April 26, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State women’s lacrosse wraps up its 2012 regular-season slate with a visit to ALC foe No. 19 Johns Hopkins at 1 p.m. Saturday on Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md. The Buckeyes are looking for their 11th win of the season, a feat not accomplished since 2009, and their third against a ranked opponent in 2012. They are 10-4 on the year and 1-3 in the ALC, while the Blue Jays enter the weekend 7-8 overall and 0-4 in the conference.
If you make the trip to Baltimore, admission to the game at Homewood Field is free. For those following at home, live video (for a fee) and Gametracker will be available, linked from the front page and women’s lacrosse schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The lacrosse Twitter feed will be updated periodically throughout the game as well.
IN A NUTSHELL
With just one game remaining on the regular-season schedule, Ohio State currently is 10-4 on the season and 1-3 in the power-packed ALC. The Buckeyes started the year 5-0, the best start for the program in 10 years, and have secured their seventh overall season and second in a row with at least 10 victories. The last time they went back-to-back years with double-digit wins was in 2008 and 2009. All four of the Buckeye losses have come at the hands of ranked teams this spring, including two among the Top 5 in No. 1 Northwestern and then-No. 5 Florida (L, 10-8 – 3/24/12), both of whom also are a part of the ALC. The average margin of defeat is under four goals, while the Buckeyes command their wins by over five goals.
Florida will host the ALC Tournament May 3-5 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Quarterfinal action begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3 with two games followed by two semifinal games starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 4. The championship game will be played at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5. For more information on the sixth annual tournament or to purchase tickets, check out the tournament central page.
The Nos. 1-3 seeds in the ALC tourney are locked up by, in order, Florida, Northwestern and Penn State. Should the Buckeyes defeat the Blue Jays Saturday, the bottom half of the rankings would be Ohio State, followed by Vanderbilt and Hopkins. If the Blue Jays are the victors in the regular-season finale, there would be a three-way tie for the No. 4 spot with several tie-breaking criteria coming into play. Complete seedings and bracket will be announced following the game Saturday.
AMONG THE BEST
Alayna Markwordt was named to the list of 25 Tewaaraton Award nominees, released Wednesday by the Tewaaraton Foundation. The 12th annual Tewaaraton Award finalists (five women, five men) will be selected and honored May 31 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., with the winner being announced that evening. The women’s award nominees include players from 17 schools, including six from American Lacrosse Conference squads, and representatives from 16 of the current Top 20 teams in the April 24 IWLCA Division I Poll.
Markwordt currently is fourth in the nation in per game scoring and assists, producing averages of 5.57 points and 3.14 assists through the Buckeyes’ 14 games this season. She leads the team and power-packed ALC with 78 total points off 34 goals and 44 assists, marking the fourth-consecutive season she has tallied more than 70 points on the year. In fact, all four season totals hold spots in the Top 7 of the Ohio State record books, adding up to the greatest statistical performances in Buckeye history.
The trip to Maryland this weekend will be a homecoming for several players on the Ohio State roster. Kelsea Ayers (Mt. Airy), Katie Chase (Woodbine), Alli Dawson (Arnold), Cara Facchina (Glenwood), Mary Kate Facchina (Glenwood, Md.), Kelsey Heine (Ijamsville), Tayler Kuzma (Bel Air), Alayna Markwordt (Woodbine), Jennifer Schmitt (Baltimore) and Kate Sullivan (Bethesda) all hail from the Free State.
Ohio State entered the week among the Top 20 in several statistical categories in NCAA Division I. As a team, the Buckeyes are ranked 10th in scoring defense (8.79) and scoring margin (5.21), while coming in 14th in both scoring offense (14.0) and total points (295). Their .714 win percentage is 18th in the nation.
Several individuals are having breakout seasons as well. Alayna Markwordt (34g, 44a), who broke the school records for goals and points earlier this year, is fourth in the country in points per game (5.57) and assists (44)and sixth in points per game (5.6 per game). Joining the Tewaaraton Trophy nominee on the attack is freshman Jackie Cifarelli, the national leader among freshmen in points per game (3.9) and assists (28), as well as the the second-place holder in total points (54) among first-year players. Active on both sides of the ball, Gabby Capuzzi is 10th in the nation in caused turnovers (2.1) and leads the team in draw controls (48), groundballs (34) and caused turnovers (29).
RANK AND FILE
Ohio State entered the week at No. 13 in the IWLCA national poll, down one spot from last week but still clocking in among the Top 20 for the 14th-consecutive week, dating back to last season. After starting the season at No. 18, the Buckeyes have fluctuated within the Top 15 and have six contests on the schedule against teams in the current poll.
In seven editions of the IWLCA poll this year, including each of the last six, all six ALC teams have been ranked in the Top 20. The ALC is the first conference to have 100 percent of its institutions ranked, doing so for the first time last season, and holds the record for most member schools ranked at one time, with six.
SCOUTING THE BLUE JAYS
John Hopkins dropped a 7-6 decision to visiting UMBC Wednesday night at Homewood Field, losing its sixth game in a row to fall to 7-8 on the season. Six of the eight losses have come to ranked opponents, including all of the four vs. conference teams. Taylor D’Amore is the leading Blue Jay scorer, coming in with 59 points off 29 goals and team-leading 30 assists. Colleen McCaffrey has a team-high 37 goals and is third in total scoring with six assists to her credit. Goalies KC Emerson and Cosette Larash have split starts this season, though Larash has made each of the last three and has a 10.24 goals-against average with a .370 save percentage.
Ohio State and Hopkins have met 10 times since 2002, with the Blue Jays leading the series, 6-4. Nine of the 10 meetings, with the exception of 2007, have been won by the home team. In 2007, Hopkins beat Ohio State in Columbus, 15-14 in Columbus on a free position goal with 12.8 seconds remaining.
Last season, Kirsten Donahue scored a career-high five goals as the No. 19 Buckeyes dominated 20th-ranked Johns Hopkins, 19-12, in a Big Ten Network nationally-televised game April 30 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Outside of Donahue’s game-high five goals, nine of the team’s 14 remaining goals came from the hands of seniors, who celebrated their final regular-season home game prior to the opening draw. Brittney Zerhusen had seven points off four goals and three assists, followed by Jacqueline Orona’s three scores and one each from Maghan Beaudrault and Jayme Beard.
LAST TIME OUT
Alayna Markwordt and Jackie Cifarelli tallied seven points apiece as the 12th-ranked Buckeyes downed American, 14-4, Saturday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes improve to 10-4 overall, their seventh season with 10-plus wins and second in a row, while the Eagles fall to 7-9 on the year. Markwordt, the all-time leading scorer in Ohio State history, produced two goals and five assists, while Cifarelli added one goal and career-high six assists. Gabby Capuzzi and Cara Facchina were the leading goal scorers, producing three apiece, with eight total players finding the back of the net in the contest. In her 12th start between the pipes, Tori DeScenza came up with six saves in 44:28 of action before giving way to Caitlin Hesterwho stopped five shots in 15:32 of play.
With her second of four goals in the Buckeyes’ 21-7 win over Louisville Feb. 19, senior Alayna Markwordt became the leading point scorer in Ohio State women’s lacrosse history. She now has 295 points (172g, 123a), obliterating the previous mark of 243 set by Kelly Haggerty during the 2007-10 seasons. The senior captain and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate also has a point-scoring streak which currently stands at 61-consecutive games, dating back to March 1, 2009, and the fourth game of freshman season.
YOUTH IS SERVED
Seven freshmen have made appearances in the starting lineup this season with four of them ranking among the top nine points scorers on the 2012 squad. Jackie Cifarelli (26g, 28a) is second on the team, while Jennifer Porretto (12g, 2a), Mary Kate Facchina (12g) and Hallie Keselman (6g, 2a) find themselves in the sixth, seventh and ninth positions. On the other end of the field, both goalies are in their rookie campaigns with Tori DeScenza (9.4 GAA, .485 save pct) earning 12 starts and Caitlin Hester (6.4 GAA, .459 save pct) making nine appearances with two starts. In addition, defender Taylor Donahue has 14 draw controls and seven caused turnovers in 12a starts.
The 2012 roster features two sets of sisters. Senior captain Kirsten Donahue was joined by her younger sister Taylor Donahue, a freshman, this season, while fellow rookie Mary Kate Facchina joined her older sister, sophomore Cara Facchina this year.
Ohio State was picked No. 18 in the IWLCA coaches poll and 20th in the deBeer media poll prior to the start of the season, while coming in fourth in the ALC preseason rankings. Individually, Alayna Markwordt has been tabbed a preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse and an ALC player to watch, along with fellow senior captain Gabby Capuzzi.
The 2012 roster features eight seniors, three juniors, eight sophomores and 11 freshmen hailing from 10 different states. Maryland leads the way with 10, followed by New Jersey (5), New York (4), Pennsylvania (4), Ohio (2) and one each from Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri and Virginia. There are 13 new faces among the group, including two transfers to go with the 11 rookies. In addition, there are two sets of sisters who have teamed up for the 2012 season.
In addition to the official website of Ohio State athletics, OhioStateBuckeyes.com, the women’s lacrosse team can be followed through social media outlets Facebook (facebook.com/ohiostatewomenslacrosse) and Twitter (twitter.com/OhioState_WLAX).