Feb. 26, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State women’s lacrosse team looks for its third win in a row when it meets ninth-ranked Notre Dame at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Ind. The Buckeyes are off to a 2-1 start to the season after defeating then-No. 20 Boston College last Saturday, while the Fighting Irish sit at 1-0 on the year.
IN A NUTSHELL
- The Buckeyes are starting the season with three of their first four games on the road, going 2-1 to date. They opened the year by dropping a 12-11 decision to the current No. 20 team Louisville before rattling off wins over William & Mary, 21-8, and then-No. 20 Boston College, 15-8.
- Jackie Cifarelli (4g, 11a), Cara Facchina (8g, 5a) and Katie Chase (10g) are the leading point scorers in the early goings of the season with Chase also holding a team-leading 17 draw controls.
- Defensively, Taylor Donahue (8ct, 9gb) and Tayler Kuzma (5ct, 6gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all three games in goal, playing the full 60 minutes vs. BC, with a 9.19 goals-against average and a .314 save percentage.
- Wednesday vs. No. 9 Notre Dame is the second of seven games against teams to start the season ranked among the Top 20 in the IWLCA poll. The Buckeyes were 2-6 against ranked foes last season, but 9-0 against unranked competition. They are off a 1-0 start following the Boston College win.
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME
The Fighting Irish opened their season with a 12-10 comeback win over Stanford Feb. 16 in Palo Alto, Calif. They trailed 7-2 at the half, but out-scored the Cardinal 10-3 in the second period to come away with a win in their lone game of the 2013 season. Scoring was divided among nine Irish players with Grace Dooley, Lindsay Powell and Lauren Sullivan each securing two. Elllie Hilling played the entire contest in goal, tallying five saves. Notre Dame is led by second-year head coach Chris Halfpenny.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series 10-7, including a win in the meeting last season in Columbus. The then-No. 10 Buckeyes lost its first game of the 2012 season, falling to No. 14 Notre Dame 16-7 March 4 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes dropped to 5-1 on the season, while the Irish improved to 3-0 on their campaign. Alayna Markwordt finished with a team-high three points off one goal and two assists, while Kirsten Donahue led the way with two goals.
IN THE POLLS
The Buckeyes are remain 13th in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Association (IWLCA) Poll released Feb. 26 after starting the season in the same spot on the preseason poll. Ohio State is one of five American Lacrosse Conference teams in the Top 20, the most teams from one league. In other rankings, the Buckeyes are selected 18th in the deBeer Media Poll. IWLCA rankings will be acknowledged as the official poll position throughout the season.
Ohio State has seven games scheduled against teams ranked in the current Top 20 of the IWLCA poll, continuing Wednesday vs. No. 9 Notre Dame. No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Northwestern, No. 10 Penn State and No. 17 Johns Hopkins account for the four conference matchups with an additional two on tap vs. No. 8 Duke and the ninth-ranked Irish. The Buckeyes fell to the current No. 20 team Louisville to start the year. Five of these games vs. ranked foes will take place on the road.
Tayler Kuzma is among the 50 collegiate players named to the Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List, released Feb. 22 by the Tewaaraton Foundation. The list includes the top players across all three divisions of NCAA lacrosse and highlight the early contenders for the 2013 Tewaaraton Award. The Buckeyes' No. 1 shutdown defender, Kuzma has started all 34 games played in her career. Three games into the season, the Bel Air, Md., native has six groundballs, six draw controls and five caused turnovers to her credit.
Jackie Cifarelli has produced a team-leading and NCAA fourth-ranked 11 assists through the first three games of the year, including a career-high tying six in the win over William & Mary Feb. 20. The sophomore attacker finished last season with the most assists (32) of any freshman in Division I and was second on the team in points and assists, behind Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer Alayna Markwordt.
Juniors Cara Facchina and Katie Chase are the leading goal scorers in the early part of the season. Chase has a team-best 10 goals, while Facchina is not far behind with eight and an additional five assists to her credit. Chase has tallied at least a hat trick in each contest and produced a career-high four in the win over Boston College last Saturday.
WIN, LOSE OR DRAW CONTROL
The Buckeyes own a 49-30 advantage in draw controls on the season after commanding the Boston College game with a 19-4 margin. Now averaging 16.3 per game, Ohio State sits in eighth in the NCAA and third among ALC programs. Katie Chase is at the forefront, grabbing 5.67 per game to own the No. 10 spot in the nation. The Buckeyes have tied or out-drawn their opponent in each game this season.
LAST TIME OUT
Katie Chase had a career-high four goals to help the 13th-ranked Buckeyes hand No. 20 Boston College its first loss of the season, 15-8, last Saturday on the outdoor turf field at Woody Hayes Athletic Center. In addition to Chase's four tallies, Kelsea Ayers and Cian Dabrowski each added a hat trick and four others produced at least single tallies as the Buckeyes used an 11-2 run to lead by as much as eight early in the second half. The 15 OSU goals were the most allowed by Boston College in the span of 13 games, dating back to March 17, 2012, and a 16-10 loss to then-No. 5 Maryland.
The Buckeyes are poised host Stanford at noon Saturday at the Harmon Family Football Complex outside Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The Cardinal is 1-1 overall after falling to Notre Dame and then defeating Harvard last Sunday. This is the first road game of the year for Stanford, who fell to the Buckeyes at home last season, 14-10, when ranked No. 6 in the country.
The 2013 roster features three seniors, six juniors, 11 sophomores and 12 freshmen, hailing from 12 states and Canada. There are nine attackers, 13 midfielders, seven defenders and three goalies.
Keep up with the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team throughout the year on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, the official website of the Ohio State Department of Athletics. In addition, the team is on Twitter (@OhioState_WLAX), facebook (facebook.com/OhioStateWomensLacrosse) and Instagram (instagram.com/ohiostate_wlax). In addition, make sure to bookmark - http://go.osu.edu/wlax_gameday - for information in advance of each of the Buckeyes’ games this season.
Join the Buckeyes for a 10-year anniversary celebration of the 2003 ALC Championship season as they take on Vanderbilt at noon April 7. There will be a banquet in Ohio Stadium at the conclusion of the contest, for the cost of $40 per ticket. For more information, contact Gabby Capuzzi (Capuzzi.email@example.com).
Humphrey Highlights | Mackenzie Maring