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Thursday May 3, 2012Johns Hopkins, Ohio State Victorious on Day 1; Gators to Face Buckeyes in ALC Semifinals

Gainesville, Fla.

The first day of the ALC Tournament was anything but a snooze, featuring a one-goal upset by sixth-seeded Johns Hopkins and a comeback overtime thriller. The Blue Jays kept a slight edge over Penn State throughout the first quarterfinal game, and thought a late Nittany Lion comeback threatened a lead change, Johns Hopkins held on to take the first game, 13-12. Vanderbilt had the upper hand on Ohio State through the majority of game two, but a late free-position goal sent the game to OT, where Cara Facchina found the back of the net to send OSU to the ALC Semifinals. Johns Hopkins will take on second-seeded Northwestern Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the first semifinal matchup, followed by Ohio State at top-seeded Florida in the nightcap at 7 p.m.

Game 1: Johns Hopkins 13, Penn State 12: Sixth-seeded Johns Hopkins upset third-seeded Penn State in the first game of the ALC Tournament, edging out the Nittany Lions, 13-12, for their seventh one-goal game of the season. It marks just the fourth time in 13 meetings that the Blue Jays have defeated Penn State, and the first time in the history of the ALC Tournament that Penn State has lost in the first round. First-Team All-ALC selection Taylor D’Amore shined on offense for the Blue Jays, scoring a career-high eight points on three goals and five assists, while Cosette Larash made seven stops in goal.

Penn State’s Kelly Lechner opened the scoring at 28:25, but after the Nittany Lions went up 2-1, Johns Hopkins went on a five-goal run, with D’Amore participating in all but the free-position goal by Courtney Schweizer, to take a 6-2 lead. The Nittany Lions did not relent, scoring four of the next five goals, and at halftime, the Blue Jays held just a one-goal lead, 9-8. Hopkins scored three goals in the first five minutes of the second half, and after an Elaine Welch unassisted goal made it 12-9, D’Amore netted the game-winner at 13:22. Penn State scored three more before the final horn sounded, but were unable to complete the comeback, falling by a final score of 13-12.

For the full story on the first quarterfinal game, visit: http://www.hopkinssports.com/sports/w-lacros/recaps/050312aaa.html. For remarks from the two head coaches and D’Amore, click here.

Game 2: Ohio State 10, Vanderbilt 9, OT: While Ohio State trailed through the majority of the game, a free-position goal by Buckeye middie Jennifer Schmitt with 1:06 to go in regulation tied the score at eight and forced the first-ever overtime game in the history of the ALC Tournament. OSU senior Alayna Markwordt struck first in OT on a free-position goal 2:27 in, but Vanderbilt’s Kelly Connors tied the score with 59 seconds remaining in overtime. Kirsten Donahue won the ensuing draw, and with 12 seconds to go, Cara Facchina flung the ball towards the net. Natalie Wills made a spectacular save, but a foul on Brandi Byner put the ball back in Facchina’s stick, and with 11 seconds left in OT, the sophomore from Glenwood, Md., netted the game-winner, her third of the night, to jettison the Buckeyes into the second round.

For the full story on the second quarterfinal game, visit: http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/sports/w-lacros/recaps/050412aaa.html. For remarks from both head coaches and Facchina, click here.

The Series: The University of Florida will host fourth-seed Ohio State on Friday night in the second ALC Semifinal game, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Florida is 3-1 all-time against Ohio State, including a 16-13 victory in the 2011 ALC Semifinals. UF dropped their first-ever matchup, 14-9, on Mar. 27, 2010, but won the next three straight, including a pair of 10-8 victories in the 2011 and 2012 regular season.

“Ohio State has tremendous offensive abilities with Alayna Markwordt and Gabby Capuzzi,” said Head Coach Amanda O’Leary, “so they are obviously a very high, powerful offensive group. Defensively, they have a great goalie, and they play a really high pressure defense, so we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

Last Matchup: Freshmen Nora Barry (Marceullus, N.Y.) and Shannon Gilroy (Huntington, N.Y.) combined for seven points to help lead Florida past No. 15 Ohio State, 10-8, in their most recent matchup in Columbus on Mar. 28. Barry led the Gators with four goals on the day, and Gilroy tallied two goals and an assist. Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) collected Florida’s remaining two assists, and Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.), Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.), Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) and Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) each scored a goal apiece.

On the defensive end, Mikey Meagher (Livepool, N.Y.) recorded seven saves in the complete game while tallying a career-high and team-season-high six ground balls. Jamie Reeg (Atlantis, Fla.) snagged four ground balls and caused two turnovers, and Dashiell added three more ground balls. Gilroy led the Gators with five draw controls, and Cullen tied her career high with three.

Jackie Cifarelli scored first for the Buckeyes, but Florida rebounded with three straight to take a 3-1 lead. The Buckeyes tied it up at 14:18, but a Cullen-to-Barry score gave the Gators a 4-3 lead at halftime. Barry scored again to open the second half, and after a Buckeye tally, she notched two more to give the Gators a 7-4 advantage. Neither team scored more than two in a row for the remainder of the game, running to a final score of 10-8.

About the Buckeyes: Ohio State is on the hunt for its first-ever trip to the ALC Championship game, after falling to Florida, 16-13, in the 2011 ALC Semifinals. Sitting at 11-5 overall, the Buckeyes have just one win over a ranked opponent this season, a 13-11 victory on Apr. 8 at No. 15 Vanderbilt. However, the Buckeyes have yet to lose to an unranked opponent, and took No. 1 Northwestern to overtime in front of a crowd of 2,319 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Buckeyes’ offense is led by senior attacker Alayna Markwordt, who ranked fourth in the nation in both points (5.47) and assists (3.07) per game entering the week, and has totaled 38 goals, 49 assists and 87 points. Gabby Capuzzi Is having a stellar year across the board, earning a team-best 41 goals, 52 draw controls, 38 ground balls and 31 caused turnovers, ranking 12th in the country with an average of 1.93 CT per game. Netminder Tori DeScenza has played the majority of the minutes in goal for Ohio State, going 9-5 with 111 saves, a 9.51 GAA and a .472 save percentage.

UF in the ALC Tournament: Florida is 2-2 all-time in the ALC Tournament, and 1-1 in Semifinal games. The Gators finished in a three-way tie for fourth in 2010, but earned the sixth seed for their first ALC Tournament. Florida upset #3 Johns Hopkins, 14-3, in the first round, but fell 16-9 to #2 Vanderbilt in the 2010 ALC Semifinals.

UF went from worst-to-first in just one year, earning the top seed for the 2011 ALC Tournament and garnering a first-round bye. The Gators faced the Buckeyes in the Semifinals, winning 16-13, before dropping a heartbreaker to Northwestern, 10-9, in the 2011 ALC Championship.

Coverage: Florida’s game will be accessible from the following outlets:

Video: Broadcast for FREE on GatorVision

Audio: Cory Stephens, Mike Gillespie and Kailey Mizelle can be heard online and on WRUF Sports Radio 850

LiveStats: Track every play on GameTracker

Twitter: Follow @GatorZoneLAX for updates from the press box, and be sure to search and use #ALCTourney for everything on the tournament.

 

For results, recaps, photos and more, be sure to check out Tournament Central.

 

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