Ohio State women’s lacrosse continued its unbeaten start to the new season with another win at home Wednesday.
The Buckeyes (3-0) dominated Kent State (0-1) 22-11 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, giving Ohio State its third straight victory under first-year head coach Amy Bokker.
Thirteen different players contributed goals to the Buckeyes’ win.
Junior attackman Sophie Baez led the way with four goals for the Buckeyes.
With the score tied 5-5 in the first half, Baez scored the Buckeyes’ sixth goal, assisted by freshman midfielder Caly O’Brien. The score gave the Buckeyes a lead that would last the rest of the game.
Following Baez’s goal –– her second of the game –– the Buckeyes piled on Kent State with a 5-1 scoring run to end the half up 11-6.
“After halftime, the coaches rebuilt our confidence to come out and flip a switch, open the floodgates and bring our team back together,” Baez said.
Ohio State senior midfielder Meghan Matey started the second half strong by scoring within the first minute of play.
The Golden Flashes continued to fight back, scoring two consecutive goals early in the second half.
But they were no match for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State matched its first half goal total in the second, doubling Kent State in the scoring column.
It didn’t start so well for the Buckeyes. Kent State sophomore midfielders Madison Rapier and Abby Jones scored the first three goals of the game in the opening four minutes.
Kent State held a 3-0 lead more than seven minutes into the game until Ohio State freshman attackman Nicole Ferrara scored the Buckeyes’ first goal, which shifted the game’s momentum.
“The game isn’t only five minutes,” Bokker said. “I’ve yet to be worried about being down three goals in the first five minutes. I’d be more worried in the last five minutes.”
Following Ferrara’s goal, Baez and freshman attackman Ashley Turner scored two more goals for the Buckeyes, tying the score 3-3.
Junior midfielder Ali Beekhuizen scored the Buckeyes’ fourth goal on an assist from Baez to give Ohio State its first lead on the game at 4-3.
Baez said the Buckeyes have worked on ball control this week in practice, and it paid dividends Wednesday.
“We definitely protected our sticks. Coming down the field you can tell everyone is constantly checking who’s around them and getting their hands to the plastic, knowing not to have our hands wide and free,” Baez said.
Kent State sophomore goalie Grace Merrill tried to hold off the Buckeyes with 12 saves, but was outmatched by a potent Buckeye attack that has outscored opponents 46-28 thus far.
“We’ve got a lot of games to play, we’ve got to just keep doing what we do and believe in ourselves,” Bokker said.
Ohio State will face its first road test against Stonybrook at noon Saturday.