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No. 12 Rutgers women's lacrosse suffers 1st loss of season at No. 4 Maryland

Junior attacker Jenna Byrne and the Rutgers women's lacrosse team suffered their first loss of the season to No. 4 Maryland. – Photo by Olivia Thiel

The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team’s undefeated start came to an end this weekend, with a tough loss in College Park against Maryland. The No. 12 Scarlet Knights (8-1, 0-1) suffered a 16-6 loss against the No. 4 Terrapins (7-0, 1-0). Rutgers was coming off a strong week on the road with two wins against No. 18 Temple and No. 21 James Madison.

The Knights opened the scoring in the first 3 minutes when graduate student attacker Stephanie Kelly assisted senior attacker Marin Hartshorn on the game’s opening goal. Maryland would later go on a 4-0 scoring run to end the quarter, putting Rutgers at an early disadvantage.

Hartshorn and junior midfielder Cassidy Spilis would score a goal apiece in the second quarter but this was not enough to hold off the Terrapins’ top three scoring offense in the country.

Maryland led 7-3 coming out of the halftime break, but the Knights responded as junior attacker Jenna Byrne found Spilis, who put the ball in the back of the net at the 11:37 mark. Hartshorn scored a free-position shot less than a minute later to put Rutgers in striking distance of a comeback.

Down by two in the final 15 minutes of play, the Knights couldn’t close the gap as the Terrapins finished the game with a 9-1 scoring run that saw three Maryland attackers have hat tricks. The loss marks the end to the longest undefeated start to a season in the program’s 46-year history.

Hartshorn and Spilis netted hat tricks in the afternoon while Kelly had a game-high two assists for Rutgers’ scoring offense. Junior defender Meghan Ball had a game on the defensive end, claiming a game-high five draw controls and helping the Knights dominate the draw 17-9. 

Ball also had three ground balls and tied freshman defender Madison Karpe with two caused turnovers in the loss.

The Terrapins have always been a formidable foe for Rutgers. With just one win in the all-time series, the Knights only found their first success last spring in a close 16-14 home win. With this win under its belt, Maryland is the last remaining team to have a perfect record in the Big Ten and one of few in the country.

Rutgers will return to the Banks for three consecutive games, first hosting No. 18 John Hopkins this Saturday at 5 p.m.

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

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