COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was a tale of two halves as the No. 19 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team built a first-half lead but fell to No. 18 Penn State, 18-12, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Sunday afternoon. Brittney Zerhusen and Alayna Markwordt paced the attack as the Buckeyes moved to 8-5 on the season and 1-3 in the ALC.
The Nittany Lions improve to an identical record with the win.
Coming off a record-setting performance against Cincinnati Wednesday, Zerhusen finished with three goals and an assist, while Alayna Markwordt also posted four points with two and two. Annie Carruthers tallied 11 saves, including two on free-position attempts, and marked her seventh game this season with at least 10 stops between the pipes.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Penn State pulled back into the game and evened the contest at four apiece. After swapping tallies over the next few minutes, Ohio State went on a 5-0 run – anchored by a pair from Zerhusen – to take over the game with a 9-6 lead at the 6:16 mark of the first half. Penn State’s Theresa Bucci, who finished with a game-high four goals, snuck one in during the final minutes before halftime to close the gap back to two.
Momentum stayed in favor of the Nittany Lions following the intermission as they used a 6-1 run over the first 11:32 in the second half to re-take the lead. A free-position goal by Jayme Beard made the score 13-11 in favor of PSU, but another four-goal rally quickly put the game out of reach for the Buckeyes.
Trailing 17-11 with just over three minutes to go, Kelly Haggerty scored her first goal of the game off a Zerhusen assist, but the comeback attempt ended there. Mary Dean finished off scoring with 36 seconds to play, converting on a pass from Maria Valderas.
With the goal and pair of assists, however, Haggerty extended her point-scoring streak to 31 games. Markwordt maintained her streak as well, hitting her 27th in a row with at least one point. The pair has now combined for 118 points on the season after heading into the weekend as the third-most successful tandem in NCAA Division I.
Penn State finished with a 38-23 advantage in shots and a 20-12 margin in draw controls. The Nittany Lions have taken each of the last four meetings against the Buckeyes and hold a 13-4 record in the all-time series.
Ohio State returns to action at 5 p.m. Thursday against Notre Dame in Jesse Owens. The No. 12-ranked Fighting Irish are 9-4 on the season after defeating Cincinnati 15-5 this weekend. The game will be streamed live on BigTenNetwork.com and aired on the television network at 10 p.m. Friday.