With a win on the road Saturday, Ohio State women’s lacrosse could start 4-0 for the first time in five years.
The Buckeyes (3-0) have knocked down each opponent they have faced this season, but they take on their first road test against No. 10 Stony Brook (1-0) in New York this weekend.
While Ohio State’s results have steadily grown more and more dominant — its most recent victory coming in 22-11 blowout fashion — the Seawolves provide a greater challenge as the seven-time defending America East Conference champion.
“Confidence and high intensity need to flow through every single one of us, especially with Stony Brook,” Ohio State junior attackman Sophie Baez said. “They’re a great team, but with confidence, you can do a lot of great things.”
Saturday will be the first-ever matchup between the Buckeyes and Seawolves.
Stony Brook has only played one game this season, a 17-16 win against then-No. 4 Syracuse.
The Seawolves are led by head coach Joe Spallina, who began coaching the Seawolves in the 2011-12 season, turning the team around to win seven consecutive conference titles and back-to-back quarterfinal appearances in the NCAA tournament in 2017 and ’18.
One key Seawolves player is senior midfielder Ally Kennedy, who is ranked No. 4 in all-time goals at Stony Brook, and is No. 7 on the team’s career points list.
Senior attackman Taryn Ohlmiller amassed six goals in Stony Brook’s victory against the Orange and was No. 2 in points for the Seawolves behind Kennedy in 2019.
To achieve success, Ohio State head coach Amy Bokker said the Buckeyes put a heavy focus on their attacking mindset in practice.
“We need to be prepared, recognize personnel, be tough and finish when we have the opportunity,” Bokker said. “We need to be mentally tougher and physically tougher because mental toughness is part of your preparation.”
The Seawolves’ offense piled up 310 goals in 2019, bounds ahead of the 194 Ohio State mustered.
“We really need to be organized on our defense end,” Bokker said.
Ohio State senior goalie Jill Rizzo has saved 45 percent of the shots she’s faced so far this season and might be called upon for a higher rate if the Buckeyes hope to achieve victory.
The Buckeyes will fight to continue their winning streak at noon Saturday in Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium.