No. 17 Ohio State (9-6, 1-3 ALC) at Johns Hopkins (9-6, 2-2 ALC)
Date: Sunday, May 2 – noon (ESPNU)
Where: Homewood Field – Baltimore, Md.
The 17th-ranked Ohio State women’s lacrosse team closes out the 2010 regular season at noon Sunday against ALC rival Johns Hopkins at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md. The Buckeyes (9-6, 1-3) are coming off a 21-4 win over Detroit last weekend, while the Blue Jays (9-6, 2-2) last defeated Penn State, 12-7. With the conference tournament set for next week in Columbus, seeding is on the line between the teams Sunday.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
The Ohio State-Johns Hopkins game will be televised live by ESPNU with Mark Dixon doing play-by-play and Meaghan Fitzpatrick providing expert analysis. The Buckeyes are 0-2 on national television this year, dropping decisions to Penn State and Notre Dame on the Big Ten Network. The game Sunday also can be followed via live stats, linked from the home page or women’s lacrosse schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com, or Twitter (@OhioState_WLAX).
With two assists vs. Vanderbilt April 12, senior Kelly Haggerty broke the all-time record for career points at Ohio State. The West Chester, Pa., native now has 139 goals and 97 assists for 236 points, passing Kristen Slahor’s 221 (82g, 139a) earned during the 2005-08 seasons. Haggerty is second all-time in career goals and assists, needing four and 42, respectively, to eclipse the leader in each category.
RANK AND FILE
At No. 17, the Buckeyes are ranked in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Top 20 poll for the fourth-consecutive week. They re-entered at No. 20 April 5 for the first time since the March 1 edition and have since moved up three spots. After being limited to receiving votes beginning Marsh 8, Ohio State has gone 6-4 with its losses coming at the hands of then-No. 1 and undefeated Northwestern, No. 10 Vanderbilt, No. 18 Penn State and No. 12 Notre Dame.
Kelly Haggerty and Alayna Markwordt comprise one of the most successful scoring duos in NCAA lacrosse. The pair has combined for 136 points this season, the third-most among Division I scoring tandems. Haggerty leads the Buckeyes with 34 goals and 36 assists, while Markwordt – the reigning ALC rookie of the year – is second with 39 goals and 27 assists.
The Buckeyes’ trip to Maryland this weekend will be a homecoming for seven OSU players, including four from the Greater Baltimore area. Megan Fiorito (Phoenix), Kelsey Heine (Ijamsville), Alayna Markwordt (Woodbine), Melissa Minshall (Chevy Chase), Jacqueline Orona (Poolesville), Lauren Sterner (Ellicott City) and Brittney Zerhusen (Sykesville) all hail from the Free State.
MARGIN OF VICTORY
In games won, the Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 157-69 – an 88-goal difference and an average of 9.8 goals per game. Their largest win this season came against Detroit last Sunday, a 21-4 victory. They previously had beaten Cincinnati 20-5.
ANNIE GET YOUR SAVE
Heading into the week, junior goalie Annie Carruthers led the ALC in saves per game (11.5) and save percentage (0.526) and is ranked third and fourth in the NCAA, respectively in the two categories. The Columbus Academy product made a career-high 22 saves against Northwestern March 24 and has had at least 10 in eight games this season. With 161 on the year, she is third all-time in single-season saves and needs 13 to tie second-place Nicole Morris and her 174 tallied in 1997.
Maghan Beaudrault leads the team with 24 caused turnovers this season – nearly twice as many as her closest teammate (Gabby Capuzzi, 14). Her 1.60 caused turnovers per game ranks 43rd in the NCAA and third in the ALC. She has had multi-CT games in four contests this season, including a career-high seven against Canisius April 5 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Northwestern (4-0) and Vanderbilt (4-1) have locked up the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, in the ALC Tournament, scheduled for next week in Columbus. Hopkins (2-2) is currently in third, and Ohio State (1-3) and Florida (1-3) are tied in fourth, while Penn State (1-4) sits in sixth.
The three seed is on the line when Hopkins and Ohio State face off on Sunday with further implications coming in the Florida at Northwestern game later that day. With a win, Ohio State would take the third spot and the Blue Jays would fall to fourth in the conference. With a Buckeye loss, the team would be fourth and could fall to sixth with a Florida win over Northwestern.
ALC Tournament action begins Thursday, May 6 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The top two seeds, Northwestern and Vanderbilt, earn a bye and begin play in the semifinals Friday. The No. 4 and No. 5 seeds will square off in the first quarterfinal, with the No. 3 vs. No. 6 teams meeting in the second. The winner of the No. 4/5 game will meet Northwestern in the semifinals, while the winner of the No. 3/6 will face Vanderbilt.
Two Buckeye attackers hold point-scoring streaks of at least 20 games. Kelly Haggerty has notched at least one goal or assist in each of the last 33 games – the 16th-longest active streak in the country – while Alayna Markwordt has posted points in 29-consecutive games.
Ohio State will host the six-team and five-game American Lacrosse Conference tournament May 6-8 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. There will be two quarterfinal games at 3 and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6, followed by the semifinals at the same time that Friday. The championship will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8. Tickets are available through OhioStateBuckeyes.com or at the gate on game day.
BIG GAME, SMALL SCREEN
Buckeye lacrosse made its debut on Big Ten Network with the Penn State game April 18 before making a second appearance vs. Notre Dame later that week. The game against Johns Hopkins will be on ESPNU, the first for Ohio State on the ESPN Family of Networks, while further coverage is expected by Big Ten Network during the ALC Tournament next week.
SCOUTING THE BLUE JAYS
Hopkins enters the game Sunday with a 9-6 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the ALC after defeating No. 17 Penn State, 12-7, last Sunday. The win was the first for Hopkins over a ranked team since 2008, a streak of 20-consecutive losses and led the team to receiving votes in the IWLCA poll this week. Candace Rossi led all scorers with four goals and five points on the afternoon, while Paige Ibello (3g) and Colleen McCaffrey (2g, 2a) also had multi-point games. Freshman goalie Cosette Larash posted 11 saves in goal for Hopkins, including several on free position shots, with a career-high 10 ground balls. On the season, Rossi leads the squad with 34 goals and 15 assists. Larash has started 14 of 15 games in goal with a 9.72 goals-against average with 107 saves and a .461 save percentage.
Ohio State and Hopkins have met eight times since 2002, with the Blue Jays leading the series, 5-3. Seven of the eight meetings, with the exception of 2007, have been won by the home team. In 2007, Hopkins beat Ohio State in Columbus, 15-14. Last season, the unranked Buckeyes upset the No. 18-ranked Blue Jays, 22-12, in Columbus, tying the largest margin of victory in the series history and standing as it first win over a ranked opponent since 2007. Then-freshman Alayna Markwordt tallied 11 points on six goals and five assists, tying the highest single-game scoring total in Ohio State records; six goals in a single game ranks second on the OSU all-time list. Senior Kristen Gilwee recorded 19 saves in goal against the Blue Jays, the fifth-best effort in OSU history.
LAST TIME OUT
Rachael Cornicello had a career-high seven points and three others had five in No. 18 Ohio State’s win over Detroit, 21-4, last Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Maghan Beaudrault (4g, 1a), Alayna Markwordt (2g, 3a) and Brittney Zerhusen (3g, 2a) each put up five points as the Buckeyes (9-6) posted their largest margin of victory since they defeated the Titans (6-11) by the same score a year ago.
Fifteen OSU players tallied at least one point in the win and a total of 28 saw action, including all three goalies. Annie Carruthers, Megan Fiorito and Nikki Jones combined efforts to allow the fewest goals to an opponent all season. Carruthers, a Columbus native, earned the win between the pipes and is 8-6 this season.
Bolstered by three from Beaudrault, Ohio State exploded for the first eight goals of the game. All eight were assisted, as were 18 of the team’s on the day. Kelly Haggerty, Ohio State all-time leader in points, had three helpers in the opening run and stretched her team-leading total to 36 this season – a per game average (2.4) which ranks No. 7 among Division I players.
Sunday marked the final regular-season home game for six seniors: Laura Burke, Lindsay Burkhart, Cornicello, Haggerty, Melissa Minshall and Lauren Sterner. Over the last four seasons, this group has combined for 39 wins, including a program-best tying 11 in 2009.
AT THE HELM
Sue Stimmel, the only head coach in Ohio State women’s lacrosse history, is in her 15th season at the helm of the program. She has compiled a 122-110 record at Ohio State and holds a career coaching record of 198-128 after six seasons at Denison – marks that put her among the elite of NCAA coaches. Stimmel has led teams to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003 and the ALC Championship in 2003. Also during her tenure, Buckeye lacrosse players have gained Academic All-Big Ten honors on 121 occasions and have been named OSU Scholar-Athletes 184 times.
BUCKEYES PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL
Ohio State was selected to finish third in the American Lacrosse Conference in a poll of the league’s six head coaches. Five-time defending National Champion Northwestern earned the No. 1 spot, followed by Vanderbilt. Penn State, Johns Hopkins and ALC-newcomer Florida rounded out the selections. All-American Kelly Haggerty and reigning ALC rookie of the year Alayna Markwordt earned preseason all-league recognition as well.
COMING UP NEXT
The Buckeyes host the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) Tournament May 6-8 in Columbus. They will play either at 3 or 5:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.