March 3, 2019

Season-High 11 Assists Lifts Ohio State Over Niagara, 16-12

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team improved to 5-1 on the season with its second win of the weekend, topping Niagara 16-12 on Sunday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Facility in Columbus, Ohio. Sophomore Sophie Baez was a powerhouse on offense, totaling a career-high eight points on five goals and three assists. The Buckeyes shared the ball effectively, assisting on 11 of their 16 goals, and the defense held the Purple Eagles to 6-of-11 on the free position. Niagara falls to 3-1 for the season.

THE SHORT STORY
Ohio State took a 2-0 lead early in the first half and didn’t let go, leading by as many as nine goals in the second half. Junior goalie Jill Rizzo made 11 key stops for Ohio State, and the defense held Niagara to just six successful free positions out of 11 overall. While Niagara kept up the pace, closing the gap to just a four-goal lead late in the game, the Buckeyes triumphed with a 16-12 win to finish the weekend 2-0.

QUOTABLE
Head coach Alexis Venechanos: “I think today was a complete team effort. Credit to Niagara, they played hard. They competed hard until that last horn. We saw some things that were new to us. I’m excited our team responded. On attack, we shared the ball extremely well. We had over 10 assists. We haven’t had that happen yet this season. That was a byproduct of our defense working. The first half, we talked about pace of play a little bit and I thought they did a good job reading the defense. Overall, competely a team effort. Riley [Ewing] had some good key draw controls when we needed them, and I thought Sophie [Baez] did a great job finishing when we needed to.”

Sophomore attacker Sophie Baez: “I’m really proud of my team. Like Coach said, props to Niagara. They really made us keep up the fight as a team. We did a great job spreading the ball throughout, and it was just a team effort.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• Junior Sage Darling scored her second goal of the season to get the Buckeyes on the board just three minutes into the game from a free-position shot. Junior Liza Hernandez added another just two minutes later, with help from senior Sara Dickinson.
• Niagara got on the scoresheet at the 24-minute mark, cutting the OSU lead in half.
• The Buckeyes scored three-straight from Hernandez, senior Baley Parrott and Darling, jumping out to a 5-1 lead just 10 minutes into the first half.
• Purple Eagle Rachel MacCheyne converted on a free-position attempt 20 seconds later, giving Niagara its second goal of the game.
• OSU added two more goals, both from Baez, one of which was man-down. Niagara later capitalized on the OSU penalty, though Dickinson added an eighth goal for Ohio State.
• Niagara’s Shea Swartwout found the back of the net at 1:30 in the first to cut OSU’s lead to 8-4.
• With eight seconds left in the frame, junior McKayla Conti snuck the ball past the Niagara goalie to make it 9-4 Buckeys heading into halftime.
• The Scarlet and Gray scored four consecutive goals to open the second half, earning its largest lead at 13-4 at 21:40.
• The teams traded goals throughout the rest of the half, and while Niagara was able to go on a four-goal streak to end the half, the Purple Eagles were unable to catch up to the Ohio State lead.

THIS AND THAT
• Baez led all scorers, notching a career-high eight points on five goals and three assists.
• Hernandez posted seven points with four goals and three assists, extending her scoring streak to eight consecutive games, dating back to last season.
• With an assist, Parrott extends her consecutive point streak to seven games, dating back to last season.
• Dickinson also has a point streak of seven games, continuing from last season.
• Freshman Clare Johnston tied the team-high with three assists.
• Rizzo and Parrott led the team with five ground balls each.
• Sophomore Riley Ewing was solid on the draw, earning 10 draw controls.
• Ohio State caused nine turnovers, each from different members of the team.

JUST THE STATS
Leading Scorers: Sophie Baez (5G, 3A), Liza Hernandez (4G, 3A), Sara Dickinson (1G, 2A), Clare Johnston (3A)
Shots: Ohio State 32, Niagara 32
Ground Balls: Ohio State 25, Niagara 23
Draw Controls: Niagara 15, Ohio State 14
Free Position Shots: Ohio State 2-of-6, Niagara 6-of-11
Saves: Ohio State (Rizzo) 11, Niagara (Geiger – 3, Messenger – 6) 9

UP NEXT
Ohio State closes out a six-game homestand on Saturday, March 9, hosting Binghamton at noon.