Ohio State women’s lacrosse defended its home field with aggressive offense and a record-breaking defense Wednesday.
The Buckeyes (4-1) took down Cincinnati (0-3) 15-10 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center during a game in which senior goalie Jill Rizzo surpassed 600 career saves to set a new Ohio State record.
“I didn’t even realize I did it until after,” Rizzo said. “I don’t think I feel it yet but it’s pretty exciting and I should recognize that it’s a big thing.”
Rizzo had 15 saves during the game against Cincinnati.
“She had a great first half, her saves were really timely,” Ohio State head coach Amy Bokker said. “I admire Jill so much for her leadership and what she brings to the team.”
Tied 3-3, Ohio State freshman midfielder Caly O’Brien scored on an assist from freshman attackman Ashley Turner, giving the Buckeyes a lead that would persist for the entirety of the game.
Sophomore midfielder Chloe Johnson and senior attackman Liza Hernandez piled on consecutive goals, giving the Buckeyes a three-goal lead.
However, it was the Bearcats who struck first in the contest, as sophomore midfielder Kylie Nause scored in the first two minutes.
Ohio State quickly bounced back when sophomore midfielder Maura Mcgregor scored the Buckeyes’ first goal of the game. Junior midfielder Ali Beekhuizen followed suit, scoring another Buckeye goal assisted by freshman attackman Nicole Ferrara.
After nearly 14 minutes of failed attempts from both teams, the Bearcats put two goals on the Buckeyes to make it 3-2 Cincinnati.
“Cincinnati was dictating us a little bit on defense, and we were being a little bit tentative,” Bokker said. “I like that we stepped out with confidence and were able to put the ball away.”
Coming out of a timeout nearly 20 minutes into the half, Ohio State junior attackmen Sophie Baez scored, tying the game at 3-3.
After the three-goal run, the Bearcats tried to fight back with a goal from freshman midfielder Peyton Mottice with under five minutes to play in the first half.
But the Buckeye offense was too much, as two more scores from freshman midfielder Janie Cowley and Hernandez doubled the Bearcat score at 8-4.
Opening the second half, the Bearcats came back with two goals, slicing the lead to one. Cincinnati senior attackman Monica Borzillo contributed four goals to the Bearcats score.
But Ohio State scored five of the next six goals to separate itself.
“We’re making strides, it’s little growth but each little bit will build up into something big,” Rizzo said.
Ohio State scored seven goals in the second, including one from Hernandez while still on the ground after a fall to give her a hat trick for the game.
“I’m really proud that we competed the whole time and made some good adjustments throughout the game, to come out with a W is a great day,” Bokker said.
The Buckeyes will continue their season on the road against Notre Dame at 4 p.m. Sunday in South Bend, Indiana.