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Women’s Lacrosse: Ohio State faces two-game road stretch to keep momentum moving

Ohio State then-freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez looks to pass in the offensive zone against Stanford on Feb. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: James King | Sports Director

The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team will travel south to face Jacksonville at 7 p.m. Friday in the hopes of maintaining momentum after routing Detroit Mercy 20-5 in its home opener.

Jacksonville (1-1) began its season with a win against Michigan, the team that began the season tied with Ohio State (1-1) for last in the Big Ten’s preseason poll. Given that Jacksonville has already defeated an opponent believed to be on the same level as Ohio State, the Buckeyes could have a tough time dealing with the Dolphins.

Ohio State head coach Alexis Venechanos said the Buckeyes need to make big plays early to have a chance against Jacksonville.

“What we’ve seen so far is that they’re fast and aggressive so we’re going to need a quick start or a little bit faster start than what we had the last two games against our two opponents,” Venechanos said.

The Buckeyes put together a strong offensive performance against Detroit Mercy. They had 11 different players score, and it was the first time they scored at least 20 goals since Feb. 13, 2016, against the same team.

Despite falling to No. 17 Notre Dame in the second game of the season, Dolphins redshirt senior goalie Emily Poelma had 13 saves against the Irish and was the Atlantic Sun Conference’s defensive player of the week.

Venechanos said in order to maintain a well-balanced offense against a strong goalie, they have to capitalize on offensive opportunities against single defenders.

“Individually, being able to beat your player on and off ball, that is something that breaks a lot of defenses,” Venechanos said.

Ohio State has not looked too far ahead to its game Monday against Cincinnati, but Venechanos said it will be difficult to play another road game just three days after facing Jacksonville.

“I think it is going to be challenging once we get back from our away game,” Venechanos said. “We’re going to have to rest quickly, we’re going to have to refocus, and it’s going to be, we think, a great game as well.”

Ohio State takes on Jacksonville on the road at 7 p.m. Friday, then will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats at 5 p.m. Monday.

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