The No. 6 Scarlet Knights’ (4-1, 4-1) offense ran through fifth-year senior attacker Kieran Mullins in this game, as he led the team with 5 goals and three assists in the win. Four of those 5 goals came in the second half of the game, allowing Rutgers to turn a 2-goal deficit at the half into a decisive 6-goal victory.
Graduate student midfielder Connor Kirst and attacker Adam Charalambides also contributed offensively, each finishing with a hat trick against the No. 14 Blue Jays (2-3, 2-3). Freshman midfielder Shane Knobloch found the back of the net twice.
Mullins credited his teammates’ ability to turn defense into offense as the factor behind the Knights’ offensive run late in the game.
“That rope unit and our defense pushing transition helped start our offense and (were) a big part of the win,” Mullins said. “Our first half offensively, we didn't play very well, but then we started to get a spark to have a big second half.”
Defensively, Rutgers forced Johns Hopkins into turning over the ball 18 times — its second-most all season. Sophomore faceoff specialist Jonathan Dugenio and senior defender Zach Masessa both led the team with two caused turnovers. Graduate student goalkeeper Colin Kirst had 12 saves on 21 shots on goal.
“Our rope unit has been great, we’ve asked them to sink their teeth in on the defensive end, and they’ve done that,” said head men's lacrosse coach Brian Brecht. “When they are playing together and sharing the ball, that’s been great to watch.”
With the win, the Knights have reached the midway point of a 10-game Big Ten-only schedule, having won four of its first five games, good enough to earn a spot at No. 6 in the national rankings.
The Blue Jays were sitting in third place in the Big Ten behind Maryland, who Rutgers will face in a rematch this Sunday at SHI Stadium. The Knights fell to the No. 3 Terrapins (5-0, 5-0) in their only loss of the season to date.
“We’ll continue to clean things up and get better, but it’s much better doing so after a win,” Brecht said. “We’re looking forward to doing that Monday, as we get ready for the second half of the league schedule."
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