COLUMBUS, Ohio - Fresh off a 10-day break for finals, the Ohio State women's lacrosse team returns to action at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 20 against California in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Currently 4-3 on the season and coming off back-to-back wins, the Buckeyes look to piece together their first stretch of three-consecutive wins since March 5-20 a year ago when they meet the 5-3 Cal Bears.
Watch the lacrosse team take on California live through BuckeyeVision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com (subscription rates apply) or follow free live stats, linked from the front page or the women's lacrosse schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com
TAKING DOWN THE IRISH
Ohio State battled back from a halftime deficit to defeat 11th-ranked Notre Dame, 13-8, March 10 to earn its first win over a ranked opponent since April 12, 2009 (No. 10 Vanderbilt, 15-13) and improved 4-3 on the 2011 campaign. The Buckeyes had trailed 6-5 at the half after battling the Fighting Irish to four ties and three lead changes through the first period of play. They came out of the intermission running on all cylinders, however, scoring three in the first 10 minutes of the second half and four before Notre Dame could come up with a response to make it 9-7, OSU. Ohio State remained steadfast in the final eight minutes to seal the deal and cruise to the 13-8 win.
WIN, LOSE OR DRAW CONTROL
The Buckeyes currently are ranked seventh in the nation in draw controls, averaging 15.29 per game after seven contests. They have out-drawn their opponent in all but one game this season, a 12-12 tie with Notre Dame, and hold a commanding 107-69 team advantage. Individually, Gabby Capuzzi and Jayme Beard have been dominant in the center circle, pulling down 26 and 20 draws, respectively. Capuzzi is ranked No. 16 in NCAA Division I lacrosse and third among American Lacrosse Conference players.
ZERHUSEN BRINGS IN HONORS
Brittney Zerhusen, a senior attacker, was named the American Lacrosse Conference's Offensive Player of the Week, as well as one of the top three attackers of the week by Inside Lacrosse, March 15 after helping the Buckeyes to a pair of back-to-back wins over Canisius and then-No. 11 Notre Dame the previous week. Zerhusen scored five goals in each of the Buckeyes' games, vs. Canisius March 7 and at No. 11 Notre Dame March 10. Against the Fighting Irish, Zerhusen led all scorers with eight points off five goals and three assists, as the Buckeyes garnered their fourth win in five games.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
California enters its game vs. Ohio State Sunday 5-3 on the season after securing back-to-back wins over Lafayette, 13-10, March 15, and Navy, 13-6, March 17. In addition to Navy, the Bears shared Notre Dame as a common early-season opponent with the Buckeyes, falling to the Irish 20-6 in the season opener Feb. 11. Tara Arolla and Megan Takacs pace the Bears scoring efforts with 25 and 24 points, respectively. Arolla has a team-leading 21 goals and four assists, while Takacs has posted 17 goals and seven assists. Between the pipes, Allie Shropshire has started all eight games and holds a 10.42 goals-against average and .425 save percentage.
The Buckeyes return to action at noon Saturday, March 26 against Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The Gators are 7-1 on the season after starting their season with an overtime loss to No. 3 North Carolina and rattling over seven victories in a row, including over then-No. 20 Denver and No. 9 Georgetown. Bolstered by the nation's leading scorer Kitty Cullen's 4.57 goals per game, Florida has the eighth-ranked scoring offense in the country heading into this week of competition.
FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES
Stay up-to-date with all the women's lacrosse team action by following the Buckeyes on Facebook (facebook.com/OhioStateWomensLacrosse) and Twitter (twitter.com/OhioState_WLAX).
Humphrey Highlights | Mackenzie Maring