The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team played in its first contest of the 2021 season yesterday, taking on No. 21 Penn State. The Scarlet Knights (0-1, 0-1) fell to the Nittany Lions (1-0, 1-0) 20-11.
Before the 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Rutgers was scheduled to host Penn State on March 26, 2020. This game ended up being the first matchup between both programs in more than a year.
The Nittany Lions answered twice in less than four minutes to go up by one, while also scoring a third time to make things 3-1 not even 10 minutes into the game.
Penn State scored 10 goals in the first half, with seven players contributing to the goal column, as 5 total goals were credited to Sophia Triandafils, Maria Auth and Kristin O’Neill. Auth would score a first-half hat trick and 4 goals overall, as all three players scored at least three times in the contest.
The Knights would also have seven different goal scorers of their own during the first half, including 2 goals from junior attacker Marin Hartshorn, which took place 43 seconds between each other, one of them coming off a free position shot.
Rutgers' sophomore goalkeeper Alonna Gliksman began the game in net, although she would not finish the contest. Freshman goalkeeper Sophia Cardello would end up filling in for Gliksman, recording six saves in relief. Despite giving up 10 goals at the half, the Knights stayed in the game as the Nittany Lions led 10-8 going into the second frame of action.
During the second half, Penn State scored 3 goals in less than 3 minutes, as the Nittany Lions would total another 10 in the second.
Triandafils would score 2 goals in 64 seconds, while O’Neill would get her second of the game nearly three minutes into the new half. O’Neill would continue her surge, getting her hat trick later on in the period, while Auth registered her fourth goal of the game with 7:38 left.
Penn State would continue its dominance throughout, as the team put up 20 total goals in the game on 35 total shots, with 31 of them registering on goal. This offensive attack resulted in a 20-11 victory for the Nittany Lions, as No. 21 Penn State starts the year 1-0.
The Knights begin the season with a 9-goal loss and a 0-1 record, as Rutgers faces off this Sunday against Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
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