"I am so proud of the athletes today and how we competed to the final whistle," Alexis Venechanos, first-year Ohio State head coach said. "It was incredible to see the team remain poised and confident in the final eight minutes to beat a very strong Notre Dame team."
Ohio State trailed 6-5 at the half after battling the Fighting Irish to four ties and three lead changes through the first period of play. Four different Buckeyes accounted for scoring in the first half, including Zerhusen, who scored her second tally of the day off an assist from Maghan Beaudrault with 22 seconds remaining in the period to cut the Notre Dame lead to one.
The Buckeyes came out of the intermission running on all cylinders, scoring three in the first 10 minutes of the second half and four before Notre Dame could come up with a response. Zerhusen fed Gabby Capuzzi and Beaudrault for a pair of goals to give Ohio State a 7-6 lead that it would not relinquish. Alayna Markwordt, the Buckeyes' leading scorer, continued the run with an unassisted tally at 20:23 before both teams settled into a 10-plus minute scoring draught through the middle of the period.
Zerhusen got the action going again, once again teaming up with Beaudrault, to give the Buckeyes a three-goal lead, 9-6, at the 9:51 mark of the game. Notre Dame's Jenny Granger found the back of the net for the Irish's first second-half goal just over a minute later, but Ohio State came back with four unanswered to blow the game wide open.
Kirsten Donahue and Zerhusen alternated goals over the next several minutes as the Buckeyes earned their largest lead of the contest, 13-7, with 1:57 on the clock. Notre Dame would score once more, but Ohio State came away with its fourth win in the last five games.
Annie Carruthers played all 60 minutes in goal for the Buckeyes, making 10 stops, including seven in the second half alone. The teams finished even in both ground balls (11-11) and draw controls (12-12), though the Irish led the shot count, 25-20.
The Buckeyes go on hiatus for finals, but return to action at 1 p.m. March 20 against California in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Ohio State Holds On To Beat UConn 13-12
Buckeyes host UConn on Wednesday
Buckeyes Fall To UMass In Overtime