No. 20 Buckeyes Face No. 4 Florida in Columbus Saturday
Senior Tayler Kuzma
March 20, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 20 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team returns to conference play with a Top 20 contest vs. No. 4 Florida at 1 p.m. ET Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes (6-3) have won four-consecutive games, while the Gators (9-2) travel to Columbus following a 14-7 home win vs. Dartmouth March 18. 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.
With multiple events on campus this weekend, fans will be directed to park in Gray lots just south of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for the contest Saturday vs. Florida. Fans should enter from Fred Taylor Drive to park.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
- Nine games into the season, the Buckeyes are 6-3 overall and have won four-consecutive contests. During the win streak, the team has defeated Louisville, No. 4 Northwestern, High Point and Hofstra.
- Jackie Cifarelli (8g,22a), Katie Chase (20g, 2a), Kaila Gottlick (16g, 3a), Mary Kate Facchina (15g, 3a), Kelsea Ayers, (11g, 6a) and Katie Chase (11g, 1 a) are the leading point scorers heading into the sixth week of the 2014 campaign with Chase and Christine Easton holding a team-best draw controls with 27 and 24, respectively.
- Defensively, Easton (7ct, 10gb), Heather Gravinese (7ct, 8gb) and Taylor Donahue (5ct, 13gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all nine games in goal with an 8.39 goals-against average and a .439 save percentage.
- Defensively, Easton (7ct, 10gb), Heather Gravinese (7ct, 8gb) and Taylor Donahue (4ct, 10gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all nine games in goal with an 8.39 goals-against average and a .439 save percentage.
- The Buckeyes are 5-0 at home this season highlighted by an 11-10 upset victory over fourth-ranked the fourth-ranked Wildcats March 9 in Ohio Stadium.
- Cifarelli is fourth the country and second in the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) with 22 assists. She also is second in the ALC in assists per game (2.44).
- Last time out, Chase scored the eventual gamewinner at Hofstra with 4:27 remaining for her team-best 20th goal of the year.
- Ohio State continues its home schedule next week at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, hosting Oregon March 26 and William & Mary March 29.
- The Buckeyes finished the 2013 campaign with an 8-10 record and a third-consecutive appearance in the ALC tournament semifinals.
The Gators sit at No. 4 in the IWLCA polls holding a 9-2 overall record. As a team, Florida is second in points (218), draw controls (17.1) and third in scoring offensive (16.8) in the country. The Gators are led by Shannon Gilroy who leads the nation in points (61), goals (49) and goals per game (4.45). Defensively, goalie Cara Canington is 8-2 this season with an 8.70 goals-against average and a .478 save percentage.
BUCKEYES VS. GATORS
Florida holds a 6-1 advantage in the series, dating back to the 2010 season. In the last meeting, Ohio State fell against the Gators in the ALC semifinal game in Baltimore, Md. The Buckeyes dropped the regular season contest, 13-7, on the road in 2013 with Kate Chase collecting three goals, while Kaila Gottlick notched two scores and goalie Tori DeScenza had nine saves.
OHIO STATE UPSETS NO. 4 NORTHWESTERN IN OT
Led by a season-high 13 saves by junior goalie Tori DeScenza and four goals by senior Katie Chase, the Buckeyes posted an 11-10 upset overtime victory against then-No. 4 Northwestern March 9 at Ohio Stadium. The ranked win marked the first victory against Northwestern since the 2003 campaign.
Sophomore midfielder Cian Dabrowski, who scored three goals vs. the Wildcats, tallied the eventual gamewinner in overtime when she found the back of the net at 5:06 on an unassisted score after blasting a shot into the top right of the net. Defensively, DeScenza looked stronger and stronger in front of goal after every shot she denied, collecting nine saves in the second half and three in the overtime period. She collected back-to-back saves at 3:46 and 3:12, respectively, in the overtime session following a free position shot before collecting her last stop of the contest with 2:07 remaining on the Wildcat's 10th free position shot overall (2-of-10).
DABROWSKI ON THE ATTACK
Sophomore Cian Dabrowski has been strong on the attack recently for the Buckeyes, scoring 11 of her 15 goals in the last three games. The native of Amaranth, Ontario Canada, boasted a career-high five points on four goals and an assist in the 13-5 win over High Point at Ohio Stadium. She has collected at least three points in three of the last four contests – the first time she’s accomplish such feat in her OSU career. Dabrowkski’s 16 points (15g, 1a) is already a season best after collecting 10 points (8g, 2) in 15 games during her rookie campaign. Last time out, Dabrowksi’s lone goal tied the game, 8-8, at Hofstra when she sent a low shot into the net at 6:50 in the second half.
CIFARELLI HITS THE 100-CAREER ASSISTS MARK
Junior attack Jackie Cifarelli, who leads the team with 30 points in 2014, posted a pair of assists in the OT win over Northwestern March 9 to cap the 100-career assists total, becoming the fourth Buckeye in OSU history to do so. Following another helper in the win over High Point March 10, Cifarelli passed former Buckeye Kelly Haggerty for third on the OSU all-time list. In 2014, she’s collected an assist in all eight games this year, including six contests with multi-assists performances
Her six-assist performance against Winthrop Feb. 9 was the third time she has done so in her career and is just the fourth different Buckeye in program history to accomplish the feat.
FACCHINA CLOSING IN ON 100-POINT MILESTONE
Senior Cara Facchina is closing in on the 100-point milestone in her Buckeye career. The OSU attack has 98 career points heading into the contest vs. the Gators. Last year, the native of Glenwood, Md., Facchina collected a season-best 53 points on 27 goals and 26 assists in her junior campaign.
DESCENZA RECOGNIZED BY ALC
Tori DeScenza earned her first American Lacrosse Conference weekly honor of her career after being named ALC Defensive Player of the Week last March 11. The native of Sea Bright, N.J., DeScenza helped lead the Buckeyes to wins over Louisville and Northwestern March 9 at Ohio Stadium. DeScenza, a 2012 ALC second team honoree, notched three groundballs and five saves in the win vs. the Cardinals, while collecting a season-high 13 saves with two groundballs in the upset win over the Wildcats.
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 30 (8g, 22a). Cifarelli has collected points in 40 of 44 games in her career, collecting 30 multi-point performances overall.
CIFARELLI CLIMBS CAREER POINTS LIST
With her assist against the High Point March 10 in Columbus, Cifarelli is ninth on the all-time OSU list with 153 career points (52g, 101a). She is one points shy of tying Shannon Wilson (2000-03) for 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. 3 spot in the conference in points (30) and fourth in points per game (3.33). Cifarelli ranks second in assists (22) and assists per game (2.44). Senior Katie Chase is fifth in goals (20), fourth in goals per game (2.50) and ninth in points per game (2.75). Defensively, goalie Tori DeScenza is first in saves (58), second in goals-against average (8.39) and fifth in saves percentage (.439).
TOP GOAL SCORERS
Seniors Katie Chase and Kaila Gottlick and are the leading goal scorers in the early part of the season. Chase has a team-best 20 goals, while Gottlick is right behind with 16. Chase, a native of Woodbine, Md., has collected 74 goals in her career.
DRAW CONTROL LEADERS
The Buckeyes own a 119-81 advantage in draw controls on the season. Katie Chase and Christine Easton are at the forefront, grabbing 27 and 24, respectively, this season. The Buckeyes have tied or out-drawn their opponent in six of nine games this season.
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 nine games for the Buckeyes and is second in groundballs and has seven caused turnovers in her second season at Ohio State.
THREE BUCKEYES NAMED TO ALC PREASEASON WATCH LIST
Katie Chase, Jackie Cifarelli 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.
Buckeyes Earn IWLCA Academic Honor