PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The search for a Big Ten conference win is over for Ohio State women’s lacrosse, as the Buckeyes fought for a victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday afternoon at HighPoint.com Stadium, topping the home team and spoiling senior day, 11-7. After trading leads well into the second half, Ohio State scored four unanswered goals with six minutes left in the contest to secure the win. Ohio State improves to 9-7 overall and 1-4 in conference games, while Rutgers falls to 5-10, 0-5.
THE SHORT STORY
Out to a hot start, goals from freshman Maura McGregor and senior Baley Parrott put the Buckeyes up by two. Rutgers stormed back with two of its own goals, and OSU took another turn with a two-goal lead thanks to sophomore Sophie Baez and Parrott. The Scarlet Knights came within one goal before the end of the half, but a key stop from junior goalie Jill Rizzo kept the Buckeyes on top when the period expired. After regrouping, Rutgers opened the second half with two straight goals to take its first lead of the game. The teams continued to trade the lead until Ohio State began to pull away with eight minutes left in the game, sparked by senior Mackenzie Maring’s first goal of the season. Tallies from Baez and Parrott sealed the win, 11-7.
Head coach Alexis Venechanos: “I’m proud of the team, how we played and stayed together for the whole game. We fought for each other. We’ve been working very hard at practice, and I’m happy for the players.”
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• At 26:52 in the first half, McGregor scored her second goal of the season to put the Buckeyes on the board first. Parrott followed with a score at 20:17 to add to the Ohio State lead.
• Scarlet Knight Samantha Budd responded with a goal at 18:25, and another goal at 13:38 equalized the score at 2-all.
• Baez lit the fire for Ohio State again with a free-position goal at 5:59, and Parrott rode the momentum for her second of the game at 5:12.
• Late in the first, Rutgers made a run off a goal from Budd at 2:51.
• With possession and 22 seconds remaining, the Scarlet Knights took a timeout. Julia Lytle had an opportunity to tie the game but Rizzo did what she does best and finished the half with six saves overall, keeping the Buckeyes on top.
• Rutgers scored right out of the gate in the second half and added another just over a minute later, taking its first lead of the day.
• Baez evened the score at 5-all on an assist from junior Liza Hernandez, though the Scarlet Knights took back the lead shortly after.
• Senior Sara Dickinson put the Buckeyes back in the hunt at 19:23, and Parrott came up with the go-ahead goal at 11:47.
• An evenly matched battle, Rutgers wasn’t going to go quietly as Marin Hartshorn scored at 8:22 to tie the game up at 7-all.
• Less than 30 seconds later, Maring sparked a four-goal run for the Buckeyes with her first tally of the season. Baez notched her 30th goal of the season quickly after and Parrott totaled the final two goals of the game to pull away from the Scarlet Knights.
THIS AND THAT
• Baley Parrott tied her career-high of six points, posting five goals and one assist to lead the team. The senior also picked up three ground balls and added four draw controls. Parrott leads the team with a career-high 40 goals this season, and is just two goals away from cracking the Top-10 all-time goal-scoring list in Ohio State history.
• Sophie Baez scored her fifth hat trick of the season in her 11th multi-point game of the season.
• Mackenzie Maring scored her first goal of the season and the first game-winning goal of her career.
• Liza Hernandez assisted on two goals, leading the team with 26 this season.
• Rizzo finished the game with 10 saves, her 11th of the season in double digits, and picked up four ground balls.
• Senior Caroline Mackrides caused two turnovers.
• Sophomore Riley Ewing was credited with four draw controls, and freshman Chloe Johnson added three.
JUST THE STATS
Leading Scorers: Parrott (5G, 1A), Baez (3G, 1A), Hernandez (2A)
Shots: Ohio State 25, Rutgers 26
Ground Balls: Ohio State 14, Rutgers 20
Draw Controls: Ohio State 12, Rutgers 8
Free Position Shots: Ohio State 2-of-3, Rutgers 0-of-0
Saves: Ohio State (Rizzo) 10, Rutgers (Halsall – 4, Kearns – 1) 5
Ohio State returns to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to close out the season against Northwestern on Thursday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.