Alayna Markwordt finished with a game-high seven points off three goals and four assists, joining Beard, Brittney Zerhusen and Gabby Capuzzi as multi-goal scorers. Buckeye goalie Annie Carruthers tallied six saves on the day, all coming in the first half, as the Scarlet and Gray defense held the Bears to just two shots in the second period.
"California is a great team and I am proud of how we played a full 60 minutes of Buckeye lacrosse against them," Alexis Venechanos, first-year Ohio State head coach said. It was a complete team effort from end to end. Winning the draw was huge for us as we gained possession and kept the ball away from Cal's attacking end."
For the seventh time this season, Ohio State dominated the draw, out-tallying Cal by a 14-8 margin, including 8-3 in the second half. Beard pulled down seven on her own and moved into a tie for the team lead with Capuzzi and 27 this season.
Ohio State jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the first 12:36 of the opening half with Zerhusen starting things off with an assists on Capuzzi's goal at the 25:03 mark. Vail Horn put Cal on the board for the first time at 15:35 on a free-position shot to make the score 5-1.
Markwordt responded with back-to-back unassisted goals to grow the lead to six, at 7-1, as the Buckeyes closed out the final third of the half with a 4-1 run to hold an 8-2 advantage at the intermission.
Momentum stayed in favor of Ohio State in the second with Markwordt and Beard teaming up for each of the first two tallies in yet another OSU scoring spree. This one blew the game open to 12-2, giving the teams a running clock for all of 1:05 before Tara Arolla took it back within nine, 12-3, with 13:25 to play.
Zerhusen set the clock back in motion at 11:22 and it would continue running as the Buckeyes closed out the game on a 4-1 run to capture their fifth win in six games.
Ohio State held a commanding 37-12 advantage in shots and a 22-14 lead in ground balls. In games won this season, it owns a margin of victory of +12 goals per game, outscoring opponents 87-27 through the five victories.
The Buckeyes return to action at noon Saturday, March 26 against Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The Gators are 8-1 on the season after starting their season with an overtime loss to No. 3 North Carolina and rattling over eight victories in a row, including three over ranked opponents in then-No. 20 Denver, No. 9 Georgetown and No. 11 Syracuse. 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.
Humphrey Highlights | Mackenzie Maring