Women's Lacrosse to Meet Host Ohio State in First Round ALC Championship Match-up on Thursday
May 2, 2010
Should the Nittany Lions win, they will advance to face No. 1 seed Northwestern (15-1) on Fri., May 7 at 3 p.m. In the other opening round contest on Thursday, third-seeded Johns Hopkins (10-6) will meet No. 6 seed Florida (9-7) at 5:30. The winner will square off with the championship's No. 2 seed, Vanderbilt (11-4), at 5:30 on Friday. The ALC Championship title game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sat., May 8. All tournament games will be played at the home of the Buckeyes, Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Penn State sent its seniors out in style and ended the 2010 regular season on a high note, routing in-state foe Temple, 14-3, last weekend at Jeffrey Field. The Lions' defense, anchored by stellar performances from senior goalkeeper Stephanie Ellis (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and junior Ashley Boccio (Northport, N.Y.), pitched a first half shutout and caused 11 of the Owls' 17 turnovers. The freshman tandem of Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.) (3 goals, 2 assists) and Hayley Sofarnos (Williamstown, Australia) (1 goal, 3 assists) combined to total nine of PSU's 24 points. With two goals, senior midfielder Theresa Bucci (Hudson, Ohio) became the first Nittany Lion to reach the 30-goal plateau since 2006.
Bucci, who tops Penn State in points with 36, along with junior midfielder Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.), the team leader in ground balls (35) and caused turnovers (18), were recently named First Team All-ALC. Junior defender Jackie Eastman (Springfield, Pa.) earned Second Team All-ALC honors.
Ohio State ended the regular season last weekend with a tough 9-8 road loss to Johns Hopkins, setting up the fourth consecutive first round ALC Championship match-up between the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes. Headlining the OSU attack is the prolific scoring trio of First Team All-ALC honoree Kelly Haggerty (36g, 36a), Second Team All-ALC selection Alayna Markwordt (40g, 29a), and Brittany Zerhusen (44g, 19a). American Lacrosse Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Annie Carruthers anchors the Ohio State defense.
Penn State, which owns a 13-4 all-time record versus Ohio State, has defeated the Buckeyes in ALC Championship play in each of the last three seasons. Earlier this year, during the teams' regular season meeting, the Lions claimed an impressive 18-12 victory over Ohio State in Columbus, getting five assists from Sofarnos and five points from Bucci. The Nittany Lions are 3-3 all-time in ALC Championship history, with all three losses coming at the hands of Northwestern.
Fans can follow all of the action online as Penn State pursues an ALC title with live stats and instant scoring updates. All Nittany Lion contests at the ALC Championship will also be video streamed live at www.BigTenNetwork.com for a fee of $2.99 per game. Find links on the official website of Penn State athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State-Ohio State contest will be televised on the Big Ten Network as a rebroadcast on Thursday evening at 11 p.m. ET.