Ohio State then-junior attack Molly Wood races up field against Penn State on April 12, 2016 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of OSU Athletics

The sun was shining at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Friday afternoon and so was junior attack Sara Dickinson, who led the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team to a 12-10 victory against Rutgers.

Dickinson finished the game with three goals and three assists to help the Buckeyes (3-5, 1-1 Big Ten) claim their first conference win of the season against the Scarlet Knights (4-6, 0-2 Big Ten).

“What is all comes down to is what defense they’re playing. They were zoning us and I knew we had to pick it apart,” Dickinson said. “Today everything clicked very well.”

Two early turnovers gave the Scarlet Knights an opportunity to put the first point on the board with a free-position goal by junior attack Dana Gisonno.

The Buckeyes responded with a 3-0 run to take a 3-1 lead. Ohio State kept the momentum going with two goals by Dickinson and points from junior attack McKayla Conti and freshman midfielder Lindsay Epstein.

Rutgers closed out the half with a late goal by junior midfielder Allie Ferrara that brought the score to a 7-4 halftime lead for Ohio State.

The Scarlet Knights began chipping away at Ohio State’s lead in the second half. Goals from senior midfielder Paige Paratore and freshman midfielder Taralyn Naslonski tied the game at eight with 20 minutes left to play.

Both teams were held to a 10-minute scoring drought until Buckeyes junior midfielder Baley Parrott gave her team the lead with an assist by Dickinson.

“I was going to call a timeout but I thought the leaders on the field stepped up,” head coach Alexis Venechanos said. “They stayed mentally tough and they went back to what we talk about when things go bad, when things go well stick to the game plan.”

Parrott tied Dickinson with three goals and finished the game with four draw controls. Senior attack Molly Wood had four draw controls as well as two goals.

The final score of the game came when Rutgers senior attack Kerri Puckhaber closed Ohio State’s lead to two with 1:28 left to play, but there was not enough time left for a Scarlet Knight comeback.

“This sport is a game of runs so we knew that Rutgers was going to come back with a couple of goals so we just had to play our game and stay true to who we were,” Wood said. “We just had to take a step back and take a breath and just get back to playing our Buckeye lacrosse and what we’re all about and then those goals started coming back for us.”

The Buckeyes picked up 26 ground balls compared to Rutgers’ 18. Ohio State held a two-shot advantage over the Scarlet Knights.

“I’m really happy for us and the team,” Venechanos said. “I’m really proud of them for stepping up and getting our first Big Ten win.”

The Buckeyes will face Robert Morris at 4 p.m. Wednesday.