Buckeyes host No. 18 Johns Hopkins Saturday afternoon

COLUMBUS, Ohio The 3-1 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team opens its 2009 American Lacrosse Conference schedule, hosting No. 18 Johns Hopkins at 1 p.m. Saturday in Columbus. The game will be played at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Fans will receive free team schedule posters and can take part in a pair of giveaways: they can register to win a $100 Speedway gas card and one fan will win an iPod shuffle. Fans are asked to use the Ackerman Road exit off Route 315 and park behind the Woody Hayes Athletic Center because of the state high school wrestling championships being held at the Schottenstein Center.

Johns Hopkins is 1-2 this season, with a win over George Mason and losses to No. 8 Princeton and No. 7 Georgetown. The Blue Jays are ranked 18th this week by and the IWLCA.

Hopkins leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes, 5-2. JHU was a 13-12 winner at home last season. Ohio State last beat the Blue Jays in 2005, 12-9.

Fans can track the progress of the Buckeyes via live scoring at Live scoring can be accessed on the women’s lacrosse schedule page and is free of charge.

Ohio State was victorious Sunday in its first home game of 2009, defeating St. Bonaventure 16-9 in blustery conditions at the North Turf Field.

Ohio State jumped ahead to a 4-0 lead behind two goals each from Kelly Haggerty and Gabby Capuzzi, but the Bonnies rallied to close within 6-4 at halftime. Ohio State got four second-half goals and an assist from freshman Alayna Markwordt to lead a 10-goal effort in the second stanza.

Markwordt led the Buckeyes with six points (four goals and two assists), while Haggerty had five points and Maghan Beaudrault added four. Capuzzi, Jayme Beard and Rachel Hawes had two goals each for Ohio State.

Senior Kristen Gilwee was again outstanding in goal for the Buckeyes, with nine saves to improved her record to 3-1.

The Buckeyes are showing their offensive prowess this season. In four games, Ohio State has outscored its opponents 58-39, including a 33-23 goal scoring advantage in the second half.

Junior Kelly Haggerty leads the squad with 13 goals and 11 assists for a team-best 24 points. In only four contests, the native of West Chester, Pa., has collected more than half as many points as she did a season ago, when Haggerty tallied 43 points in 18 games. Freshman Alayna Markwordt is second on the squad with 22 points and senior Rachel Hawes and sophomore Jayme Beard are third with 11 points each.

Backstopping Ohio State to a 3-1 record is Kristen Gilwee. The senior, who has started all four games, owns a 9.40 goals-against average, making 38 saves while allowing 37 goals (.507 save pct.). Sophomore Annie Carruthers relieved Gilwee against American Feb. 13, allowing two goals in the final 3:55 of the game.

Gilwee’s 17 saves at Notre Dame were the 10th-best single game effort in OSU history. Her career high is 20 saves, set against Maryland in 2006 and against Notre Dame last season.

Gilwee is now just the second goalkeeper in Ohio State history to record more than 400 career saves; her current total is 402. The OSU career leader is Megan Barnett, who recorded 448 saves from 1999-2001. Gilwee also ranks third in career victories in goal with 22; Barnett is the OSU all-time leader with 26.

After being held scoreless vs. Notre Dame, freshman Alayna Markwordt posted her second six-point outing of the season vs. the Bonnies last Sunday. The Woodbine, Md., native ranks second in points and goals this season with 16 and 11, respectively. Markwordt opened her rookie season scoring three goals and adding an assist at American before tallying a 4-2-6 line at George Washington and vs. St. Bonaventure.

Classmate Gabby Capuzzi has recorded three multiple-point games too. Capuzzi, hailing from Broomall, Pa., had a team-tying three best goals vs. the Fighting Irish Feb. 22 and is fifth on the team in scoring with eight goals, shooting 66.7 percent (8-of-12). She does her work in the field as well, leading the team with seven caused turnovers and 11 ground balls.

It is not just a one-person-show out there for the Buckeyes. Of Ohio State’s 58 goals this season, 27 have been credited with assists (46.6%); OSU’s opponents have notched only 11 helpers on 39 goals (28.2%). On the season, Ohio State is averaging 14.5 goals per contest and connecting on 45 percent of its shots.

Ohio State started the 2009 campaign with two wins in the nation’s capital. In the 17-7 win at American Feb. 13, junior Kelly Haggerty was the offensive standout for the Buckeyes, scoring five goals and adding three assists.

Alayna Markwordt and Rachel Hawes contributed three goals each, while Gabby Capuzzi and Maghan Beaudrault had two goals each. Goals from Kristen Donahue and Jayme Beard rounded out the Buckeye scores. Markwordt, Beaudrault and Rachael Cornicello each added an assist.

American scored the first goal with just a minute elapsed in the contest, but a pair of scores by Haggerty started a Buckeye scoring streak that gave Ohio State a 7-2 lead by halftime. Senior Kristen Gilwee was the winning goalie, recording seven saves.

On Feb. 15, OSU raised its record to 2-0 with a 14-9 win at George Washington. Freshman Alayna Markwordt led the Buckeyes with four goals and a pair of assists in the victory. Junior Kelly Haggerty continued her torrid pace on offense, scoring three goals and adding four assists while taking just five shots.

Jayme Beard also added three goals and an assist, and Rachel Hawes scored two goals. Single goals came from Olivia Annalora and Gabby Capuzzi.

The Buckeyes scored five times in the first 10 minutes of action, and held a 5-3 halftime lead; Taylor Donohue of George Washington accounted for all three of GW’s first-half goals. Donahue added three goals in the second half as well. Senior Kristen Gilwee was the winning goalie for Ohio State, recording five saves.

Ohio State took a 7-7 tie into halftime against No. 11/12 Notre Dame but was unable to outlast the Irish, dropping its first contest of 2009, 14-11, Feb. 22 in South Bend, Ind. Buckeye goaltender Kristen Gilwee recorded 17 saves in the contest while five Buckeyes recorded multiple-point games with Rachel Hawes, Jayme Beard and Gabby Capuzzi each tallying a hat trick.

IN 2009
Ohio State enters the program’s 14th season with a squad deep in talent and experience as 17 letterwinners, including 10 starters, return for the 2009 season. In addition, the veteran Buckeyes will be complimented with nine capable freshmen this year. The team, which went 10-8 overall and 1-3 in American Lacrosse Conference play in 2008. Returnees Brittney Zerhusen and Maghan Beaudrault (ALC Rookie of the Year) were all-ALC selections last season.

Competing in one of the nation’s toughest leagues, Ohio State has its work cut out in 2009; two conference foes advanced to the NCAA tournament last season, including defending national champion Northwestern. The Buckeyes hope a solid core of experience and talent will take this team far. In nonconference action, the squad will face tough opponents in North Carolina, Maryland and Notre Dame in addition to the always difficult conference schedule including Northwestern, Penn State, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt.

Sophomore midfielder Maghan Beaudrault, the 2008 American Lacrosse Conference rookie of the year, was named to the 2009 ALC preseason all-star team as selected by the conference coaches. Ohio State was predicted to finish fifth by the ALC coaches. The ALC tournament is April 30-May 2 at Penn State.

Ohio State has met the grade off the field as well. Ten members of the Buckeye women’s lacrosse program were honored by the American Lacrosse Conference as part of its 2008 academic honor roll. The Ohio State players honored were Kacie Caldwell, Rachael Cornicello, Kristen Gilwee, Libby Graf, Rachel Hawes, Mallory Mayhew, Margaret Prunte, Amanda Shimp, Lauren Sterner and Keri Yourick.

Now in her 14th season as head coach of the Buckeyes, Sue Stimmel holds a 105-99 record at Ohio State. Her career coaching record is 181-117 including six years at Denison. Stimmel was president of the Midwest Lacrosse Association from 1991-98, serving as a member of the executive board for the USWLA.  She is a past chair of the mid-Atlantic NCAA Regional Advisory Committee and the Division I Vice-President of the IWLCA. Stimmel is the current chair of the IWLCA Ethics Committee. In 2000, Stimmel was inducted into the Ohio Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame.

Stimmel welcomes two new assistant coaches to the Buckeye bench this season: Amanda Barnes and Gregg Gebhard.

Ohio State hosts Cincinnati at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be played in either Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium or on the North Turf Field.