May 2, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. – Despite five goals by senior attack Katie Chase, the No. 10 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team fell just short to No. 5 Northwestern, 9-8, in the semifinals of the ALC Tournament Friday night at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill. The Buckeyes (13-6, 4-2 ALC) held a 6-3 lead in the second half, however, the Wildcats (12-5, 3-3 ALC) went on a four-goal run and were able to hang on to the lead in the final moments of the contest to claim the postseason win.
The Buckeyes will now set their eyes on the 2014 NCAA selection show set for 9 p.m. ET Sunday streamed live on NCAA.com.
Down 9-7, Ohio State rallied to make it a one-score game following Chase’s fifth goal of the contest at 8:55. With three minutes left in regulation, the team then gained possession after a NU turnover and had a great chance to tie it with under a minute to go when the squad received a free position attempt. However, the free position was called off after the OSU attempt left early giving Northwestern possession for the final 30 seconds.
Offensively, Chase, who leads the team with a season-high 47 goals in 2014, led the charge with five goals. A 2014 second All-ALC selection, Chase’s fourth goal marked the 100th of her Buckeye career, becoming the 10th player in Ohio State history to do so. Senior attack Cara Facchina, junior midfielder Jennifer Porretto and junior midfielder Kelsea Ayers each had a goal. Junior attack Jackie Cifarelli posted two assists vs. the Wildcats, while sophomore Cian Dabrowski had an assist.
In the opening stanza, Chase and Cifarelli got the Buckeyes rolling with back-to-back goals in the opening three minutes of the contest. The Buckeye duo connected with a goal at 28:36 when the OSU senior spun her way from the near post and fired in a shot into the cage. Just moments later on a man-up situation, Cifarelli found Chase open in the crease, who fired in a goal at 27:06. The Wildcats came right back with two-consecutive goals of their own to tie it at 2-2 apiece.
DeScenza kept it a 2-2 score with three saves in a six-minute span before Ohio State claimed its second lead of the night with a goal by Cara Facchina at 7:49. The scoring play started when Dabrowski picked up possession behind the NU net and found Facchina open in front of the cage for her ninth goal of the year. The Scarlet and Gray extended their lead to two goals at 2:22 when Porretto sprinted around net and fired in a shot into the top of the cage to make it 4-2. Northwestern was able to cut the advantage to one goal when the officials gave possession to NU following a missed shot, who then capitalized with an unassisted score with 18 seconds left in the first half. DeScenza made her fourth save on a NU free position attempt at the end of half. At halftime, Ohio State held Northwestern to just nine shots, while forcing six turnovers.
The defense continued to set the tone at the start of the second half, forcing back-to-back Northwestern turnovers to lead to the team’s fifth goal. Ayers became the fourth different Buckeye to score when she spun her way into the crease and swiped in an unassisted goal at 25:38.
Chase earned the hat trick at 22:20 with a low shot past NU goalie Bridget Bianco to give the Scarlet and Gray their largest lead of the contest, 6-3. However, Northwestern rebounded with back-to-back goals in a minute duration.
The Wildcats had an unassisted score on a scramble from the near side post at 18:40 as the rain began to fall on the shores of Lake Michigan. Northwestern then earned an 8-meter shot and scored at 17:46 to cut the lead to 6-5.
Chase ended the NU momentum momentarily when scored her 100th career goal at 15:58. The OSU attack used her strength to work her way in the crease and fire in a shot into the back left of net for the 7-5 advantage. But the host-Wildcats battled right back with two-consecutive goals in 20 seconds to tie at 7-7 when they won two draws and took it right to the net for scores.
After an Ohio State timeout, the Wildcats claimed their first lead of night at 13:22 just after a man-up situation for Northwestern with a goal into the top of the net. The momentum continued for the Wildcats when they added another goal a minute later at 12:12 following a fifth-consecutive draw won by NU’s Alyssa Leonard.
Down 9-7, DeScenza came up with a key save just under the 10-minute mark to put the Buckeyes back on the attack for the first time in over seven minutes. After a good OSU clear, Chase then ended a four-goal run by the Wildcats when she beat two NU defenders to the far post and fired in her fifth goal at 8:55.
After an offside call was issued to Northwestern, the Buckeyes gained possession and called timeout with 3:08 to play. The Wildcats applied the pressure on the defensive end, but Ohio State was able to maintain possession with less than two to go to lead to the OSU free position attempt.
Overall, shots were 19-11 in favor of the Wildcats, while Northwestern held a 13-6 lead in draw controls. Junior goalie Tori DeScenza claimed five saves in falls to 13-6 overall.