No. 4 Northwestern Finishes on 4-1 Run to Nip Ohio State

Northwestern won 16 ground balls in the game to Ohio State's 13 and outshot the visitors, 24-19.

The game marked a return to Evanston for former Northwestern assistant coach and current OSU head coach Alexis Venechanos, as well as Buckeyes assistant Christy Finch ('08), a two-time IWLCA All-American defender and four-time national champion in her playing career at Northwestern.

On Saturday, the Wildcats will make their second straight live appearance on the Big Ten Network when they host fifth-ranked Syracuse in a much-anticipated rematch of the 2012 NCAA Championship game. Opening draw is set for 1:00 p.m. at Lakeside Field, where Northwestern Athletics will be staging a BLACKOUT with all early-arriving fans receiving a free black Northwestern Lacrosse T-shirt.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State was edged by No. 4 Northwestern, 9-8, Wednesday evening at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill., in a BTN-televised contest. The Buckeyes fell to 3-6 on the season and 0-2 in the ALC, while the Wildcats won their sixth in a row to improve to 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference.

Ohio State led by as many as three goals in the first half and did not trail for over 54 minutes of game action before Northwestern finished off a 4-1 second-half run for the win. Kelsea Ayers (2g, 1) and Katie Chase (1g, 2a) each had a team-high three points in the game, while Cara Facchina and Mary Kate Facchina added two goals apiece. Tori DeScenza made eight saves, including six in the first half.

The Buckeyes have each of their next three games at home, beginning at 11:00 a.m. Saturday against Hofstra at Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The match-up with the Pride (6-3) will serve as a fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts with fans being asked to "Donate a Dime" following each Buckeye goal. (MORE INFO)

Against the Wildcats, much of the first half belonged to the Buckeyes. Chase scored just over a minute into the contest and Mary Kate Facchina connected on a pass from Ayers eight minutes later to put the Buckeyes on top 2-0. Northwestern was able to tie it up, but three-consecutive OSU goals from Jackie Cifarelli and the Facchina sisters gave Ohio State its largest lead of the game at the 9:24 mark of the first half.

Trailing by at least three for just the second time this season, Northwestern inched back to within one by the halftime break to leave Ohio State leading 5-4.

Two goals by Ayers sandwiched a Taylor Thornton score to start the second period as the Buckeyes built a 7-5 advantage with 19:25 left in the contest. Thornton began Northwestern's 4-1 run at 15:25, however, scoring two to end the night with a game-high four, and setting up teammates to secure the win down the stretch. Cara Facchina broke up the run halfway by scoring off a Chase assist at 7:54, but Wildcats were able to take the 9-8 lead with 5:28 left on the clock.

Opportunities down the stretch were limited, but the Buckeyes collected a NU turnover with 1:04 on the clock and called a timeout, only to turn the ball over themselves in the midfield, thwarting their last-minute attempt for the equalizer. This is the second one-goal loss in a row against the Wildcats. Last season, Ohio State led the second half before falling 13-12 in overtime in a neutral site game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Ohio State was out-shot 24-19 for the game and narrowly trailed in groundballs (16-13) and draw controls (10-8). Tayler Kuzma and Chase were dynamic in the center circle, each snaring a team-high three draws and added three and two caused turnovers, respectively.

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