Lacrosse Battles Ohio State, Elements for Opening Day Win
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The No. 10 Navy women's lacrosse team (1-0) opened the 2018 season with a 9-7 victory over Ohio State (0-1) in a torrential down pour at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
"We made a decision early in the year that we were going to step out onto the field against some of the best competition in the country," head coach Cindy Timchal said following the game. "We opened up at home against a Big Ten school. We have tremendous respect for the Ohio State coming here and giving us all they had. They are very scrappy and impressive team. I think we responded well. Being ranked in the top 10 in the country, this was an opportunity for Ohio State to shine. They chose to have a tough opener here at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
"I am proud of my team for gutting out this win under the circumstances. Field conditions are always marginalized by the weather. Our team stepped up to the conditions of today. I believe on both sides Ohio State and Navy were a little bit compromised by the conditions. It was impossible to get good grips on your sticks and good footing offensively and defensively to play at this level. We are not a winter sport, but it felt like it today. We are pleased with the results of today in tough weather conditions for both teams."
As a team, the Navy defense caused 10 of Ohio States' 19 turnovers on the day. The back line was anchored by seniors Ingrid Boyum (Herndon, Va.) captain Blake Smith (Skyesville, Md.). Boyum finished the game with 10 saves, while Smith led the team with three caused turnovers. Kayla Harris (Annapolis, Md.) boasted a game-high five draw controls, while Andie O'Sullivan (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) added a team-best five ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Offensively, the Mids tallied 38 shots compared to 24 by the Buckeyes. Jenna Collins (Clarksville, Md.) led the team with four goals and an assist for a team-best five points. Molly O'Sullivan (Centreville, Va.) and A. O'Sullivan each chipped in a pair of goals apiece, while Kelly Larkin (Alexandria, Va.) rounded out the scoring. M. O'Sullian, Larkin, Jenna Collins and Julia Collins (Clarksville, Md.) each provided helpers in the game.
Ohio State started the scoring, netting the first goal of the game with 27:40 on the clock. Navy responded with five consecutive goals to take a commanding 5-1 advantage. Larkin began the run with an unassisted goal, while Je. Collins followed with a goal off an assist from M. O'Sullivan. Jenna Collins found the back of the net two more time, including a free-position goal to put the Mids up 4-1. A. O'Sullivan's free-position goal gave the home team a 5-1 edge with 15:49 to play.
Neither team was able to score for nearly the next eight minutes until the Buckeyes broke the scoring drought with a pair of back-to-back goals to trim the Midshipmen edge to 5-3.
Jenna Collins picked up her fourth goal of the first half with a goal with 3:22 to play off an assist from her sister Julia. The goal was the final score for either team of the half and Navy went into the locker room up 6-3.
In the second half, the rain picked up, causing the scoring to be limited.
The Buckeyes once again began the scoring with a quick goal with 26:39 on the clock. The Mids responded with back-to-back goals. A. O'Sullivan converted a free-position goal, while M. O'Sullivan took a pass from Larkin and found the back of the net to put Navy up 8-4.
Ohio State used a free-position goal to trim the deficit to just three, but M. O'Sullivan answered with her second goal of the game to push the advantage back to four, 9-5, with just over 21 minutes remaining in the game.
Neither team was able to score for the next eight minutes, until Ohio State struck for a goal with just over 13 minutes to play, closing the gap to three.
Defense persisted in the rainy conditions, keeping both teams limited offensively over the final 13 minutes of play. OSU was the only team to score in the final 13 minutes, netting a goal with 3:55 remaining. The Buckeyes would get no closer as Boyum and the Navy defense was able to keep the visitors out of the net and preserve the victory.
Navy returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 17, as the Midshipmen welcome Columbia to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game is part of a doubleheader with the men's team with the women's team beginning at 11:00 a.m.