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Women’s lacrosse team ‘totally excited’ to rank in top 20 for 1st time all season

The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team defeated Detroit, 26-3, on Tuesday, the day after moving into the top 20 of the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Coaches’ Poll for the first time this season. The Buckeyes (8-4, 1-1 ALC) earned the No. 19 spot in the rankings after receiving 60 points from the voters.

The team had been on the cusp of cracking the poll for some time, earning votes in each of the previous four weeks of rankings. A 17-16 win Sunday against former No. 14 Vanderbilt, which dropped to No. 17, gave the Buckeyes a signature win to bolster their résumé.

The victory was OSU’s first within the American Lacrosse Conference, improving its home record to 4-1. The team now has won six of its past seven games.

“It was a big statement game for us,” said junior midfielder and team captain Gabby Capuzzi. “We’re totally excited.”

Capuzzi said that, regardless of whether the team moved up in the polls, Sunday’s performance will make other teams pay attention to it.

“I think that this game may put a target on our backs,” she said.

Coach Alexis Venechanos said she is more concerned with the team’s position within the conference than its rank in the national poll.

“Our focus is on the ALC,” she said. “If the rankings happen and are a byproduct, that’s great too, but to get our first win in this tough conference is tremendous.”

Five of the six teams in the ALC — No. 2 Northwestern, No. 6 Florida, No. 15 Penn State, Vanderbilt and OSU — are ranked this week. Johns Hopkins is the only unranked ALC team, although it received votes.

OSU is third in the ALC with three conference games left.

Venechanos said the team will focus on improving its defensive play in the coming practices. The 16 goals allowed to Vanderbilt on Sunday are the third-highest total surrendered by the Buckeyes this season.

OSU continues ALC play Sunday when it heads to State College, Pa., to take on Penn State at 1 p.m.

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