Abby Sweet / Lantern Photographer
The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team can’t seem to top Penn State.
Coming into Sunday’s game, OSU had not beaten the Nittany Lions since 2008. Despite OSU being the higher ranked team, nothing changed in the two teams’ most recent meeting, and the No. 10 OSU squad fell to No. 13 Penn State, 15-12.
“We didn’t come out strong, we came out pretty flat,” said OSU senior attacker Alayna Markwordt. “Penn State has always been one of our biggest rivals, so this is a frustrating one to lose.”
Markwordt, Ohio State’s leading scorer, was held without a goal but did contribute two assists and had two groundballs.
The Buckeyes (9-4, 1-3) struck first on sophomore attacker Katie Chase’s unassisted goal two-and-a-half minutes into the game. From that point, it was a back-and-forth battle, with the two teams trading sets of goals for the rest of the first half. OSU jumped out to a 4-2 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the half, but the lead would turn into a 5-4 deficit after Penn State freshman attacker Maggie McCormick ripped off three straight goals in less than two minutes.
The two teams went into the locker room tied at 6-6 after a goal from OSU sophomore midfielder Cara Facchina, which came after an assist from freshman attacker Jackie Cifarelli with 24 seconds left. Penn State (10-4, 2-2 Big Ten) had 13 fouls compared to OSU’s four in the first half.
“The heat of the game builds up ’cause you know you’re playing your rival that you come out against every year, and it’s always a battle,” said freshman goalie Tori DeScenza. She finished the game playing all but the last three minutes and had seven saves, including five in the second half.
The next 30 minutes started much like the first except Penn State struck first. Sophomore attacker Mackenzie Cyr scored with McCormick chipping in on one of her team-leading four assists. Cyr and McCormick lead the team with four goals and four assists apiece, and were responsible for teaming up on five of the teams 15 goals.
The back-and-forth battle continued as OSU’s Kirsten Donahue tied the game at 7-7 on a free position shot. The senior midfielder went on to score three of her team-leading four goals in the second half.
The game was tied at 11-11 with 17:34 to play when once again, Donahue scored. But that would be the last time OSU would stay tied with Penn State as the Nittany Lions jumped out to a 13-11 lead with 15 minutes to go. Penn State would go on to score the last two goals, the final one coming on Cyr’s fourth of the game.
“They just kind of took it at the end and we just couldn’t be there with it,” DeScenza said.
The team has two regular season games left, including a home match-up against American University 2 p.m. Saturday.