No. 17 Ohio State Hosts No. 8 Penn State on Senior Day Sunday

April 10, 2014

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 17th-ranked Ohio State women's lacrosse team begins to close out its home schedule with No. 8 Penn State at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes (10-4, 3-1 ALC) have claimed at least 10 wins for the 11th time in program history and have won eight of their last nine contests, while the Nittany Lions (8-5, 2-2 ALC) travel to Columbus after defeating Cornell last Tuesday.

FOLLOW ALONG
If you are unable to attend the game, watch live through BuckeyeVision or follow on Gametracker, with both linked from the front page and women's lacrosse schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The Ohio State lacrosse Twitter feed also will be updated during the game (@OhioState_WLAX).

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT
The Buckeyes will honor four seniors - Tayler Kuzma, Kaila Gottlick, Cara Facchina, and Heather Gravinese- prior to the game Sunday. All four have played valuable roles within the women's lacrosse program over the last four years, with three of the four seniors expected to graduate this spring. The four-member class has been a part of 39 wins over the last four seasons and has a combined nine appearances on the Scholar-Athlete list.

QUICK HITS

  • Heading to game No. 14 of the 2014 season, the Buckeyes have won eight out of their last nine games.
  • As a team, Ohio State is in the Top 25 in the nation in multiple categories, including tenth in points (261), 11th in scoring defense (7.86), 15th in scoring margin (4.71) and 25th in scoring offense (12.57).
  • Jackie Cifarelli (13g, 37a), Katie Chase (37g, 3a), Jennifer Porretto (21g, 8a),Mary Kate Facchina (23g, 4a), Kelsea Ayers, (18g, 9a) and Cian Dabrowski (21g, 5a) are the leading point scorers  with Chase and Christine Easton holding a team-best draw controls with 42 and 35, respectively. 
  • Defensively, Taylor Donahue (8ct, 21gb), Heather Gravinese (8ct, 18gb) and Tayler Kuzma (8ct, 18gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all 14 games in goal with a 7.70 goals-against average and a .483 save percentage.
  • DeScenza is second in the ALC in saves (98) and saves per game (7.00) and fourth in save percentage (.483).
  • The Buckeyes are 7-1 at home this season highlighted by an 11-10 upset victory over fourth-ranked Northwestern March 9 in Ohio Stadium.  
  • Cifarelli is first the country with 37 assists.  She also is third in nation and first in the ALC in assists per game (2.64).
  • Ohio State went 6-2 in the month of March and currently second in the conference standings with a 3-1 mark.  
  • The Buckeyes finished the 2013 campaign with an 8-10 record and a third-consecutive appearance in the ALC tournament semifinals.

SCOUTING PENN STATE  
The Nittany Lions are currently ranked eighth in the latest IWLCA poll released Monday and have an 8-5 overall record and a 2-2 mark in ALC play. Penn State won five-consecutive contests in the month of March, but has dropped its last two conference games by close margins against ranked opponents Florida and Northwestern. The Nittany Lions are second in the conference in caused turnovers (9.92), third in draw controls (13.17) and fourth in points (232). Madison Cyr leads the squad with 32 points (27g, 6a) followed by Kelly Lechner with 25 points (21g, 4a) and Jenna Mosketti at 24 points (21g, 3a). Goalie Emi Smith is 4-3 this year with a .447 save percentage and 9.10 goals-against average.

OHIO STATE VS. THE NITTANY LIONS
Penn State leads the all-time series vs. the Buckeyes, 17-4. Last time out, the Nittany Lions held on to a 14-12 win in State College, Pa., during 2013 campaign. Kelsea Ayers led the squad with four goals, while Cara Facchina had four points (2g, 2a) and Mary Kate Facchina boasted a hat trick. Ohio State last defeated the Lions April 20, 2008, a 17-12 victory in Columbus. Penn State has won the eight meetings since with Ohio State and each of the last five regular-season contests. 

OHIO STATE IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State enters the week at No. 17 in the IWLCA national poll remaining holding No. 17 for the second-consecutive week. The Buckeyes have been ranked for five-consecutive weeks after cracking the Top 20 March 10 during week No. 5 of 2014. In nine editions of the IWLCA poll this year, including each of the last five, five of seven ALC teams have been ranked in the Top 20.

AROUND THE ALC
The Ohio State-Penn State game will cap off a weekend of ALC action. Vanderbilt travels to face No. 5 Northwestern Thursday. The Commodores then travel south to play No. 4 Florida on Sunday. No.1 3 Johns Hopkins travels to face the Wildcats in a Top 15 showdown in Evanston on Sunday.

STREAKY BUCKEYES
Multiple Buckeyes are on point streaks heading into the game vs. the Nittany Lions:

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 (50) and third in points per game (3.42). Cifarelli ranks first in assists (37) and assists per game (2.64). Senior Katie Chase is second in goals (37) and goals per game (3.08) and fourth in points (40) and third in points per game (3.57). Defensively, goalie Tori DeScenza is second in saves (98), fourth in goals-against average (7.70) and fifth in saves percentage (.483). 

PORRETTO GUIDES BUCKEYES IN ROAD WIN AT VANDY

From start to finish, Ohio State was in total control last Sunday, defeating Vanderbilt, 16-5, at Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex in Nashville, Tenn. Junior Jennifer Porretto led the offensive charge posting a career-high six points (4g, 2a). For the second-consecutive game, eight different Buckeyes had a point, including five members who notched at least four points. Along with Porretto, senior Cara Facchina (2g, 2a), juniors Jackie Cifarelli (1g, 3a) and Mary Kate Facchina (3g, 1a) and sophomore Cian Dabrowski (3g, 1a) each had four points. Defensively, junior goalie Tori DeScenza improved to 10-4 this year, earning 12 saves and five groundballs. With the win, the team has now won eight of nine contests after holding Vanderbilt to a season-low five goals.

BUCKEYES DOMINATE MICHIGAN IN THE BIG HOUSE
Junior Kelsea Ayers tied her career high with five goals in a team-best six-point performance to help the Buckeyes defeat Michigan, 18-3, April 2 under the lights at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The win marked the first victory over the Maize and Blue in the inaugural meeting between the Buckeyes and Wolverines. Senior Katie Chase added with four goals, while junior Jackie Cifarelli notched five assists to help fuel the offensive output production by a total of eight Buckeyes who found the back of net. Juniors Jennifer Porretto, Mary Kate Facchina and freshman Allie Ogilvie each had a pair of goals. Sophomores Christine Easton and Rainey Hodgson netted a score as well, while freshman Morgan Fee scored her first career goal. 

CAREER PERFORMANCE FOR Katie Chase
Led by senior attack Katie Chase, the Buckeyes won their sixth home contest of 2014 after defeating Oregon, 13-9, March 26 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Chase, a native of Woodbine, Md., tallied a career-high eight points on seven goals (career-high) and one assist.

Chase, who leads the team with 37 goals, collected three goals in the first half and erupted for four scores in the second stanza as the Scarlet and Gray extended their lead to as much as six goals in the final seven minutes of the contest to help seal the win in the first meeting between the Buckeyes and Ducks. The seven-goal performance for Chase tied for second on the OSU single-game goals list - one shy of tying the Buckeye record held by Kelly Haggerty, who scored eight goals vs. California during the 2009 season.

Chase has been one of the top scorers in the country in the past three weeks, collecting 30 points in her last eight games for the Scarlet and Gray.  She is one point shy of 100-career points in her Ohio State career.

Cara Facchina HITS 100-POINT MARK
With two assists against Florida March 22, senior attack Cara Facchina hit the 100 career-point mark. She currently has tallied 59 goals and 49 assists in her Buckeye career. Facchina, a native of Glenwood, Md., has notched 16 points in ten contests this season. In 2013, Facchina tallied a season-best 53 points (27g, 26a), which was second-most on the team.

100 ASSISTS AND COUNTING  
Junior attack Jackie Cifarelli, who leads the team with 50points 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 assists in 13 of 14 contests, including 11 games with multi-assists performances. Last time out, Cifarelli boasted three helpers in the win at Vanderbilt.  

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.

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 had a strong stretch for the Buckeyes, scoring 17 of her 21 goals in the last eight 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 March 10 at Ohio Stadium. She has collected at least three points in five of the last eight contests - the first time she's accomplish such feat in her OSU career. Dabrowski's 26 points (21g, 5a) is a season best after collecting 10 points (8g, 2) in 15 games during her rookie campaign. Last time out, Dabrowski tallied four points on a hat trick and an assist vs. the Commodores.   

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. 

TEWAARATON TROPHY
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 50 (13g, 37a). Cifarelli has collected points in 45 of 49 games in her career, collecting 35 multi-point performances overall.

CIFARELLI CLIMBS CAREER POINTS LIST
With four points at Vanderbilt, Jackie Cifarelli is now sixth in OSU career points record list with 173 points (57g, 116a). She passed former Buckeye Tracey Bounds (2000-01) on the OSU record list and is nine points shy of tying former Buckeye Megan Mirick (1999-02) for fifth on the all-time list.

TOP GOAL SCORERS
Seniors Katie Chase and Mary Kate Facchina are the top goal scorers for the Buckeyes so far this year. Chase leads the way with 37 scores, which is 13th-best in the country. Facchina has 23 goals, which is three goals shy of tying her season high set last season. In her career, Chase has netted 91 career goals.  

MK-23
Mary Kate Facchina
is having a solid season offensively through 14  games in her junior year. She is currently tied for fourth on the squad with 27 points and is second with 23 goals in 2014. The native of Woodbine,Md., Facchina also has a season-high 27 points (23g, 4a) after collecting 26 points (26g, 0a) in her sophomore season. She tied her career high with five points in the win over Winthrop Feb. 9 and also claimed her first-career assist at Canisius March 1.

OWNING THE DRAW CONTROL
The Buckeyes own a 179-135 advantage in draw controls on the season. Katie Chase and Christine Easton are at the forefront, grabbing 42 and 35, respectively, this season. The Buckeyes have tied or out-drawn their opponent in 10 of 14 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 14 games for the Buckeyes and is second in draw controls (35) is first in caused turnovers (9).  

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.

TOUGH ROAD
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 ONLINE
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/ohiostatewlax). In addition, make sure to bookmark - http://go.osu.edu/wlax_gameday - for information in advance of each of the Buckeyes' games this season.