April 13, 2014

Ohio State Rallies for First Win Over Penn State Since '08

by Brett Amadon | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

The Buckeyes seniors earned their first win over Penn State on Senior Day in Columbus. (Ohio State Athletics)

In-Game Blog Replay


COLUMBUS, Ohio - It had been almost six years since the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-4, 3-1) had defeated the No. 17 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-6, 2-3), but a late second half surge ended that streak as the Buckeyes came away with the victory Saturday, 10-9.

Senior Katie Chase bookended the day with goals for the Buckeyes, opening the scoring early and then taking a feed from Jackie Cifarelli for what turned out to be the game-winner to cap the rally, which saw Ohio State battle back from down 9-5 with 22:22 remaining in the second half to make the one-goal victory, its first over the rival Nittany Lions since 2008.

"I think we showed a lot of resiliency today," Venechanos said. "We had our backs against the wall, but we kept fighting. It wasn't the prettiest game for sure but I'm really proud of how our team stepped up mentally. We have so much respect for them (Penn State)."

Cifarelli and Chase led the Buckeyes all day, with Cifarelli finishing with a goal and five assists and Chase scoring four goals, the first of which gave her 100 points in her career.

It was back and fourth from the start of the day, with the Buckeyes running out to a 5-3 lead in the first half, after which Penn State caught fire.

Led by Abby Smucker and Maggie McCormick, Penn State was able to solve Ohio State goaltender Tori Descenza, who made 6 saves in the first half, and go on a five-goal run to end the half with an 8-5 lead.

Both teams came out of the break with a strong defensive presence as turnovers didn't allow either team to comfortably set up in its offense and get shots on goal.

However, Mackenzie Cyr and Penn State continued to build on its lead as it extended its cushion to four goals, at 9-5, with 22:22 to play.

But the Buckeyes would not go away as they turned to their top offensive playmakers to lead the comeback.

Cian Dabrowski and Jennifer Porretto scored 39 seconds apart to start the swing in momentum as the Nittany Lions saw their lead cut to 9-7.

Porretto added another goal minutes later before Chase completed the hat trick by burying a shot top shelf past Penn State goaltender Cat Rainone, who replaced starting goaltender Emi Smith at half.

Penalties reared its ugly head late in the game for Penn State as an Abby Smucker yellow card led to the go-ahead goal from Chase, who tiptoed across the crease before going low to beat Rainone.

Another yellow card immediately following the goal from defenseman Erika Spilker allowed the Buckeyes to gain possession and run out the clock to collect a huge win over their rivals on senior day.

Ohio State will put its five-game win streak to the test this Tuesday as they welcome to town the Notre Dame Fighting Irish while Penn State will return home and look to turn things around when they take on the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays on Friday.

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