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Women’s lacrosse: Ohio State regains momentum in home-opening win vs. Detroit Mercy

Ohio State then-freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez looks to score against Vermont during the 2017 season. Credit: Courtesy of Walt Middleton – OSU Athletics

The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team (1-1) bounced back from its season-opening loss to Navy in its home opener Friday night after defeating Detroit Mercy (0-2) 20-5.

The Buckeyes dominated offensively with 11 different players putting points on the board. Ohio State was 22-27 in draw controls allowing them to maintain possession for most of the game.

“It was awesome to see so many different girls score because that is what we’re going for is just a balanced offense,” sophomore midfielder Liza Hernandez said.

Hernandez led the team with five goals on eight shots.

“We started out a little slow but I think we did a good job of bouncing back and pushing through the lows,” Hernandez said. “At first we weren’t really converting on those shots but I think we just brought it in and really made adjustments to put the ball behind the net.”

After the Titans scored first, Ohio State set the tone early by going on a 7-0 run in the first half, while holding the Titans to a 22-minute scoring drought.

Detroit Mercy freshman midfielder Meredith Moore scored with less than two minutes left in the first half, but that did not shake Ohio State’s momentum; the Buckeyes followed with three more goals before halftime, leading 10-2.

Ohio State junior attacker McKayla Conti had four goals and junior attacker Sarah Dickinson had three assists. The Buckeyes had 42 shots compared to the Titans’ 17.

“I thought our attackers and midfielders were courageous and they just took it,” head coach Alexis Venechanos said.  

Sophomore goalie Jillian Rizzo had six saves in the game. Ohio State caused 10 turnovers overall, three of which were from junior defender Caroline Mackrides.  

A forced turnover by senior midfielder Shannon Rosati and clear attempt by Mackrides late in the first half gave Hernandez her third goal of the game.

“My teammates created a lot for me. They drew double, moved it to me, I just had one girl to beat and I just finished,” Hernandez said.

Detroit Mercy redshirt sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn Wandelt led the Titans with four points, three of which came in the second half. But Ohio State went on a 6-0 run beginning around the 13-minute mark to greatly extend its lead and close out the game.

“We knew we had a lot to work on this week sharpening things up” said Hernandez. “I think we did a better job of moving the ball more and not having as many turnovers as last week.”

Ohio State takes on Jacksonville on the road Feb. 23.

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