COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's lacrosse team welcomes No. 14-ranked Vanderbilt to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at noon Sunday in the Buckeyes' ALC home opener. The Commodores enter Columbus with a 7-5 record on the season and 1-2 in the ALC after defeating Johns Hopkins a week ago, while the Scarlet and Gray is coming off a resounding win over Louisville last weekend and sit at 6-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES LIVE
Watch the Ohio State-Vanderbilt game LIVE on the BigTenNetwork.com for a fee. The game is tentatively scheduled to be televised on Big Ten Network as part of its StudentU programming at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. In-game live stats are available on OhioStateBuckeyes.com with updates posted on Twitter, when possible, @OhioState_WLAX. Throughout the season, you stay up-to-date with all the lacrosse action by following the Buckeyes on Facebook (facebook.com/OhioStateWomensLacrosse).
The Buckeyes are led in scoring by junior Alayna Markwordt and senior Brittney Zerhusen. Markwordt has a team-high 47 points off team-leading totals of 30 goals and 17 assists, while Zerhusen is second with 27 goals and 10 assists for 37 points. Annie Carruthers, the preseason ALC goalie of the year, has started all 10 games between the pipes and has a 9.51 goals-against average with a .430 save percentage on 186 shots faced. On the draw, Jayme Beard and Gabby Capuzzi are forces to be reckoned with, securing 31 and 29 draws, respectively.
Winners of four of their last five games, the Buckeyes enter the game Sunday vs. Vanderbilt with a 6-4 record after victories against American (16-4), St. Bonaventure (19-4), Canisius (23-7), Notre Dame (13-8), California (16-4) and Louisville (15-11). The team has outscored opponents 102-38 in games won and average 23 goals per game in all contests this season. Ohio State has won 58 percent (143-246) of its draw controls this season, topping its opponents in all but two games this season.
ON THE VERGE
The Buckeyes have been receiving votes in the IWLCA/Under Armour Coaches Poll for the last few weeks and remain poised for entrance into the Top 25 with continued success. They entered the deBeer InsideLacrosse.com media poll at No. 16 this week and have spent each of the last four weeks in the Top 20 of the womenslacrosse.com poll, most recently at No. 14. The Ohio State program acknowledges the IWLCA/Under Armour Coaches Poll as its official ranking, as well as that of its opponents.
AROUND THE ALC ... AND NCAA
Ohio State boasts the third-ranked offense in the American Lacrosse Conference, scoring 13.2 goals per game, a mark which also stands as 20th in the nation. As a team, the Buckeyes also post a No. 11 national position in draws with 14.30 to their credit per game.
Individually, Alayna Markwordt is third in the ALC and ninth in the NCAA by contributing 4.70 points per game, while in goals, she also is third in the league and 22nd in the country with 3.70 per game and second/20th in assists at 1.70. Jayme Beard and Gabby Capuzzi join Markwordt among the conference leaders as the duo is fourth and fifth, respectively, in the ALC in draw controls with 31 and 29 on the season.
Make sure to visit with the Buckeye student-athletes at the game and learn about "Team Meghan," supporting Meghan Kinney, a letterwinner for the Ohio State synchronized swimming team in 2009 and 2010. Kinney was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma this past fall and since the, fellow student-athletes have rallied around her with many volunteering their time to sell "Team Meghan" bracelets and collect money at various Ohio State sporting events, including the lacrosse game Sunday.
At the time of her diagnosis, Kinney, an alternate at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was training in Colorado Springs with fellow Buckeye Michelle Theriault and the two were well on their way to representing the U.S. National Team at the 2012 Olympics. Just an idea of the duo's talent, they finished fifth at the FINA World Cup in September 2010. Kinney also is a natural leader, serving as captain of the U.S. National Team.
For more information, visit www.teammeghan.com.
BUCKEYES GO PINK
Fans attending the game vs. Vanderbilt are encouraged to wear pink in recognition of the Buckeyes' efforts to Go Pink supporting breast cancer awareness. There will be several giveaways throughout the game and opportunities to learn about Ohio State's efforts with the cause.
The Commodores enter Sunday at 7-5 on the season, 1-2 in the ALC and ranked 14th in the Monday edition of the IWCLA poll, their seventh-consecutive week ranked in the Top 25 this season. Three Vanderbilt players - Courtney Kirk, Emily Franke and Ally Carey - have more than 30 points this season, with Kirk leading the way with 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points. Franke (20g, 14a) and Carey (23g, 10a) are not far behind, with the team's leading goal scorer, Katherine Denkler, coming in at No. 4 in team points with 28.
In their last outing, a 14-13 win over Johns Hopkins a week ago, Denkler, Franke and Kirk each scored three goals, while Kirk also dished out two assists for a game-high five points. The game was tied for the fourth time with 12 minutes to play before Denkler notched back-to-back goals to give the Commodores a 14-12 lead. Hopkins would score once but failed to draw even, thanks in part to a pair of key caused turnovers by Paige Cahill.
LAST TIME OUT
Brittney Zerhusen and Gabby Capuzzi tallied four goals apiece as the Buckeyes rolled over Louisville, 15-11, last Sunday at U of L Lacrosse Stadium in Louisville, Ky. Annie Carruthers backstopped the win on the opposite end of the field, tallying a season-high 11 saves, including seven in the second half alone.
Ohio State has its final non-conference game of the year against Detroit at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Motor City. Following the game with the Titans, the Buckeyes head to State College, Pa., for a 1 p.m. game Sunday vs. Penn State. The Ohio State-Penn State contest will be shown on same-day delay at 4 p.m. on the Big Ten Network with Mike Wolf and Kara Lentz calling the action.
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