From the first drop of the ball, Katie Chase had one thing on her mind: scoring goals.
The senior attackman for the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team turned in a career-high seven goals on her way to eight points as the No. 18 Buckeyes topped Oregon, 13-9, Wednesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
High winds wreaked havoc on play throughout the entirety of the game, leading OSU coach Alexis Venechanos to attribute much of the team’s success against the Ducks (4-4, 1-0) to Chase’s work on and off the ball.
Venechanos described Chase as a “special player” that had a “really strong game.”
“She took over parts of that game in the draw control,” Venechanos said after the game. “Her teammates looked for her and she shot phenomenally.”
The Buckeyes (7-4, 1-1) got off to a quick start, gaining possession of the ball off the game’s first draw. Chase set the pace for the match early by scoring the game’s first goal 23 seconds into the game.
“We always want to score first,” Venechanos said. “That was important to start like that.”
Chase said setting the tone early is a goal OSU has every game, and she felt they were able to do that with a quick goal from the start.
“It gets the beat up for our attack and gets us in the flow of things,” Chase said after the win.
The momentum from Chase’s quick strike didn’t continue, however, as the Ducks responded with two goals in just less than five minutes to take a 2-1 lead.
But OSU, lead by Chase — who completed a hat trick before the half ended — struck back to take a 4-2 lead before Oregon evened the count with 11:06 left in the first half.
OSU senior attackman Cara Facchina tallied her third goal of the season at the 2:29 mark in the first, though, to give the Buckeyes a one-goal advantage heading into the break.
“They would answer, then we would answer,” junior goalie Tori DeScenza said on the first half. “But we really (hunkered) down knowing that they were going to swing the ball pretty fast.”
Along with hard work on the offense, the Buckeyes gained their success with the defensive mentality around the field forcing numerous turnovers from Oregon’s strong attack.
“We haven’t seen an attack like them,” Venechanos said. “We really had trouble with it.”
The Ducks’ strong attack tested the OSU defense, but the Buckeyes maintained composure and were able to gain more possessions to help secure the victory.
Part of that defense was DeScenza, who fought hard in the net all throughout the game and ended the game with 10 saves.
The game was the first ever between the two programs.
DeScenza credits Oregon with its good stick skills but was proud of how hard the defense worked to combat them.
“It was a hard battle all the way to the final whistle,” DeScenza said.
The Buckeyes head back to work to prepare for a match against William and Mary set for noon Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.