Ohio State women’s lacrosse’s winning record will be on the line Saturday when the team takes on Marquette in Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes (4-3) will try to avoid their third straight loss when they go head to head with a Marquette (5-3) team that’s won four of its past five games.
The two teams met this past year, resulting in an 11-9 Ohio State victory.
Ohio State senior attackman Liza Hernandez led the Buckeyes in goals during Ohio State and Marquette’s most recent meeting. She also leads the Buckeyes in goals this season with 14.
“We want to get things clicking early, have seven threats on the field at once, really execute our plays and just get the ball in the back of the net,” Hernandez said.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a 19-9 win against Central Michigan, the second consecutive game in which they’ve scored 18 points or more. Just six teams in the nation have averaged that pace all season.
To put a stop to Marquette’s offensive tear, the Buckeye defense will have to show its strength.
“We aren’t necessarily focused on one player, but having a solid team defense,” head coach Amy Bokker said.
Marquette lost its leading scorer of the 2019 season, then-senior midfielder Grace Gabriel. Gabriel scored three goals against Ohio State in the teams’ previous meeting.
The Buckeye defense instead will have to pay attention to Marquette sophomore midfielder Lydia Foust, who replaced Gabriel as the Golden Eagles’ top scorer. Foust put up five goals against Central Michigan for a season total of 19. Foust had one goal on Ohio State in the 2019 matchup.
The Buckeyes will also have to keep their eyes on junior midfielder Caroline Steller and sophomore attackman Shea Garcia. Steller and Garcia are tied for No. 2 on the team with 16 goals. Steller scored twice against Central Michigan.
In their most recent contest, the Buckeyes experienced their third loss of the season 21-16 against UMass. The Buckeyes had goals from eight different players, but it was not enough to secure a win.
“We really need to give ourselves more opportunity off each draw control,” Bokker said.
The Buckeyes have yet to win on the road, with other losses coming from Stony Brook and Notre Dame.
“The draw is something we struggled with in both games. Getting those possessions are key in the ability to score,” Bokker said. “This last Sunday against UMass, we fought tough throughout the entire second half, where against Notre Dame we lost momentum.”
As the slew of road tests continues, the Buckeyes hope to play aggressively throughout the whole game to finish strong.
“We’re really trying to focus on playing the full 60 minutes,” Hernandez said.
The Buckeyes will fight to change their record on the road against Marquette at 2 p.m. Saturday.