Buckeyes Host No. 4 Northwestern, High Point at Ohio Stadium
Senior Heather Gravinese
March 7, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team continues its home schedule, hosting No. 4 Northwestern at Noon Sunday and High Point at 3 p.m. Monday at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes (3-3) are returning to the Horseshoe after defeating Louisville, 12-11, last Tuesday in Columbus. Live video and stats are available for the contest, linked above or on the Buckeyes’ Gameday page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com -- http://go.osu.edu/wlax_gameday.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
- Ohio State is 3-3 this season after winning, 12-11, against Louisville last Tuesday.
- Jackie Cifarelli (5g,19a), Kaila Gottlick (11g, 3a), Mary Kate Facchina (12g, 1a), Jennifer Porretto (11g, 2a), Kelsea Ayers, (8g, 5a) and Katie Chase (11g, 1 a) are the leading point scorers in the early goings of the season with Christine Easton and Chase holding a team-leading 16 draw controls.
- Defensively, Easton (7ct, 8gb), Heather Gravinese (6ct, 5gb) and Taylor Donahue (3ct, 8gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all six games in goal with an 8.87 goals-against average and a .386 save percentage.
- Cifarelli is second in the country and first in the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) with 19 assists. She also is first in the ALC in assists per game (3.16).
- In the win vs. Louisville, Porretto had career-tying high of four points (3g, 1a), while sophomore Cian Dabrowski had three goals and Gottlick had three points (2g, 1a).
- Ohio State will play three games at Ohio Stadium after the team opened the year with two games inside on the turf field in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
- The Buckeyes finished the 2013 campaign with an 8-10 record and a third-consecutive appearance in the ALC tournament semifinals.
The fourth-ranked Wildcats travel to Columbus with a 3-1 mark after falling at home vs. No. 13 Notre Dame, 9-8, last Wednesday in Lake Barrington, Ill. Northwestern began the season with two wins over ranked opponents, including No. 8 Virginia (13-12) and No. 5 Duke (12-11). Offensively, 17 different members have tallied a point through four games for the Wildcats. Kara Mupo paces the pack with nine points (6g, 3a), while Alyssa Leonard has notched eight goals this season. Goalie Bridget Bianco has started all four games for Northwestern and has a 9.08 goals-against average and .452 save percentage.
BUCKEYES VS. WILDCATS
The Buckeyes trail in the all-time series 2-10 and have lost each of the last 11 meetings, though none closer than the contest a season ago. Ohio State led by as many as three goals in the first half and did not trail for over 54 minutes of game action before Northwestern finished off a 4-1 second-half run for the 9-8 win. Kelsea Ayers (2g, 1a) and Katie Chase (1g, 2a) each had a team-high three points in the game, while Cara Facchina and Mary Kate Facchina added two goals apiece. Tori DeScenza made eight saves, including six in the first half.
The game Sunday will be in familiar territory for Buckeye head coach Alexis Venechanos and assistant Christy Finch. Venechanos was an assistant under Wildcat head coach Kelly Amonte-Hiller for three seasons, helping Northwestern to national championships in 2005 and 2006. Finch was a four-time national champion, two-time All-American and an IWLCA Defender of the Year for the Wildcats from 2005-08.
A LOOK AT HIGH POINT
The Panthers are 2-2 in 2014 following a 16-6 win at UMBC last Wednesday in Catonsville, Md. High Point began the year with an 11-6 win against American in its home opener Feb. 8. Mackenzie Carroll has collected a team-best 11 points (9g, 2a), while Alec Perry has nine points (7g, 2 a). In goal, Julia Burns is 2-2 this season with a 9.39 goals-against average and a .431 save percentage.
BUCKEYES VS. PANTHERS
Ohio State is 1-0 all-time vs. High Point with the Buckeyes winning in the first meeting, 15-10, in 2013 in High Point, N.C. Katie Chase and Kelsea Ayers each had four goals apiece, while Jackie Cifarelli notched a career-high tying six assists.
LAST TIME OUT
Junior midfielder Jennifer Porretto tied her career high with four points, while sophomore Cian Dabrowski scored a season-best three goals to help the Ohio State women's lacrosse team defeat Louisville, 12-11, last Tuesday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. With the victory, the Buckeyes (3-3) improve to 3-0 at home in 2014, snapping the Cardinals' four-game win streak.
Porretto, a native of Smithtown, N.Y., scored two goals in the first half and added a goal and an assist in the second half en route to the team's third home win. Dabrowski went 2-for-2 on free position shots in the win vs. the Cardinals on a clear Columbus afternoon in the Horseshoe. The contest is the first of three-consecutive games for the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State improves to 5-1 all-time vs. Louisville.
A HELPING HAND
Junior attack Jackie Cifarelli, who leads the team with 24 points in 2014, posted an impressive 13 assists in the opening weekend of the season. Cifarelli, a native of Rockville Center, N.Y., is ranked No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in the conference in assists at 19. She also leads the ALC in assists per game (3.16) and is ranked fifth nationally. Her six-assist performance against Winthrop was the third of her career and is just the fourth different Buckeye in program history to accomplish the feat.
Cifarelli has collected 98 assists in her career, which is fourth best in Ohio State history. She is two helpers shy of tying former Buckeye Kelly Haggerty for third on the all-time list.
Jackie Cifarelli is among the 50 collegiate players named to the Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List, released March 3 by the Tewaaraton Foundation. The list includes the top players across all three divisions of NCAA lacrosse and highlight the early contenders for the 2014 Tewaaraton Award. Cifarelli is first on the team in points with 24 (5g, 19a). Cifarelli has collected points in 38 of 41 games in her career, collecting 28 multi-point performances overall.
CIFARELLI CLIMBS CAREER POINTS LIST
With her two assists last time out against Louisville, Cifarelli is ninth on the all-time OSU list with 147 career points (49g, 98a). She is eight points shy of moving up to eighth in the record book.
SEVERAL BUCKEYES RANK IN TOP TEN IN CONFERENCE STATS
Several Buckeyes rank in the Top Ten of the American Lacrosse Conference in individual statistics. Jackie Cifarelli earned the No. 4 spot in the conference in points (24) and points per game (4). Cifarelli ranks first in assists and assists per game, while Kelsea Ayers is eighth in both categories and Cara Facchina is eighth in season helpers. Mary Kate Facchina is tied for seventh in goals (12), while Katie Chase is fifth in goals per game (2.25). Mary Kate Facchina, Kaila Gottlick and Jennifer Porretto are tied for tenth in the league with 14 points apiece.
TOP GOAL SCORERS
Junior Mary Kate Facchina, Kaila Gottlick and Katie Chase are the leading goal scorers in the early part of the season. Facchina has a team-best 12 goals, while Gottlick and Chase are right behind with 11. Facchina, a native of Glenwood, Md., collected 26 goals during her sophomore year in 2013.
WIN, LOSE OR DRAW CONTROL
The Buckeyes own a 88-48 advantage in draw controls on the season. Katie Chase and Christine Easton are at the forefront, grabbing 16 this season. The Buckeyes have tied or out-drawn their opponent in five of six games this season.
The Buckeyes will next travel to play Hofstra at Noon March 15 in Hempstead, N.Y.
ALC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Christine Easton, a sophomore midfielder, was named American Lacrosse Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced Feb. 17. The recognition is the first weekly honor of her career.
The native of Eden Prairie, Minn., posted three groundballs and two draw controls, while causing a team-best three turnovers in the 11-9 loss at No. 14 Stanford Feb. 15 in California. Easton has started in all three four for the Buckeyes and leads the team with seven groundballs and has five caused turnovers in her third season at Ohio State.
THREE BUCKEYES NAMED TO ALC PREASEASON WATCH LIST
Katie Chase, Jackie Cifarell and Tayler Kuzma were each named to the ALC Preseason Watch List, the conference office announced Wednesday. Along with Penn State, the Buckeyes collected most selections in the conference. Ohio State, which received votes in the IWLCA coaches’ poll this week, was tabbed fifth in the preseason conference poll.
NEW TO THE STAFF
Gabby Capuzzi, a former All-American on the Ohio State women's lacrosse team, was named an assistant coach, Buckeye head coach Alexis Venechanos announced in August. Capuzzi wrapped up her career in 2012 as one of the most successful midfielders in program history and spent last season as a volunteer assistant.
In addition, Nora Boerger was hired as a coordinator of performance analysis, while Emily Boerger will serve as a volunteer assistant coach. The twin sisters wrapped up playing careers at Division II Urbana last season and are familiar with the Buckeye program through working several camps.
Ohio State has six games scheduled against teams ranked in the Top 20 of the IWLCA preseason poll. No. 4 Northwestern, No. 5 Florida and No. 7 Penn State account for the three conference matchups with an additional three on tap vs. No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 14 Stanford and No. 20 Boston College. Northwestern is the next ranked opponent in the Buckeyes’ first conference matchup of the 2014 season, March 9, in Columbus.
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