Senior attackman Cian Dabrowski said she believes the leadership and influence of the senior class will lead the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team to reach new heights this season on the heels of a 13-8 campaign.
Dabrowski enters her senior season coming off a 2015 season for the books. She is the team’s active leader with 69 goals and 25 assists and she scored a team-high four goals when OSU knocked off No. 1 Maryland in the semifinals of the 2015 Big Ten tournament. This broke the Terrapins’ 27-game winning streak and gave the Buckeyes their first win over a top-ranked team in program history.
“That was my favorite moment of my career as a Buckeye,” Dabrowski said. “No one really expected us to beat them, so it made that victory so much sweeter, and we all take a lot of pride in that game.”
Going into the 2016 season, Dabrowski said she wants to continue the success the team has had in the past as different people step up and fill new roles.
“Our team’s goals this year revolve around trying to build off of a great season last year and continuing to grow,” Dabrowski said. “We proved to be a big threat in our conference, as well as in the country, so continuing with that elite mentality is something we work on everyday.”
Dabrowski said her personal role on the squad has evolved drastically since her freshman year.
“We had some phenomenal players my first few years, so it was my job to learn from them and find a way to complement them,” Dabrowski said. “Now it’s my opportunity to put everything I’ve learned to work, and I’m looking forward to having more trust and assurance from my teammates when I have the ball.”
Coach Alexis Venechanos, in her sixth year at the helm for the Buckeyes, said Dabrowski and the rest of the senior class have always had great leaders above them, and she expects them to carry that quality on to their younger teammates.
“I think Cian is really taking on the leadership role well,” Venechanos said. “She’s taking some of these newcomers under her wing in the attacking end, and she’s working well with our returners and some players who need a little more game experience.”
Dabrowski said having nine teammates in her class brings a sense of variable leadership, which is reflected throughout the entire team.
“Looking at nine of us for leadership is a blessing for our team, because it allows for so much diversity, and that unifies us with the younger girls,” Dabrowski said. “Our senior class is the most determined, hardworking and passionate group of girls that I am fortunate enough to call my teammates.”
Venechanos said she is excited to see how Dabrowski will influence her team this season.
“In the big stage, Cian is clutch,” Venechanos said. “She will be a person we will look up to both on and off the field this year.”
Growing up in a lacrosse and hockey family, Dabrowski said she has a different perception of the game, which is something that she said she can use to her advantage as a leader.
“I hope to continue to use this to my advantage in the upcoming season by inspiring my teammates to approach things differently,” Dabrowski said. “This is something that the Buckeye lacrosse atmosphere motivates me to do, while continuing with our own traditions, it can be truly humbling.”
Venechanos said Dabrowski is a phenomenal player and an even better person, making her the ideal leader for the team. The hype around the Canadian product led to her being one of three OSU players named to the Big Ten’s players to watch list on Monday.
“She has this great sense of self-confidence and never gets flustered when she makes a mistake,” Venechanos said. “She has this poise around her, and I’m really impressed with her competitiveness and determination.”
Dabrowski and the Buckeyes are set to kick off their 2016 season on Feb. 13 against Detroit at 3:30 p.m. at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.