Gators face Buckeyes in second round of ALC tourney

Florida's defeated Ohio State 10-8 back on March 24.

Members of the Gator lacrosse team embrace after a goal.

Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 4, 2012 at 12:20 a.m.

Another sport, another chance for Florida and Ohio State to meet in the postseason.

Host Florida will face the Buckeyes in the semifinals of the American Lacrosse Conference tournament tonight at 7 at Dizney Stadium. Fourth-seed Ohio State (11-5, 2-4 ALC) advanced with a 10-9 overtime win over Vanderbilt in the tournament quarterfinals Thursday night.

Top-seed Florida won at Ohio State 10-8 on March 24 during the regular season. Florida women's lacrosse coach Amanda O'Leary and the rest of the Gator team watched the Ohio State-Vanderbilt game Thursday night.

“You always learn something new about teams when you watch them again,” O'Leary said. “They have certainly improved since the first time we played them. They are a very well-coached team. I'm sure they are going to have some tricks up their sleeves for (tonight's) game. I just hope we play well.”

Ohio State won on a free position goal from Cara Facchina with 11.7 seconds left in the second overtime period.

“I just felt like I had to relax and just be poised and whatever happens, happens,” Facchina said. “I knew that if I was relaxed, whatever happened would be fine. I was glad we weren't down by one. It would have been a little more of a pressure situation.”

Said Ohio State coach Alexis Venechanos: “Cara is poised. She is definitely a poised person and a poised attacker. We had complete faith in her.”

Venechanos said Ohio State will spend extra time dissecting film of Florida before tonight's game.

“We know Florida is a very strong team,” Venechanos said. “They play very strong here. So we're excited just to move on. We're going to be in the moment.”

Florida will be playing its first game since upsetting No. 1 Northwestern 8-7 on April 21. O'Leary said the Gators have managed to get rest during some of the layoff and have taken advantage of some of the extra time to prepare for tonight's semifinal game.

“I think we're ready,” O'Leary said. “We prepared for both teams. So hopefully tomorrow after watching some more film, I really think we'll be ready to play.”

Also on Thursday, Florida midfielder Nora Barry was named ALC freshman of the year. Kitty Cullen, Brittany Dashiell and Sam Farrell were named to the all-ALC first team.

Barry had 32 goals and 7 assists as a freshman with 36 ground balls.

Johns Hopkins 13, Penn State 12: Taylor D'Amore and Sarah Taylor each scored three goals, lifting six-seed Johns Hopkins (9-8, 2-4 ALC) to the upset win over Penn State (11-6, 3-3 ALC)

Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Cosette Larash had seven saves, including a clutch point-blank save in the second half to help preserve the lead.

“That propelled us to stick some of the shots that we needed to stick,” Northwestern coach Janine Tucker said,

Johns Hopkins moved on to the ALC Tournament semifinals. The Blue Jays will face second-seed Northwestern this afternoon (4:30 p.m.). John Hopkins beat Northwestern 12-11 last season and lost 16-12 to Northwestern earlier this season.

“We played them close the first time, and it's another opportunity to come out and play them,” D'Amore said. “We're looking forward to it. We got the win (Thursday) and it's a nice step for us.”

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