April 12, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team travels to seventh-ranked Penn State for a 1:05 p.m. ALC matchup Sunday on the Penn State Lacrosse Field in University Park, Pa. Big Ten Network will air the key league contest on tape delay at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
IN A NUTSHELL
- The Buckeyes sit at 6-6 on the season after downing Vanderbilt, 19-4, last Sunday and 1-2 in the ALC. The Nittany Lions are 8-4 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.
- Ohio State scored 19 goals in both of its wins last week, producing the most goals (38) in back-to-back games since the 2011 season when the Buckeyes earned wins over Vanderbilt (17-16, April 10) and Detroit (26-3, April 12).
- Jackie Cifarelli (15g, 31a), Katie Chase (32g, 4a) and Cara Facchina (20g, 14a) are the leading point scorers after the midpoint of the season with Chase also holding a team-leading 53 draw controls.
- Cifarelli's assists were first in the ALC and ninth in the NCAA at the start of the week.
- In three games of ALC play, Kelsea Ayers is the team’s leading goal scorer (7), while Cifarelli has the overall points leads with 11 (4g, 7a).
- Defensively, Tayler Kuzma (17ct, 30gb) and Taylor Donahue (14ct, 14gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all 12 games in goal, playing the full time in each of the last 10.
Ohio State is second in the ALC and 17th in the NCAA in team groundballs (18.2 per game) and after their 38 goals last week, the Buckeyes also are in the Top 25 nationally in team offense (12.9 gpg, No. 22). Jackie Cifarelli and Katie Chase are among the top NCAA performers in assists and draw controls, respectively. Cifarelli’s 2.6 assists per game are ninth in the nation and first in the ALC, while Chase averages 4.5 draws per game to own 16th place nationally and second in the ALC at the start of the week.
ALC AT A GLANCE
Northwestern sits atop the conference standings with a 4-0 record and just one ALC game remaining. Penn State and Florida are tied for second at 2-1 with Johns Hopkins and Ohio State sharing the fourth position with 1-2 records. Vanderbilt is winless in ALC play at 0-4. 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 20 spots in the IWLCA poll and the Buckeyes receiving votes for the last four weeks after spending 21-consecutive weeks among the Top 20.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Maggie McCormack paces leads the Lions in goals (28), assists (22) and points (50). Five other PSU players have recorded at least 20 points with Mackenzie Cyr ranking second on the squad in goals (24), assists (14). On the defensive end, Katie Guy continues to pace the squad in ground balls (33) and caused turnovers (22).
The Buckeyes are 4-16 all-time against Penn State, last defeating the Lions April 20, 2008, a 17-12 victory in Columbus. Penn State has won the seven meetings since with Ohio State and each of the last four regular-season contests.
LAST TIME VS. THE NITTANY LIONS
The 10th-ranked Buckeyes fell to No. 13 Penn State, 15-12, in an ALC showdown April 12, 2012, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Kirsten Donahue tied a career high with four goals and then-sophomore Katie Chase produced her first career hat trick, but the Lions had three scorers with four goals apiece and a goalie who ended the day with 10 saves.
Tayler Kuzma earned ALC Defensive Player of the Week honors Monday, the third weekly accolade of the season for the Buckeyes. With the help of the junior defender, the Buckeyes held Vanderbilt's Carly Linthicum without a point for the first game this season. Linthicum entered the game with an ALC-leading 46 goals on the year and the No. 3 spot in the NCAA in scoring. Kuzma forced two turnovers by Linthicum and limited her to just two shots in the game. The Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List member also grabbed six groundballs in the Buckeyes' win over Vandy, their first conference win of the season. Earlier in the week vs. the Aztecs, Kuzma had four groundballs and a team-high tying four draw controls. On Feb. 27, Katie Chase (offensive) and Cian Dabrowski (rookie) also collected player of the week honors from the ALC.
BIG GAMES, SMALL SCREEN
The Buckeyes are making their fourth of potentially five appearances on BTN this season when they take on Penn State Sunday. Ohio State’s games against Northwestern, San Diego State and Vanderbilt have already appeared on the national network with April 28 Johns Hopkins contest scheduled for re-air as well. The five regular-season broadcasts are the most for Ohio State since the network was launched in 2007. The game vs. the Aztecs and the upcoming til with the Blue Jays – are part of the StudentU productions on BTN.com which have 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.
The ALC Tournament is just three weeks away, scheduled for May 2-5 at Homewood Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md. Quarterfinal action begins at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 2 with two games followed by two semifinal games starting at 4 p.m. Friday, May 3. The championship game will be played at noon Sunday, May 5. For more information on the seventh annual tournament, check out the tournament central page.
LAST TIME OUT
Bolstered by a seven-point performance from Jackie Cifarelli, Ohio State rolled to 19-4 win over Vanderbilt in a BTN-televised game last Sunday on Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Now winners in each of their last three contests, the Buckeyes (6-6, 1-2 ALC) found goals from nine players as they rolled to their largest margin of victory since the 2012 season opener (19-4, vs. San Diego State).
Kelsea Ayers finished with a career-high six points off five goals and an assist, while Cara Facchina (2g, 1a), Mary Kate Facchina (3g) and Kaila Gottlick (2g, 1a) each added three points. With Tayler Kuzma, Taylor Donahue, Heather Gravinese and Kelsey Heine as anchors, the Buckeye defense forced 13 turnovers and allowed just 17 shots in the game. Tori DeScenza made five saves on 14 shots faced in 46 minutes before giving way to Caitlin Hester.
The Buckeyes begin a three-game road swing with their game at Penn State Sunday. They will follow it up with two games in North Carolina, Saturday, April 20 against No. 9 Duke in Durham and Sunday, April 21 vs. High Point in High Point. Ohio State closes out the regular-season on its home field at noon April 28 against No. 20 Johns Hopkins at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
At the 46th-annual Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Dinner April 1, 22 members of the Buckeye lacrosse program were recognized, including two seniors – Rachel Blue (molecular genetics) and Rachel Wiederkehr (nursing) – who earned the honor all four seasons. Joining the duo were: Kelsea Ayers (exercise science), Emi Breakey (exploration), Katie Chase (sport and leisure studies), Cian Dabrowski (psychology), Alli Dawson (marketing), Tori DeScenza (nutrition), Olivia DiCarlantonio (exploration), Taylor Donahue (nutrition), Christine Easton (exploration), Cara Facchina (industrial and systems engineering), Mary Kate Facchina (nutrition), Kelsey Gallagher (exploration), Kaila Gottlick (nutrition), Bridget Instrum (exploration), Hallie Keselman (sport industry), Tayler Kuzma (sport and leisure studies), Morgan Obendorfer (sport and leisure studies), Jennifer Porretto (sport industry), Emily Valli (exploration) and Bridget Vilbig (special education).
HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF
In the Buckeyes’ game against Hofstra March 30, the team worked to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts by asking fans to donate a dime after each OSU score. Every cent of the $120 in collected spare change will go towards the cause held close to the hearts of several Buckeye players, including Tori DeScenza who house in Sea Bright, N.J., was damaged in the super storm. In November, seven lacrosse team members – Kelsea Ayers, DeScenza, Taylor Donahue, Mary Kate Facchina, Jessica Hassett, Hallie Keselman and Jennifer Porretto – participated in storm cleanup efforts in Sea Bright.