April 18, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's lacrosse team will play a pair of games in North Carolina this weekend, taking on No. 9 Duke at 1 p.m. Saturday in Durham, N.C., before facing High Point at 1 p.m. Sunday in High Point, N.C. This will wrap up non-conference competition for the Buckeyes this season, who face No. 19 Johns Hopkins at home Sunday, April 28 to conclude the 2013 regular-season campaign.
IN A NUTSHELL
- The Buckeyes sit at 6-7 on the season after being edged by No. 7 Penn State, 14-12, last Sunday and are 1-3 in the ALC. The seventh-ranked Blue Devils are 10-4 on the season, while the Panthers are 7-7.
- Ohio State's offense has averaged 15.3 goals per game over the last four games, including 19 in back-to-back wins against San Diego State (April 3) and Vanderbilt (April 7). The Buckeyes produced the most goals (38) in consecutive 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, 34a), Katie Chase (34g, 4a) and Cara Facchina (22g, 16a) have led Ohio State throughout the season with Chase also holding a team-leading and program-record 59 draw controls.
- Cifarelli's 2.6 assists per game were second in the ALC and 10th in the NCAA at the start of the week.
- In four games of ALC play, Kelsea Ayers is the team's leading goal scorer (11), while Cifarelli has the overall points leads with 14 (4g, 10a).
- Defensively, Tayler Kuzma (18ct, 31gb) and Taylor Donahue (14ct, 14gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza has started all 13 games in goal, playing the full time in each of the last 11.
Live video and statistics will be available for both games this weekend, linked above or from the Lacrosse Gameday page. Matchup information, as well as links to follow each game, both home and away, through available live stats, audio and video, are updated prior to each contest on go.osu.edu/wlax_gameday.
Ohio State is second in the ALC and 18th in the NCAA in team groundballs (17.7 per game) and after their 15.3 goals per game the last two weeks, the Buckeyes also are in the Top 25 nationally in team offense (12.9 gpg, No. 21). 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 10th in the nation and second in the ALC, while Chase averages 4.6 draws per game to own 14th place nationally and second in the ALC at the start of the week.
The Buckeyes have eight games on their schedule against teams ranked in the current IWLCA Top 20, including five among the Top 10 teams, all of which have or will take place away from Columbus. In ALC play alone, Ohio State faces four teams currently holding Top 20. All but two of Ohio State's losses this season have come against teams ranked in the Top 10 and have been decided by an average of 3.5 goals. At No. 9, Duke is the next regular-season Top 10 opponent. The Buckeyes have been receiving votes for the last five weeks after spending 21-consecutive weeks among the Top 20.
The Blue Devils (10-4) won eight of their first nine games of the year before going on a three-game losing skid and rebounding with a 14-6 victory over Davidson Wednesday night. Paced by Kerrin Maurer's five points (2g, 3a), seven different Duke players registered goals in the win. For the season, Maurer leads the team with 51 points off 27 goals and team-high 24 assists. Makenzie Hommel is the leading goal scorer with 36 tallies. In goal, Kelsey Duryea has started each of the last nine games and is 6-3 with a 9.06 goals against average and a .530 save percentage.
SERIES HISTORY/LAST MEETING
The Buckeyes are 1-1 all-time against Duke. Ohio State opened the 2011 season with a 21-9 loss to No. 4 Duke Feb. 13 at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. Alayna Markwordt scored a game-high tying four goals, while five other Buckeyes added individual scores, including then-freshman Cara Facchina with her first collegiate goal. Brittney Zerhusen,Kirsten Donahue, Jayme Beard and Caylee Rafalko also found the back of the net for Ohio State.
The first meeting came in the opening round of the 2003 NCAA tournament, Ohio State's first tourney win in program history. The Scarlet and Gray upset No. 4-seed Duke, 10-7, in the first round of the NCAA Championship May 8, 2003 at Koskinen Stadium. Ohio State's Caroline Weatherill scored four first-half goals with Regina Oliver adding three and Shannon Wilson two for the Buckeyes.
SCOUTING HIGH POINT
The Panthers are 7-7 overall and have won five of their last six games, including a 20-2 win over Davidson Monday afternoon. Grace Gaeng had a team-high five points (1g, 4a), while Alec Perry had a team-leading four goals as the HPU used eight goals in less than five minutes in the first half to pull away early. Mackenzie Carroll has 45 points for the season off 25 goals and 20 assists, while Perry is the leading goal scorer with 28 tallies. Jasmine Jordan has been credited with 26 caused turnovers, a 1.85 per game average which ranked 13th in the nation at the start of the week. Anna Wallingford holds all 14 decisions in goal with 10.37 goals-against average and .385 save percentage.
This is the first meeting between the teams. High Point is in just its third season as a varsity program and has a 37-15 record to date.
Katie Chase has emerged as quite the threat in her third season in the Buckeye program. After seeing limited action because of injuries the attacker from Woodbine, Md., has scored at least one goal in all 13 games of the 2013 season, leading the Buckeyes and owning third in the ALC with 34 goals this season. She also commands the center circle with 59 draw controls, the single-season Ohio State record and current 14th-ranked total in the NCAA.
THE AYERS UP THERE
Kelsea Ayers has scored half of her goals this season (12 of 24) in the last three games. She has had the team high in each of the last two games and sits in second on the team in goals scored behind Katie Chase (34). The sophomore from Mt. Airy, Md., had just three goals in 14 games last season. She now has tallied goals in nine games in 2013, including four with at least three scores.
CIFF-ING OUT THE ASSIST
With three assists against Penn State last Sunday, Jackie Cifarelli is up to 34 on the season, passing her season total from a year ago (32), which stood as Ohio State single-season record for a freshman. She takes over sixth place in overall single-season assists from herself. A sophomore from Rockville Center, N.Y., Cifarelli averages 2.6 helpers per game, holding onto second in the ALC and 10th in the NCAA at the start of the week. She has tallied at least one point in all but one game this season and in 27 of 30 career contests.
Three Buckeyes have collected ALC Player of the Week honors to date this season, the most recently being Tayler Kuzma with defensive POW accolades April 8. 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 a career-high 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 have made four appearances on BTN this season with their games against Northwestern, San Diego State, Vanderbilt and Penn State all being shown on national television. The April 28 Johns Hopkins contest is scheduled for re-air as well after being streamed online through BTN.com. 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 tilt 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 two 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
Kelsea Ayers led the Buckeyes for the second game in a row, scoring four goals as the Buckeyes battled seventh-ranked Penn State to 14-12 loss last Sunday on the Penn State Lacrosse Field in University Park, Pa. The decision snapped a three-game winning streak and dropped Ohio State's record to 6-7 overall and 1-3 in the ALC. The Nittany Lions now are 9-4 on the season and 3-1 in the conference.
Cara Facchina also had four points (2g, 2a), while younger sister Mary Kate Facchina recorded her second-consecutive hat trick. The Buckeyes played Penn State, who entered the game with wins in five of its last six games, through nine ties, gaining momentum with their commanding 18-9 advantage in draw controls. Katie Chase and Tayler Kuzma were strong in the center circle, securing six and four draw controls, respectively. Chase now holds the Ohio State single-season record for draws, passing current volunteer coach Gabby Capuzzi.
The Buckeyes close out the regular season against No. 19 Johns Hopkins at noon Sunday, April 28. The three seniors - Rachel Blue, Kelsey Heine and Rachel Wiederkehr - will be honored prior to the ALC showdown. Ohio State and Hopkins have met 11 times since 2002, with the Blue Jays leading the series, 7-4. In 10 of the 11 meetings, with the exception of 2007, the home team has been victorious. The game will be streamed on BTN.com and through BuckeyeVision with Neil Sika and former Buckeye All-American Kimberly Lowe calling the action.
ALC CHAMPIONSHIP REUNION
During the weekend of April 7, surrounding the Buckeyes' 19-4 win over Vanderbilt, members of the 2003 ALC Championship descended upon Columbus for the 10-year reunion of Ohio State's first ALC Championship and NCAA tournament victory. Thirteen members of the team were on hand for a weekend of receptions, gatherings and a halftime recognition.
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.