After a roller coaster start to the season, No. 15 Stanford women’s lacrosse (2-2) hits the road once again, this time heading to the midwest to square off against the Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) at Ohio Stadium on Friday.
The one-game road trip will be the third consecutive match on the road for the Cardinal who also traveled to Frisco, Texas to play in the Patriot’s Cup against No. 10 Duke last Saturday. In the heavily competitive match, the Stanford offense simply couldn’t capitalize on one-goal margins throughout the game and ultimately were sent packing after a four goal Blue Devil flurry to end the match.
Similar to the suffocating 16th-ranked scoring defense of the Blue Devils, Ohio State has surged to their undefeated 3-0 start due to defensive stoutness. The Buckeyes defense ranks among the NCAA as the 22nd best in forcing turnovers and subsequently ranks 13th in winning ground balls.
Despite the mixed 2-2 record, the Stanford offense definitely has shown brilliance and creativity in each of their games. Even in the loss to Duke, sophomore Areta Buness ripped a pass through the middle of the field that found senior attacker Kelsey Murray for the eventual shot and goal – just one of the many displays of the talent on this roster.
Another example was shown after the crushing loss against Duke, when the Cardinal slotted 22 goals against fellow northern California university Saint Mary’s on the road in Moraga this past Tuesday. This resulted in a 16-goal first half that saw two hat tricks from Stanford seniors Elizabeth Cusick and Murray.
Stanford will look to attack and stress the Ohio State defense in their own stadium, and the Cardinal will need to focus on gaining the upper hand in critical inner battles within the game, such as free position shots and turnovers in order to ensure victory in Columbus,throughout the night.
The weekend trip to Columbus will be the only game for the Cardinal this weekend, and the squad will then return to MPSF action in the following week.
Live stats for the game will be available on gostanford.com.
Contact Lorenzo Rosas at enzor9 ‘at’ stanford.edu.