After earning its first win of the season against Harvard on Feb. 24, the Stanford women’s lacrosse team will now hit the road to take on No. 13 Ohio State on March 2.
This will be the first road trip of the season for the Cardinal (1-1), but Stanford head coach Amy Bokker is not worried about how her young squad will handle it.
“Going into [the road trip], with our younger players, it could be an advantage—we just go and play,” Bokker said. “Anywhere we go, it’s tough to play on the road, but I think this team can really handle it with good energy and make the adjustments we need.”
Last season, Ohio State defeated Stanford 14-10 in Palo Alto. When it travels to Columbus this weekend, Stanford will try to use the momentum earned from an 18-13 win over the Crimson, during which the Cardinal dominated in all facets of play, to overtake the Buckeyes.
Twelve different players have scored for Stanford after just two games on the season. Freshman Lucy Dikeou leads the way with five goals to go along with two assists, while redshirt junior Rachel Ozer has recorded four goals and five assists. Junior captain Anna Kim has also posted six points on three assists and three goals. Kim was recently named to the Tewaarton Award Watch List along with junior goalkeeper Lyndsey Munoz, who has made eight saves in two games.
On the defensive end, Stanford has used high-pressure tactics to force turnovers and control play. Junior defender Meg Lerner tied a school record with eight draw controls against Harvard to go along with three ground balls and one forced turnover. According to Bokker, the team will continue to work on its defensive discipline.
“We were a little late with our slides and looked disorganized [against Harvard],” Bokker said. “From that standpoint, we didn’t really reach our goals defensively, so that’s going to be a good focus going into Ohio State.”
Stanford will need to defend well against a prolific Buckeye attack. Ohio State averaged nearly 14 goals a game while earning two wins in the team’s first four matches.
On Feb. 27, the Buckeyes lost to No. 8 Notre Dame, 13-8. On Feb. 16, the Fighting Irish came back from a 7-2 halftime deficit to defeat the Cardinal 12-10 in Stanford’s season opener.
The Buckeyes already have three players with double-digit point totals, led by junior Katie Chase’s 11 goals. Ohio State’s Jackie Cifarelli is another attacker to watch out for, as the sophomore has collected 12 assists to go along with four goals.
“Defensively, being able to stay on the cutter will be really important because I think they like to feed the ball a lot,” Bokker said.
Ohio State sophomore Tori DeScenza has started all four games in goal for the Buckeyes this year, although two other players have made appearances in net. Last year, DeScenza made saves on 12 Stanford shots as the Buckeyes upset the Cardinal.
“I remember their goalie being very good last year,” Bokker said. “We’ll continue to fine-tune our shooting this week.”
One cause for concern for the Cardinal is the health of midfielder Hannah Farr. The sophomore left the game against Harvard with her forearm in a brace and her status for Saturday’s game is unknown.
The game in Columbus will begin at 9 a.m. PST on Saturday.
Contact Jana Persky at jpersky ‘at ‘stanford.edu.