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Buckeyes and Bonnies are set to battle at 1 p.m. Sunday

COLUMBUS, Ohio The 2-1 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team opens its home schedule hosting St. Bonaventure Sunday at 1 p.m. at North Turf Field on The Ohio State University campus.

St. Bonaventure opens its season Friday at Robert Morris before coming to Columbus. The Bonnies were 4-10 last season.

Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Bonnies 4-0. The Buckeyes were 13-6 winners over St. Bonaventure at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium last March 22.

AGAINST THE IRISH
Ohio State took a 7-7 tie into halftime against No. 11/12 Notre Dame but was unable to outlast the Irish, dropping its first contest of 2009, 14-11, Sunday in South Bend, Ind. Buckeye goaltender Kristen Gilwee recorded 17 saves in the contest while five Buckeyes recorded multiple-point games with Rachel Hawes, Jayme Beard and Gabby Capuzzi each tallying a hat trick.

POINTS, POINTS AND MORE POINTS
The Buckeyes are showing their offensive prowess this season. In three games, Ohio State has outscored its opponents, 42-30, including a 23-18 goal scoring advantage in the second half.

Junior Kelly Haggerty leads the squad with nine goals and 10 assists for a team-best 19 points. In only three contests, the native of West Chester, Pa., has nearly collected half as many points as she did a season ago when she tallied 43 points in 18 games. Freshman Alayna Markwordt is second on the squad with 10 points and is tied for third with sophomore Jayme Beard with seven goals. Senior Rachel Hawes is second with eight goals and third with nine points for the Buckeyes.

ON THE DEFENSE
Backstopping Ohio State to a 2-1 record is Kristen Gilwee. The senior, who has started all three games, owns a 9.54 goals-against average, making 29 saves while allowing 28 goals (.509 save pct.). Sophomore Annie Carruthers relieved Gilwee against American Feb. 13, allowing two goals in the final 3:55 of the game. Gilwee’s 17 saves at Notre Dame were the 10th-best single game effort in OSU history. Her career high is 20 saves, set against Maryland in 2006 and against Notre Dame last season.

PLAYING TOGETHER
It is not just a one person show out there for the Buckeyes. Of Ohio State’s 42 goals this season, 20 have been credited with assists while the team’s three opponents have notched only eight helpers on 30 goals. On the season, Ohio State is averaging 14 goals per contests and connecting on nearly 50 percent (.494).

OPENING WEEKEND
Ohio State started the 2009 campaign with two wins in the nation’s capital. In the 17-7 win at American Feb. 13, junior Kelly Haggerty was the offensive standout for the Buckeyes, scoring five goals and adding three assists.

Alayna Markwordt and Rachel Hawes contributed three goals each, while Gabby Capuzzi and Maghan Beaudrault had two goals each. Goals from Kristen Donahue and Jayme Beard rounded out the Buckeye scores. Markwordt, Beaudrault and Rachael Cornicello each added an assist.

American scored the first goal with just a minute elapsed in the contest, but a pair of scores by Haggerty started a Buckeye scoring streak that gave Ohio State a 7-2 lead by halftime. Senior Kristen Gilwee was the winning goalie, recording seven saves.

The Scarlet and Gray raised its record to 2-0 with a 14-9 win at George Washington Feb. 15. Markwordt led the Buckeyes with four goals and a pair of assists in the victory. Haggerty continued her torrid pace on offense, scoring three goals and adding four assists while taking just five shots.

Beard also added three goals and an assist, and Hawes scored two goals. Single goals came from Olivia Annalora and Capuzzi.

The Buckeyes scored five times in the first 10 minutes of action, and held a 5-3 halftime lead; Taylor Donohue of George Washington accounted for all three of GW’s first-half goals. Donahue added three goals in the second half as well. Gilwee was the winning goalie for Ohio State, recording five saves.

IN 2009
Ohio State enters the program’s 14th season with a squad deep in talent and experience as 17 letterwinners, including 10 starters, return for the 2009 season. In addition, the veteran Buckeyes will be complimented with nine capable freshmen this year. The team, which went 10-8 overall and 1-3 in American Lacrosse Conference play in 2008. Returnees Brittney Zerhusen and Maghan Beaudrault (ALC Rookie of the Year) were all-ALC selections last season.

THE SCHEDULE
Competing in one of the nation’s toughest leagues, Ohio State has its work cut out in 2009; two conference foes advanced to the NCAA tournament last season, including defending national champion Northwestern. The Buckeyes hope a solid core of experience and talent will take this team far. In nonconference action, the squad will face tough opponents in No. 9 North Carolina, No. 5 Maryland and fell to then-No. 11 Notre Dame, 14-11, Feb. 22.  In addition, Ohio State has a tough road ahead in conference action, including No. 1 Northwestern, Penn State, No. 13 Johns Hopkins and No. 11 Vanderbilt.

BEAUDRAULT NAMED TO PRESEASON TEAM
Sophomore midfielder Maghan Beaudrault, the 2008 American Lacrosse Conference rookie of the year, was named to the 2009 ALC preseason all-star team as selected by the conference coaches. Ohio State was predicted to finish fifth by the ALC coaches. The ALC tournament is April 30-May 2 at Penn State.

HONOR ROLL
Ohio State has met the grade off the field as well. Ten members of the Buckeye women’s lacrosse program were honored by the American Lacrosse Conference as part of its 2008 academic honor roll. The Ohio State players honored were Kacie Caldwell, Rachael Cornicello, Kristen Gilwee, Libby Graf, Rachel Hawes, Mallory Mayhew, Margaret Prunte, Amanda Shimp, Lauren Sterner and Keri Yourick.

COACH SUE STIMMEL
Now in her 14th season as head coach of the Buckeyes, Sue Stimmel holds a 104-99 record at Ohio State. Her career coaching record is 180-117 including six years at Denison. Stimmel was president of the Midwest Lacrosse Association from 1991-98, serving as a member of the executive board for the USWLA.  She is a past chair of the mid-Atlantic NCAA Regional Advisory Committee and the Division I Vice-President of the IWLCA. Stimmel is the current chair of the IWLCA Ethics Committee. In 2000, Stimmel was inducted into the Ohio Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame.

Stimmel welcomes two new assistant coaches to the Buckeye bench this season: Amanda Barnes and Gregg Gebhard.

NEXT UP
Ohio State opens its American Lacrosse Conference schedule for 2009, hosting Johns Hopkins at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the North Turf Field. Fans will receive free team schedule posters and can take part in a pair of giveaways: they can register to win a $100 Speedway gas card and one fan will win an iPod Shuffle.