The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team’s 17-7 win over Rutgers was more than just a simple check in the win column.
The 2015 seniors of the No. 17 Buckeyes became the all-time winningest class in the program’s history with 43 wins last week, and they’ll have a shot at No. 44 against Northwestern in the final game of the first Big Ten lacrosse regular season.
Senior attackman Jackie Cifarelli said such an accomplishment reflects how hard the team has worked over the past four years.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Cifarelli said. “Our senior class has been working so well ever since we stepped foot in this school. Since freshman year we just knew that was the goal for us: to come out being the best.”
Coach Alexis Venechanos said she is particularly proud of the senior class’s leadership on and off the field.
“They all came out here as trailblazers and wanted to put Ohio State lacrosse back on the map and I definitely think they accomplished that,” Venechanos said. “Despite our accomplishments so far, we have great momentum heading into the end of our season.”
Senior attackman Katie Chase said entering their final regular season game, the Buckeyes are focused on playing their own game and doing what is necessary to carry that momentum into the postseason.
“Our ultimate goal is we want to make it to the NCAA Tournament again,” Chase said. “We made it last year for the first time in (11) years which was awesome, so ultimately our goal is to do that again and to do better and go farther.”
Despite the team having competitive goals, Venechanos said there is much more to coaching than the “Xs and Os.”
“One of our jobs as coaches is to inspire and motivate,” Venechanos said. “Our girls are all hard workers and competitive, and it’s our job to keep the chemistry strong and to be good role models. My job is to keep everyone motivated and keep them on the same page for the goals ahead at the same time.”
Venechanos said she feels confident approaching the last Big Ten matchup of the regular season.
“I think we’re in our cylinder at the right part of the season,” Venechanos said. “We’ve been through some ups and downs during the middle and the beginning of the season but I know now we’re really prepared and focused for the challenge ahead of us. We feel that when the challenge is bigger that we’re able to step up to that challenge and we feel comfortable in those scenarios.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to travel to Evanston, Ill., for their last regular-season matchup against Northwestern on Saturday at 3 p.m.