March 26, 2013
Ohio State (3-5, 0-1 ALC) at No. 4 Northwestern (7-1, 2-0 ALC)
Wednesday, March 27 | 6:30 p.m. ET
Lakeside Field | Evanston, Ill.
GAMEDAY | TV: BTN (Channel Finder) | GameTracker
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s lacrosse returns to action against fourth-ranked Northwestern at 6:30 p.m. ET at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill., in the first of at least three nationally-televised games on BTN. The Buckeyes are searching for their first conference win of the season after falling to No. 2 and undefeated Florida last weekend.
The Ohio State-Northwestern game will be televised live on BTN with Mike Wolf (play-by-play) and Kara Lentz (analysis) on the call. To find BTN in your area, use the network’s Channel Finder. Fans can supplement their viewing with live in-game updates via Northwestern’s Twitter account @NU_SportsLIVE or Gametracker (linked above).
IF YOU GO
If you are able to see the Buckeyes play in Evanston, tickets for Northwestern lacrosse home games may be purchased at the entrance to Lakeside Field for $7 (adults), $4 (senior citizens and youths) or $3 for large groups.
IN A NUTSHELL
ALC AT A GLANCE
- The Buckeyes are 3-5 on the season and 0-1 in the ALC after falling to Florida, 13-7, last Saturday.
- The 2013 campaign marks the 12th season in the American Lacrosse Conference for Ohio State, who has one ALC title to its credit (2003).
- This is the 12th meeting all-time between Ohio State and Northwestern.
- Jackie Cifarelli (10g, 23a), Cara Facchina (14g, 9a) and Katie Chase (21g, 1a) are the leading point scorers near the midpoint of the season with Chase also holding a team-leading 39 draw controls.
- Cifarelli’s assists top the ALC and are fifth in the NCAA, while Chase’s draw controls are second in the league and ninth in the nation.
- Defensively, Taylor Donahue (13ct, 12gb) and Tayler Kuzma (12ct, 16gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all eight games in goal, playing the full 60 minutes in each of the last six.
With all six teams now into conference play, Northwestern sits atop the rankings at 2-0, followed by defending league champion Florida and Penn State, both at 1-0. Ohio State (0-1), Johns Hopkins (0-1) and Vanderbilt (0-2) are all looking for their first ALC win. Now in its 12th year of existence, the American Lacrosse Conference continues to be one of the most challenging conferences in Division I women's lacrosse with four teams currently holding Top 12 spots in the IWLCA poll and another (Ohio State) receiving votes after spending 21-consecutive weeks among the Top 20.
HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF
During the Buckeyes’ home game Saturday vs. Hofstra, the team will work to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, a cause close to the hearts of many OSU players from the Northeast, especially Tori DeScenza whose hometown of Sea Bright, N.J., was estimated to have some 1,028 homes damaged. During the game Saturday, fans are encouraged to “Donate a Dime” after each Buckeye goal with 100 percent of the proceeds going to an organization dedicated to hurricane relief efforts. Players and coaches also will don black armbands in honor of their friends, families and neighbors in affected areas.
The game Wednesday 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.
Ohio State is second in the ALC in team groundballs (18.8 per game) and caused turnovers (9.5 per game), also coming in among the Top 20 in Division I in both categories. Katie Chase and Jackie Cifarelli are among the top NCAA performers in draw controls and assists, respectively. Chase averages 4.9 draws per game to own 11th place nationally and second in the ALC at the start of the week, while Cifarelli’s 2.9 assists per game are eighth in the nation and first in the ALC.
The Wildcats enter the contest Wednesday after an 11-day break from competition and holding a 7-1 overall mark and early 2-0 lead in the conference race. NU’s only loss came at the hands of North Carolina in the early days of the season. The Wildcats’ offense is ranked third nationally with 15.4 goals per game and has three players with at least 20 points to their credit. Erin Fitzgerald, the reigning ALC Offensive Player of the Year, has a team-leading 28 goals and 31 points, while Alyssa Leonard (24 pts) and Amanda Macaluso (20) are not far behind. Goalie Bridget Bianco is sixth in the country with a goals-against average of 6.82. Among common non-conference opponents, both teams defeated Boston College by a seven-goal margin.
SERIES HISTORY/LAST TIME VS. THE WILDCATS
The Buckeyes trail in the all-time series 2-9 and have lost each of the last 10 meetings, though none closer than the contest a season ago. Ohio State led the Wildcats 11-7 with 15 minutes to play at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., but NU rallied and came away with a 13-12 win in overtime. Current Buckeyes volunteer assistant Gabby Capuzzi had four goals in the loss, while Jackie Cifarelli had two, including one in OT which put the Buckeyes within one with 1:46 left in extra time.
BIG GAMES, SMALL SCREEN
The Buckeyes will make at least three appearances on BTN this season in a trio of televised American Lacrosse Conference matchups, beginning Wednesday vs. the Wildcats. The Buckeyes also will appear on the national network April 7 against Vanderbilt in Columbus and April 14 at Penn State. The three live regular-season broadcasts are the most for Ohio State since the network was launched in 2007.
Additionally, two home games - April 3 vs. San Diego State and April 28 against Johns Hopkins - will be streamed on BTN.com with the opportunity to be shown on the linear network at a later date. The BTN.com broadcasts will be available to subscribers of the Buckeye Vision package on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State fell to No. 2 Florida 13-7 last Saturday at Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Katie Chase finished with a team-high three goals, while Kaila Gottlick helped pace the attack with two and goalie Tori DeScenza had nine saves, including six in the first half. The teams combined for just four goals in the first half with Gottlick striking first for the Buckeyes with a free-position score at 20:09. Ohio State held onto the lead for 11:17 of game action until the Gators closed out the period with a 3-0 run to take the 3-1 lead into halftime.
Attackers were unleashed in the second half as the Gators built a 9-3 over the first 12 minutes of the period. Mary Kate Facchina and Gottlick each scored in that stretch and set Ohio State up four of the next six goals of the contest. Chase had all three of hers in a 10-minute span in the second half, helping the Buckeyes close the gap to four, at 10-6, with 7:13 to play. The Gators' Shannon Gilroy scored two down the stretch, however, to give her team the final six-goal advantage.
Keep up with the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team throughout the year on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, the official website of the Ohio State Department of Athletics. In addition, the team is on Twitter (@OhioState_WLAX), facebook (facebook.com/OhioStateWomensLacrosse) and Instagram (instagram.com/ohiostate_wlax). In addition, make sure to bookmark - http://go.osu.edu/wlax_gameday - for information in advance of each of the Buckeyes’ games this season.
Join the Buckeyes for a 10-year anniversary celebration of the 2003 ALC Championship season as they take on Vanderbilt at noon April 7. There will be a banquet in Ohio Stadium at the conclusion of the contest, for the cost of $40 per ticket. For more information, contact Gabby Capuzzi (Capuzzi.email@example.com).