Ohio State falls to Notre Dame in NCAA first round, 13-11
Tori DeScenza made 10 saves in her final game as a Buckeye.
EVANSTON, Ill. - No. 14 Ohio State saw its season come to a close Friday night with a 13-11 loss to No. 12 Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA women's lacrosse championship at chilly, rainy and foggy Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill.
After waiting almost 3 hours for its game to begin because of lightning delays, Ohio State came out firing and ready to play, jumping out to a 7-4 lead with 8:11 left in the first half after three straight goals by Molly Wood, Jennifer Porretto and Cian Dabrowski. The Buckeyes eventually led 7-5 at the half while owning a 14-12 edge in shots and 11-5 advantage on ground balls.
But it was Notre Dame who took control in the final 30 minutes, scoring the first six goals of the half throughout the first 7 minutes to take an 11-7 lead. Ohio State's Mary Kate Facchina finally broke the ND run on a free-position attempt with 17:42 left - unofficially her fourth attempt in a row after being fouled on the previous three attempts. Then, after ND's Alex Dalton made it 12-8 with 3:05 left on an empty-net goal, Ohio State struck back with two straight goals by Dabrowski and Hodgson less than a minute apart to cut the lead to 12-10 with 1:56 left.
But on ND's next possession, Molly Cobb found Stephanie Toy just as Ohio State was pulling goalie Tori DeScenza to add on an easy goal with 41 seconds left. Kelsea Ayers would add on one last goal with 10 seconds left to cap the scoring.
Katie Chase had two goals for Ohio State in her final game as a Buckeye, as did Wood and Dabrowski. Seniors Jackie Cifarelli, Mary Kate Facchina Porretto and Ayers all had one goal each along with junior Rainey Hodgson. Christine Easton led Ohio State with three draw controls.
Senior Tori DeScenza made 10 saves and helped keep Ohio State within striking distance in the second half. DeScenza ends her career as Ohio State's all-time leader with 43 wins and 569 saves.
It was a physical game as 57 fouls were called: 43 for Notre Dame and 14 for Ohio State. But oddly enough, it was Ohio State who was whistled for six yellow cards on its 14 fouls to just two yellows for Notre Dame.
Ohio State finishes its season with a 13-8 record, tying last year's team with the second-most wins in school history. The senior class of DeScenza, Taylor Donahue, Hallie Keselman, Chase, Porretto, Cifarelli, Jessica Hassett, Facchina, Emily Valli, Ayers and Caitlin Hester end their careers with 45 wins - the winningest class in program history.
Notre Dame advances to Sunday's second round where they will meet host Northwestern, who defeated Louisville in the first game.
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