The Kent State women’s lacrosse squad finally began their season Wednesday night following the cancellation of their Feb. 7 game against Cincinnati, falling short to the Ohio State Buckeyes, 22-11, in Columbus. 

Although the Flashes started the game with aggression, taking a 3-0 lead, it was not enough to slow down the more experienced Buckeyes squad. Ohio State Coach Amy Bokker has led her team to a 3-0 record since the beginning of this season.

Kent State Coach Brianne Tierney’s group jumped out in front within the first three minutes of regulation. Sophomore midfielder Madison Rapier scored her first of three goals of the night off an assist from Meghan Cawood. After the Buckeyes rattled off four straight goals, the Flashes were able to tie the game at five with nearly 12 minutes to go in the first period. Ohio State quickly extended their lead to 10-5 and never looked back. 

Sophomore midfielder Abby Jones continued her statistical tear from her freshman season, firing off five goals, three of which were assisted by teammates. Leaders like Rapier and Jones scored four goals combined in the second half to chip away at OSU’s lead. Sophomore goalie Grace Merrill recorded 15 saves on 34 OSU shots.  

Newcomers Kenzie Sklar and Allison Kortowich both scored their first career goals. Freshmen Morgan Kubicki and Lexi Piekarski, from Scottsdale, Arizona, and Dublin, Ohio, respectively, led the Flashes in assists with two each.  

Ohio State juniors Sophie Baez and Riley Ewing led the scoring attack for the Buckeyes, with four and three goals, respectively. Four other players combined for another eight goals as OSU relied on its veteran leadership, including senior goalie Jill Rizzo, who surrendered 11 goals on 25 shots.  

The Flashes will travel out to Moon Township, Pennsylvania, to face off against Robert Morris University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. The two schools met last season, where the Flashes dropped an 11-6 battle at Dix Stadium.   

Mason Lawlor is a sports reporter. Contact him at mlawlor1@kent.edu.

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