Buckeyes face Irish Sunday afternoon

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team, with a pair of season-opening road wins to its credit, travels to No. 11/12 Notre Dame for a 1 p.m. game Sunday in South Bend, Ind.

The Buckeyes, 2-0 with wins over American (17-7) and George Washington (14-9), will face an Irish team that is 1-0 this season and ranked 11th nationally this week by the IWLCA and 12th by Notre Dame defeated Duquesne, 22-7, last Saturday. The Irish will host defending NCAA champion Northwestern Friday before closing the weekend against Ohio State.

Notre Dame leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 7-6 by virtue of ND’s 14-11 win in Columbus last season.

Ohio State started the 2009 campaign with two wins in the nation’s capital. In Friday’s 17-7 win at American, 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. Single 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 Sunday, OSU improved to 2-0 with a 14-9 win at George Washington. Markwordt led the Buckeyes with four goals and a pair of assists in the victory. Haggerty continued her torrid pace on offense, scoring three goals and adding four assists while taking just five shots. Beard also added three goals and an assist, and Hawes scored two goals. Single goals came from Annalora and Capuzzi.

The Buckeyes scored five times in the first 10 minutes of action, and held a 5-3 halftime lead. Gilwee was the winning goalie for Ohio State, recording five saves.

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 104-98 record at Ohio State. Her career coaching record is 180-116 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 opens its home season hosting St. Bonaventure for a 1 p.m. March 1 contest at North Turf Field on the campus of The Ohio State University.