No. 10 Ohio State Faces No. 16 Louisville in NCAA First Round
Junior Jackie Cifarelli is a Tewaaraton Award Nominee, leading the team with 63 points in 2014.
May 7, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The tenth-ranked Ohio State women’s lacrosse team is set to play No. 16 Louisville at 7 p.m. CT Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Evanston, Ill., on the campus of Northwestern University. The Buckeyes (13-6, 4-2 ALC) are making their third appearance in program history and first since the 2003 campaign after receiving an at-large bid into the championship.
The winner of the Ohio State-Louisville game will play No. 5 seed Northwestern at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lakeside Field for a chance to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship next week.
Live scoring of the game Friday will be available at www.nusports.com. A link to Gametracker will be on the Buckeye women’s lacrosse schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
- Heading to game No. 20 of the 2014 season, the Buckeyes have won 11 out of their last 14 games, including three wins over Top 10 opponents. The 20 games played in 2014 are the most in school history.
- Ohio State has played nine of the 26 NCAA teams this year, collecting a 5-4 mark. In the four losses, the Buckeyes lost by just a combined six goals. Ohio State has claimed three wins against Top 10 opponents this year, defeating No. 4 Northwestern (11-10 OT) March 9, No. 8 Penn State (10-9) April 13 and No. 9 Notre Dame (12-9) April 15 in Columbus.
- The Buckeyes downed the Cardinals, 12-11, March 4 at Ohio Stadium to improve to 6-1 all-time vs. Louisville.
- As a team, Ohio State is in the Top 25 in the nation in multiple categories, including 13th in scoring defense (8.05), 17th in points (339) and 20th in scoring margin (3.79).
- Under head coach Alexis Venechanos, the 13 wins by the 2014 Buckeyes are second-most in OSU history behind the 2003 campaign when the squad won a school-record 14 contests.
- Ohio State has had a balanced attack led by Jackie Cifarelli (17g,46a), Katie Chase (47g, 3a), Cian Dabrowski (30g, 12a), Mary Kate Facchina (31g, 6a) Jennifer Porretto (28g, 9a) and Kelsea Ayers, (22g, 14a) with Chase and Christine Easton holding a team-best draw controls with 52 and 45, respectively.
- Defensively, Taylor Donahue (13ct, 29gb), Heather Gravinese (12ct, 24gb) and Tayler Kuzma (11ct, 21gb) have been the strongholds for Ohio State. Tori DeScenza is the 2014 ALC Goalie of the Year and is seventh in the nation with a .491 save percentage.
- The Buckeyes were 9-1 at home this season – the most home wins in a season in school history.
- A 2014 Tewaaraton Nominee, Cifarelli is second the country with 46 assists (leads the ALC). She also is second in the nation in assists per game (2.43).
- The Buckeyes remained at No. 10 in this week’s IWCLA standings.
EARNING THE BID
Ohio State enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-6 overall ledger, including a 4-2 ALC record to finish second in the regular-season standings. In all, five ALC teams will represent the conference in the 2014 NCAA Tournament in Ohio State, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Penn State and Florida.
MAKING THE TRIP FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE ’03
This will be the Buckeyes’ first trip to the national tournament under fourth-year head coach Alexis Venechanos. Ohio State first made the NCAA Tournament during the 2002 campaign and followed with the program’s first quarterfinal appearance during the 2003 season. Ohio State has a 1-2 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes’ lone NCAA win was a 10-7 victory at Duke May 8, 2003.
Eight sites will host first- and second-round competition Friday, May 9, and Sunday, May 11, and four quarterfinal games will be played Saturday, May 17 or Sunday, May 18. These preliminary-round games will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. The winners of the four quarterfinal games will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by Towson May 23 and 25 at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md. The semifinal games will be shown live on ESPN3 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. ET, Friday, May 23. The championship game will air live on ESPNU at 8:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, May 25. Tickets for the championship games at Towson can be purchased here.
THE TOP FOUR SEEDS
Maryland earned the overall No. 1 seed, going 19-1 this season and winning the ACC tournament title. Syracuse tied the Terrapins in the regular season and is the No. 2 seed followed by No. 3 seed North Carolina (14-4) and No. 4 seed Florida (17-2).
FOUR BUCKEYES CLAIM ALC HONORS
Tori DeScenza headlines the list of Ohio State women’s lacrosse award winners as the 2014 American Lacrosse Conference Goalie of the Year, announced May 1. DeScenza, who became the third Buckeye to claim the goalie of the year honor, joined junior attack Jackie Cifarelli and junior defense Taylor Donahue as members of the All-ALC First Team, while senior attack Katie Chase earned a second-team recognition.
ALC TOURNEY RECAP
Ohio State advanced to its fourth-consecutive ALC semifinals with a 12-8 win over No. 7 seed Michigan May 1 at Lakeside Field. The Buckeyes fell short, 9-8, against host and No. 3 seed Northwestern in the following round despite a five-goal performance by Chase.
Chase and junior Mary Kate Facchina were named to the ALC All-Tournament Team. Facchina notched a career-high six points (5g, 1a) in the win over the Wolverines.
A LOOK AT THE CARDINALS
Louisville claimed an automatic bid after winning the Big East Tournament title to claim its first NCAA selection in school history. The team defeated Georgetown, 9-8 in the final in Washington, D.C., led by Faye Brust who scored a career-best six goals vs. the Hoyas. The Cardinals are 15-3 overall and have won 11-consecutive wins heading to Evanston. The three losses have been against NCAA tournament teams, including a 12-11 loss to the Buckeyes in Columbus. Head coach Kellie Young unanimously was named the 2014 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, senior Nikki Boltja earned league attack player of the year on a unanimous vote, sophomore Kaylin Morissette collected midfielder of the year accolades, and senior Monica Negron was tabbed defensive player of the year. Boltja and Brust each have collected 67 goals, which is third-best in the nation.
LAST TIME VS. LOUISVILLE/SERIES HISTORY
Jennifer Porretto had four points, while Cian Dabrowski scored three goals to help Ohio State to a 12-11 ver the Cardinals win March 4 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes held a 15-10 lead in draw controls, while both teams had 20 shots. The win improves the Buckeyes’ record to a 6-1 mark all-time vs. Louisville.
March 4, 2014 – Ohio State 12, Louisville 11
Feb. 16, 2013 – Louisville 12, Ohio State
Feb. 19, 2012 – Ohio State 21, Louisville 7
April 3, 2011 – Ohio State 15, Louisville 11
March 13, 2010 – Ohio State 16, Louisville 15
March 14, 2009 – Ohio State 15, Louisville 12
Jackie Cifarelli was named a Tewaaraton Nominee, released April 25 by the Tewaaraton Foundation. The list includes the top players across all three divisions of NCAA lacrosse and highlight the top contenders for the 2014 Tewaaraton Award. Cifarelli is first on the team in points with 63 (17g, 46a). Cifarelli has collected points in 50 of 55 games in her career, collecting 39 multi-point performances overall.
SENIOR CLASS RISES IN CAREER WINS
The 2014 senior class made up of Heather Gravinese, Tayler Kuzma, Kaila Gottlick and Cara Facchina have collected 40 wins in the past four years at Ohio State, which is tied for third-most all-time with the 2011 class. The 2014 seniors are just one win away from tying the Ohio State senior class wins record of 41 victories held by the 2003 and 2012 groups, respectively.
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.
Humphrey Highlights | Mackenzie Maring