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Ohio State women’s lacrosse set to battle reigning MAAC champion Canisius

Then-sophomore midfielder Kaila Gottlick (28) fights for position during a game against Notre Dame March 4, 2012, at Ohio Stadium. OSU lost, 16-7. Lantern file photo

Then-sophomore midfielder Kaila Gottlick (28) fights for position during a game against Notre Dame March 4, 2012, at Ohio Stadium. OSU lost, 16-7.
Lantern file photo

After falling to a pair of top 15 teams back-to-back, the road is not becoming any less traveled for the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team.

After traveling from coast to coast, Buckeyes hit the road yet again for the third consecutive week to take on Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

The Buckeyes (2-2, 0-0) are coming off two straight losses after falling to then-No. 14 Stanford and then-No. 13 Boston College on consecutive Saturdays. With only four games under its belt, OSU is looking to learn from its mistakes.

Senior defender Heather Gravinese said it is still early in the season, and each game is a fresh start.

“We take everything we’ve learned from the past four games and apply it,” Gravinese said. “Now we are just moving forward and focusing on Canisius.”

Coach Alexis Venechanos said that her team is ready to play strong defense in matching up against Canisius (1-2), a team she credits with having an “impressive offense.”

“They have a great team,” Venechanos said. “They are MAAC champions so they are coming in with that confidence from last year.”

Canisius has also played some strong competition, losing to both No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Syracuse. Last time out, however, Canisius topped Colgate, 12-11 at home. The leading scorer for the Golden Griffins, junior attackman Tori Quinn, will step on the field with a shooting average of 54.5 percent and with all of her shots being on goal.

The Buckeyes are expecting to combat Canisius’ confidence and prime scorer Quinn with a team defense mentality — which means the attackmen ride their defense, the midfielders step up and the defenders play overall strong defense.

“We know that our defense is what sparks energy,” Gravinese said. “So we like to make sure we have a strong defense so that it translates up the field.”

Something the Buckeyes implemented this week was a new clear transition, and senior midfielder Kaila Gottlick is hopeful it will help them be successful this weekend.

“We are looking forward to keeping our zone defense, which has gotten a lot stronger over the past weekends,” Gottlick said. “We are definitely in reach of our goals.”

Venechanos said she is confident about the direction her team is headed going into this weekend after its performance for the beginning of the season.

“We just need to dig in and work hard every day,” she said.

Faceoff against that Golden Griffins is slated for 1 p.m. at Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo, N.Y.

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