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Rutgers seeks first win against ranked team at home

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Following its hard-fought loss Wednesday at Penn on Wednesday, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team is keeping an upbeat attitude.

With another difficult test coming tomorrow at home against No. 18 Stony Brook, the Scarlet Knights (3-2) are confident that they will turn things around.

Senior attacker Megan Clements, who leads the team in points with seven, stresses that the entire season is a continuous process.

“We need to realize that each game we need to get better,” Clements said. “We’re not going to peak in the beginning of the season.”

As a player who has a wealth of experience, Clements noted how much potential the team has, but it needs to show up consistently on the field.

“We have a talented team that works well together,” Clements said. “The final push just needs to come in the games.”

The Knights are confident that their offense, which has struggled to score at a consistent rate so far this year, will begin to pick up the pace.

Their 5.4 goals scored per game will not lead to many wins, and Rutgers is hard at work to correct the problems plaguing its attack line.

“We’re playing as if we are waiting for individual people to step up, but we are a team that has to work as a unit,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias.

The offense needs to find solutions soon if they wish to maintain a winning record, especially against a formidable opponent in Stony Brook (3-2).

The Seawolves have the fifth-best scoring defense in the nation, while also boasting an attack line that features prominent midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke.

Van Dyke currently has 16 goals on the season — tied for 13th in the nation.

In comparison, the Knights have scored a total of 27 goals this year.

“Their biggest asset is their attitude and the commitment they have to their game plan for a full 60 minutes,” Brand-Sias said of the Seawolves.

The Knights feel prepared for the competition.

Rutgers played much better against nationally ranked Penn than they did against similarly ranked Princeton, a sign of improvements being made from game-to-game.

One critical factor for Rutgers is to limit its turnovers.

The Knights carried out a season-high 19 turnovers against Penn. Reducing this number is key to coming away with a victory on Saturday.

“We are a one-and-done offense right now, and that’s not going to warrant many balls in the back of the net,” Brand-Sias said.

Consistent daily improvement is a message Brand-Sias preaches to hear team constantly.

Rutgers will have to show this and put it all together Saturday in order to improve to 4-2.

“We have to come out and match their intensity and best it, and fight tooth and nail,” Brand-Sias said.

For more updates on the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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