No. 16 Ohio State Knocks off the No. 9 Fighting Irish

COLUMBUS, Ohio For the second time in just three days, No. 16 Ohio State defeated a Top 10 opponent. The Buckeyes (12-4, 4-1 ALC) concluded their memorable 2014 home season with a 12-9 victory over No. 9 Notre Dame Tuesday night under the lights at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The win over the Fighting Irish marks the first time in school history the Scarlet and Gray have defeated back-to-back Top 10 opponents, while extending their win streak to six-consecutive games.

"I thought we showed tons of heart with both highs and lows during the game," head coach Alexis Venechanos said. "We shot the ball very well and defensively held strong when we needed to against a great Notre Dame team. It was a complete team effort. We only had a few days to prepare and I thought our team's mental toughness showed tonight. We will take this momentum heading into our final ALC game next week."

Under Venechanos, the 12 wins by the 2014 Buckeyes are second-most in OSU history behind the 2003 campaign when the squad won a school record 14 contests. Ohio State's nine home wins this year also is a school record.

Offensively, junior midfielder Kelsea Ayers (3g, 2a) and sophomore attack Cian Dabrowski (2g, 3a) had five points (tied her career high), while junior midfielder Mary Kate Facchina (3g, 1a) had four points. Jackie Cifarelli notched a pair of goals, while senior attack Katie Chase and junior midfielder Christine Easton each netted scores.

Defensively, junior goalie Tori DeScenza once again had a strong performance for the Buckeyes in front of net, collecting 11 saves, including seven stops in the first half. She improves to a season-best 12 wins on the year. DeScenza also collected a game-high five groundballs, while junior Taylor Donahue claimed three and classmate Emily Valli notched two groundballs. Overall, the Buckeye defense held the Fighting Irish to a 0 for 5 mark on free position attempts.

After Notre Dame jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Buckeyes went on a 4-0 run, scoring four goals in a 12-minute span. A won draw by the Scarlet and Gray led to their first goal of the contest when Dabrowski tallied her first score following a quick pass by Ayers from the far post at 16:16. Dabrowski then found Mary Kate Facchina cutting through the crease, who buried in a shot just 24 seconds later at 15:52 to tie it, 2-2.

Ohio State claimed its first lead of the evening when Cifarelli finished off a Notre Dame turnover with a low shot into net at 7:32 making it 3-2. Ayers scored the team's fourth goal at 3:36 when she received a long pass from the near side by junior attack Hallie Keselman and finished off a shot passed UND starting goalie Allie Murray. The assist was Keselman's second of the year. Ayers gave the Buckeyes a 5-3 lead heading into halftime when she netted in her second goal with 34 seconds left on the clock on a free position shot.

At half, shots were 12-8 in favor of Notre Dame, while the Fighting Irish held a close 5-4 advantage on draw controls. Mary Kate Facchina put the squad up 6-4 at the start of the second half with an unassisted score at 27:16 after she sprinted around the net and fired in her 25th goal on a man-up situation. Easton then got in on the scoring with her third goal of the year when she fired a shot into the top of the net at 26:48 with help from Mary Kate Facchina.

Notre Dame scored three-consecutive goals to tie it at 7-7, but it would be the last time the game would be knotted up as Ohio State scored five times in the final 20 minutes, while holding strong on the defensive side en route to the win.

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2014-04-15



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