Ohio State Falls to No. 4 Duke, 21-9, in Season Opener

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's lacrosse team opened the 2011 season with a 21-9 loss to No. 4 Duke Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. Junior Alayna Markwordt scored a game-high tying four goals, as the Buckeyes  (0-1) drop to 10-6 all-time in season openers and the Blue Devils get off to a 1-0 start.

In addition to Markwordt's four tallies, five other Buckeyes added individual scores, including freshman Cara Facchina with her first collegiate goal. Brittney Zerhusen, Kirsten Donahue, Jayme Beard and Caylee Rafalko also found the back of the net for Ohio State.

Duke opened the scoring on its first possession and went on to build a 9-1 advantage over the first 13:30 of action. Donahue, a junior attacker, had the lone score in that run, ending the Blue Devils' 3-0 start to the game.

The Buckeyes then cut the lead to five, at 9-4, with Zerhusen, Markwordt and Rafalko all scoring over the next three minutes of play. They would get no closer the rest of the way, however, as Duke responded with another run to pull ahead 14-5 heading into halftime.

After closing out scoring in the first half, Markwordt struck first in the second with an unassisted score just under two and a half minutes in. The Blue Devils went on to build a 20-6 lead before Ohio State would score again, adding three goals with under eight minutes to play. Facchina's was the final tally of the day, a free-position goal with 1:23 left on the clock.

Five Blue Devils tallied three or more goals in the contest, led by Kat Thomas and Emma Hamm with four apiece. The Duke goalie, Mollie Mackler, finished the day with eight saves, including five in the second half. The Buckeyes' Annie Carruthers tallied four saves between the pipes.

Ohio State was strong in the circle, holding a 17-15 advantage in draw controls, including five each to Beard and junior captain Gabby Capuzzi. Duke out-shot the Buckeyes 29-18 on the day and finished with a 20-14 ground-ball advantage.

The Buckeyes remain on the road for two more games, next traveling to Annapolis, Md., to take on Navy Feb. 18 before venturing to the Nation's Capital for a contest with American Feb. 20. Ohio State opens the home portion of its schedule vs. St. Bonaventure at 2 p.m. Feb. 27 on the indoor turf field in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The 15-game schedule features six home games and five total contests vs. teams in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.