The No. 16 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team is set to travel for its first away trip of the 2016 season in Berkeley, California. OSU (1-0) is scheduled to face California (0-0) and No. 14 Stanford (1-1) on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The Golden Bears will have their home opener against the Buckeyes on Friday, marking their second straight year opening the season against a ranked team. OSU beat Cal 16-4 the last time the teams met in 2011, and the Buckeyes lead the all-time series 6-3.
Cal might have went 3-13 last season, but OSU senior midfielder Olivia DiCarlantonio said her team would not take them lightly.
“They’re excited, and everyone’s going to come out harder because they’ve been waiting to play someone all year long,” DiCarlantonio said. “We’re trying not to be too confident off of the win that we just had but still have that pride and still come out 100 percent.”
OSU and Stanford are familiar opponents, battling each year since 2011. Stanford has won the last four times, but the largest margin has been a mere two goals. DiCarlantonio said facing the Cardinal is exciting because it’s always a premium matchup.
“They’re a very similar team to us because they’re super athletic, really physical and they know the sport,” DiCarlantonio said. “This is the seniors’ last chance because we’ve never beaten them, so we have to leave it all on the field and execute what we know how to do.”
Kelsey Gallagher, a senior midfielder, said the Buckeyes are going to bring experience and confidence into the games this weekend.
“We got our first game out there and got to see how we play together,” Gallagher said. “I think we attacked the cage from different points really well, and we got our groove and our rhythm.”
The Buckeyes are excited to see what they’ve been practicing in full effect come game time, DiCarlantonio said.
“We’ve really been focusing on ourselves this week and not worrying about the opponent,” she said. “Our clears have gotten so much better, and we’ve been working on changing routes and working more as a unit.”
Gallagher said the team has been preparing all week to execute the gameplan and has the mentality of not backing down against strong opponents, like Stanford.
“We have to have more pride in our defense and be stronger in our identity,” Gallagher said. “We need to be the enforcers out there and be a little tougher on our opponents be more aggressive.”
OSU’s game against Cal is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m., before the contest against Stanford on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Buckeyes keeping momentum
Even with a huge win against Detroit to start the season, DiCarlantonio said the Buckeyes weren’t completely satisfied with the way they played and have discussed what they needed to improve on.
“We saw where we needed to sharpen up, and we’ve been working on our clears all week on defense,” DiCarlantonio said. “Collectively as an attack, we saw which plays were working well and what we need to fix up before our next match.”
With 14 players scoring goals to contribute to the 22-8 win over Detroit, the team gained confidence and rhythm, DiCarlantonio said.
“Everyone was so excited to see how many people could score in different situations, and how the whole team was involved in the win,” DiCarlantonio said. “It wasn’t a one-man show, each player was doing what she did best, and I think we’re all just going to keep utilizing each other’s strengths.”
After its weekend on the Pacific Coast, OSU is scheduled to travel back home to match up against Duquesne on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.