Before each game, a group of seniors was honored, with the fifth-year seniors being recognized before Friday’s game and the other seniors having their ceremony on Sunday.
For the first minute of the game, the Spartans (7-8, 0-8) had control of the ball, but soon after the Scarlet Knights (15-3, 6-2) took control. Their first goal came 9 minutes into the game from sophomore forward Bridy Molyneaux after a scramble in front of the net and an assist from freshman midfielder Guillermina Causarano.
Rutgers finished the quarter with three shots while Michigan State couldn’t get a shot off for the first two quarters. The second quarter featured six shots from the Knights but no goals.
Nearly 7 minutes into the second half, Molyneaux slapped a shot for her 2nd goal. The assist was credited to senior midfielder Katie Larmour, one of the players honored in the pregame ceremony.
Less than a minute later, Molyneaux was back in front of the goal and tapped in Rutgers’ first hat trick since 2017.
“It was an adrenaline rush,” Molyneaux said. “I was ready to just put it in the goal.”
The Knights finished the quarter with two shots, and the Spartans managed their first shot but nothing else. Late in the fourth quarter, Rutgers changed goalies, replacing senior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz with sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Howard, who recorded four saves.
No goals were scored in the fourth quarter, and by the game’s end, the team had outshot Michigan State 14-6.
“(Molyneaux) coming in and scoring 3 great goals was huge,” head coach Meredith Civico said. “She’s had a really good week of training. She’s really been focused the last two days.”
The win was the Knights’ sixth in Big Ten play and the highest total since joining the conference.
Sunday’s game remained scoreless until the second half. Rutgers had four first-half shots while the Leopards (13-5, 4-2) had two. The Knights broke things open in the third quarter with six shots including both of their goals.
By the game’s end, Rutgers outshot Lafayette 12-5. Glatz made two saves and played the entire game.
The Knights will be back in action this weekend when Rutgers hosts the Big Ten Tournament. Their first game is on Thursday at 4 p.m. against seventh-seeded Indiana.
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