May 2, 2015

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BTN Semifinals Recap

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The No. 20 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team pulled off the biggest win in program history Friday evening, knocking off No. 1-ranked and previously undefeated Maryland, 11-10, in the Big Ten tournament semifinals at High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers University.

The win snaps a 27-game win streak by the Terrapins, who hadn’t lost since April 5, 2014, and gave Ohio State its first win over a No. 1-ranked team in program history. It also marked Ohio State’s first win over the Terrapins since 2002.

The win also was the first over Maryland since 2002 and propels the fourth-seed Buckeyes into the tournament championship game where it will meet No. 2 Penn State, who defeated No. 3 Northwestern, 13-10, in the first semifinal. Sunday’s championship game will be streamed live on and broadcast via tape-delay on ESPNU at 5 p.m. ET.

Junior Cian Dabrowski led the charge for the Buckeyes, tying a career high with four goals. Seniors Jennifer Porretto and Katie Chase both notched hat tricks with three goals apiece. Chase has seven goals thus far in two Big Ten tournament wins and, with three goals Friday, ties the Ohio State single-season record with 53 goals this year.

But the real MVP was senior goalie Tori DeScenza, who recorded 11 saves against the nation’s top-ranked team, seven of those coming in the first half. DeScenza came up with one big save after another to keep the Maryland attack at bay.

It was a game of runs as Maryland jumped out in front 4-0 and appeared on their way to victory until the Buckeyes turned it on midway through the first half. Chase scored Ohio State’s first goal at the 14:41 mark, igniting a 4-0 run over the next 7 minutes to tie the game. Chase had two goals during the run as did Dabrowski.

Maryland then took the lead back with three straight goals by Megan Whittle extending into the second half as UMD took a 7-4 lead with 23:55 left in the game. But it was all Ohio State from that point as the Buckeyes scored seven of the game’s next eight goals to take an 11-8 lead as the Ohio State bench erupted.

Chase started the run with a free-position goal at 21:28. Porretto then scored unassisted before Jackie Cifarelli found a cutting Rainey Hodgson to tie the game at 7-7 with 19:47 left. Hodgson then found Porretto 3 minutes later to give Ohio State the lead, 8-7, with 19:55 left.

Maryland’s Brooke Griffin, who led UMD with four goals, snapped the run a minute later, tying the game at 8-8 off a free-position shot. But Ohio State answered right back with two straight goals by Dabrowski and one by Porretto to give Ohio State an 11-8 lead with 4:46 left.

Maryland didn’t go away, however, tacking on two late goals, including one with under :10 seconds remaining, but ran out of time as its 27-game win streak came to an end at the hands of the Buckeyes.

The win moves Ohio State to 13-6 overall, tying for the second-most wins in school history with the 2014 team. A win Sunday would tie the program record for the most wins in a season.