Ohio State ends unbeaten season by top-ranked Maryland in Big Ten semis
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- No. 20 Ohio State pulled off the biggest win in program history Friday evening, knocking off No. 1-ranked and previously undefeated Maryland 11-10 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals at High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers.
The win snaps a 27-game win streak by the Terrapins, who hadn't lost since April 5, 2014, and gave Ohio State its first win against a No. 1-ranked team in program history.
The win also was the first versus Maryland since 2002 and propels the fourth-seed Buckeyes into the tournament championship game where it will meet No. 2 seed Penn State in the first semifinal.
Junior Cian Dabrowski led the charge for the Buckeyes, tying a career high with four goals. Seniors Jennifer Porretto and Katie Chase both notched hat tricks with three goals apiece. Chase has seven goals thus far in two Big Ten tournament wins and, with three goals Friday, ties the Ohio State single-season record with 53 goals this year.
But the real star was senior goalie Tori DeScenza, who recorded 11 saves against the nation's top-ranked team, seven of those coming in the first half. DeScenza came up with one big save after another to keep the Maryland attack at bay.
It was a game of runs as Maryland jumped out in front 4-0 and appeared on its way to victory until the Buckeyes turned it on midway through the first half. Chase scored Ohio State's first goal at the 14:41 mark, igniting a 4-0 run during the next seven minutes to tie the game. Chase had two goals during the run as did Dabrowski.
Maryland then took the lead back with three consecutive goals by Megan Whittle extending into the second half as UMD took a 7-4 lead with 23:55 left in the game. But it was all Ohio State from that point as the Buckeyes scored seven of the game's next eight goals to take an 11-8 lead as the Ohio State bench erupted.
Chase started the run with a free-position goal at 21:28. Porretto then scored unassisted before Jackie Cifarelli found a cutting Rainey Hodgson to tie the game at 7-7 with 19:47 left. Hodgson then found Porretto three minutes later to give Ohio State the lead, 8-7, with 19:55 left.
Maryland's Brooke Griffin, who led UMD with four goals, snapped the run a minute later, tying the game at 8-8 off a free-position shot. But Ohio State answered right back with two conesutive goals by Dabrowski and one by Porretto to give Ohio State an 11-8 lead with 4:46 left.
Maryland didn't go away, tacking on two late goals, including one with under 10 seconds remaining, but ran out of time as its 27-game win streak came to an end at the hands of the Buckeyes.
The win moves Ohio State to 13-6 overall, tying for the second-most wins in school history with the 2014 team.