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Women’s lacrosse: youth a bright spot during down season

Ohio State freshman midfielder Sage Darling receives a pass in the offensive zone against Rutgers on March 25. Credit: Courtesy of OSU

The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team struggled throughout much of its 2017 campaign despite beginning the season 5-1. Their 11 losses are the program’s most since 2006, when the Buckeyes amassed an 4-12 mark. They finished the 2017 season 6-11 following a 12-6 loss to Johns Hopkins on Senior Day in Ohio Stadium.

The team’s on-the-field issues have more to do with inexperience than anything else, according to junior attack Molly Wood.

“We’re definitely young,” Wood said. “We have a lot of girls in younger classes stepping into bigger roles who didn’t get a lot of playing time last year, and it’s just hard when you don’t have as much experience as you did in the past. We’re working through that.”

A three-year starter, Wood has been one of the few bright spots for OSU, not to mention the Scarlet and Gray’s most consistent performer. She leads the team in multiple statistical categories, including 47 points and 64 shots on goal.

Though the team lacks more experienced players like Wood, they make up for it by showing effort and preparation in every game and practice, Wood said.

“The coaches see how hard we go every game,” Wood said. “Even though we might not get the outcome we want, I think they’re proud of how hard we go in these games. We’ve continued to improve and compete, and as long as we keep fighting until the very end of the game, that’s the biggest win for them.”

Before suffering a season-ending injury, freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez helped lead OSU’s offensive attack, recording 34 points in just nine games.

She wasn’t the only underclassman to contribute. Freshman attack Alex Vander Molen, sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Maring and sophomore midfielder Erika Keselman all started at least eight matches.

One of the standout underclassmen this season was sophomore midfielder Baley Parrott, who even as a second-year player, started every game this season for the Buckeyes. Parrott finished second on the team in points with 38, including the second most goals on the team (30).

As one of the young leaders for the team, she said she believes that the talent will translate into the win column sooner rather than later.

“Although we’re a young team this year, and while we did struggle, we’ve had some brilliant moments with our young players,” Parrott said. “I think that can be something we can move forward with, just knowing that we have the potential to be so much better because we’re such a young team.”

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