian Dabrowski.

Ohio State outshot Rutgers 26-14, including 15-5 in the first half. Ohio State quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead 5 minutes into the game off goals from Porretto, Ayers and Hodgson. Later on, Rutgers cut Ohio State's lead to 8-3 with 3:19 left in the first half on a goal by Lauren Sbrilli. But Ohio State finished the half strong as Cifarelli found Chase and Porretto with :35 and :10 seconds left on the clock to give Ohio State a commanding seven-goal lead at the half, 10-3. The Buckeyes then scored five of the next six goals of the second half to put the game out of reach.

"I'm really proud of the way we started the game," Venechanos said. "We've been working on getting off to a fast start the past five or six games and I'm really happy we stepped up to the challenge. We were dictating things on defense and our attack did a good job of finishing. We played a full 60 minutes and worked very hard for this win. Everyone played a role tonight and I'm happy we were able to come away with a win over a good Rutgers team."

Senior goalies Tori DeScenza (11-5) and Caitlin Hester each recorded two saves in goal. Ohio State's defense limited Rutgers' shot opportunities as they forced 14 Scarlet Knight turnovers.

Sbrilli led Rutgers with two goals. Candice Dandridge took the loss in goal, recording five saves. Jessica Hassett also finished with one assist in her final home game when she found a streaking Chase down the middle of the field at the 18:06 mark of the first half.

More notables: With her five goals, Chase moved into to second place on Ohio State's all-time goals list with 147 ... it marked Chase's 10th game this season with three or more goals ... Chase now has recorded at least one point in 26 of her last 27 games ... Cifarelli's six points gives her 248 for her career, moving her into second place on Ohio State's all-time points list ... Cifarelli now how multiple points in all but one game this season ... Porretto recorded her sixth game of the season with three or more goals.