Feb. 25, 2012

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WATCH: Highlights

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 14th-ranked Ohio State women’s lacrosse team continued its season-opening domination with a 16-3 victory over Brown Saturday at Ohio Stadium in the first half of a doubleheader with the No. 11/12 men’s lacrosse team, who faced UMass. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 5-0 on the season, while the Bears start their campaign in the hole, 0-1.

Gabby Capuzzi and Alayna Markwordt had five points apiece to lead the OSU charge which saw eight players find the back of the net. Capuzzi also tallied game-high totals with five caused turnovers and four groundballs. The Buckeye defense forced 15 of Brown’s 18 turnovers and allowed just 10 shots on the day, five in each half. Tayler Kuzmaalso had a big day defensively, forcing three turnovers and picking up four groundballs.

“I didn’t think we came out of the gate as strong as we could have,” Alexis Venechanos, second-year Ohio State head coach said, “but I am pleased with how we turned it around and put the tempo in our favor. Brown is a good team and the game was closer than the score shows. They definitely made it difficult for us to get our game going at the beginning.”

Brown opened up scoring less than two minutes into the contest, but Capuzzi found the equalizer and the go-ahead score over the next seven-plus minutes and the Buckeyes never trailed again. They built a 7-1 lead by halftime off the strength of two from Kirsten Donahue and one each from Markwordt and Jackie Cifarelli.

The string of 12 unanswered goals continued into the second half as Capuzzi earned back-to-back assists on goals to Cifarelli and Cara Facchina in the opening minutes. Ohio State put back five goals over the first 10 minutes of the second, building the 12-1 lead before Brown was able to add its second of the game at 17:54 from Danielle Mastro. Kelly Becker then sprang into action, netting two in a row, the first assisted by Markwordt, before Jennifer Poretto and Mary Kate Facchinaclosed out Buckeye scoring. Brown scored once more in the closing minutes to account for the 16-3 final.

Ohio State finished the day with the advantage in shots (28-10), draw controls (12-9) and groundballs (16-7). Tori DeScenza made her fourth start in a row between the pipes and made five saves in 45-plus minutes of action before giving way to Caitlin Hester.

For the season, Ohio State is out-scoring opponents 86-26 (+12 goals per game) and allowing fewer than 15 shots per game. Markwordt is leading the team with 28 points off 13 goals and 15 assists, while Capuzzi (16g, 7a) and Cifarelli (11g, 11a) are next with 23 and 22 points, respectively.

The Buckeyes will return to action at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 4 against Notre Dame. The location for the game will be announced this week after looking at the forecasted weather conditions. The Fighting Irish (2-0) opened the season with a win over Stanford (17-14) and defeated Duquesne 17-7 Saturday.