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Ohio State women’s lacrosse defends home turf against American

Abby Sweet / Lantern photographer

The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team hasn’t lost a final home game during the regular season since 2007. They kept that streak alive Saturday by handing American University a 14-4 loss at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

On a cold and rainy Senior Day, it only took the first few minutes of the game for the Buckeyes to come out on fire.

Senior midfielder Gabby Capuzzi kicked off the scoring frenzy at the 25:36 mark that saw the Buckeyes score the first five goals of the game within a six-minute stretch.

“I think coming out at the start of the game, we were definitely on a mission and that definitely set the tone (for the rest of the game),” said coach Alexis Venechanos.

Capuzzi added another strike at 6:07 in the first half and ended up finishing the day with three goals. Senior attacker Alayna Markwordt chipped in two goals during the first half, while assisting in three others. Markwordt would go on to have a total of seven points, contributing two more assists in the second half.

Midfielder Kirsten Donahue joined her fellow seniors by having three shots on goal, scoring twice.

“We’ve been preparing really hard this week and … all of the seniors out there, we’ve been here for four years, so everyone out there being able to play together was awesome,” Donahue said.

Although it was Senior Day, a number of underclassmen made big contributions in helping send the seniors out on a win.

Freshman Jackie Cifarelli had one of her best games of the season. Totaling seven points, the attacker from Rockville Center, N.Y. had a career-high six assists while netting a goal. Sophomore midfielder Cara Facchina tied Capuzzi for a team-high three goals scored on the afternoon, also tying her season-high.

Freshman goalkeeper Tori DeScenza had six saves during her 44 minutes on the field, while fellow freshman goalie Caitlin Hester tallied five saves and no goals allowed during the final 16 minutes.

The win puts the Buckeyes at 10-4 overall and 1-3 in the American Lacrosse Conference. It also gave this senior class its 40th victory, which makes the seniors tied for first as the winningest class in OSU women’s lacrosse history.

“I couldn’t imagine doing this with any other team or class,” said senior defender Olivia Cora. “It’s been an amazing year and these last four years, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The team has one more game to go before the ALC tournament, with its season finale at 1 p.m. Saturday on the road against conference opponent Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays have yet to win a game in the ALC but are 7-7 overall and nationally ranked at No. 20. The Buckeyes hope to carry the momentum into this weekend’s game.

“It definitely gives us a confidence boost and we’re going to go in really positive,” said senior defender Laura Beck. “We know we have to win and we’re going to.”

Markwordt resonated her teammates feelings.

“(The win) definitely helped to get some of our chemistry back and our confidence, so going in (against Johns Hopkins), I think we should feel really strong and we have nothing to lose, so we’ll just go out there and play our best,” Markwordt said.

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