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No. 14 Rutgers women's lacrosse overpowers No. 13 Michigan

Sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Cardello and the Rutgers women's lacrosse team improved to 2-1 in Big Ten play this season, defeating Michigan in a top-15 matchup at SHI Stadium on Busch campus. – Photo by Scarletknights.com

The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team defeated Big Ten rivals Michigan 13-8 in a ranked matchup. The win marks the No. 14 Scarlet Knights (10-1, 2-1) fourth win over a ranked opponent and second conference victory of the season. This is also the program’s first double-digit win total since the 2010 season. Rutgers leads the all-time series 5-3 against the No. 13 Wolverines (9-3, 1-2).

The match was initially scheduled under the lights with the first draw starting at 7 p.m., but inclement weather moved the game up to 3 p.m.

Michigan’s top goal scorer Kaley Thompson opened the scoring at the 8-minute mark to give the Wolverines a 1-goal lead early. Five minutes later, junior midfielder Cassidy Spilis opened the scoring for the Knights and set a scoring precedent for the rest of the first quarter. Rutgers went on a 3-0 run for the final minutes of the first quarter.

Within their dominant run, graduate student attacker Taralyn Naslonski scored her first goal of the game and her 217th career point to sit her even higher in the record books. Surpassing Katie Batiuk in total career points, she now trails Knights’ all-time leader Denise Reed with 232 career points.

Rutgers' 2-goal surplus from the first quarter put them ahead 7-5 going into the half. Both sides went tit-for-tat in the second quarter with each team registering 4 goals in the period. Sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Cardello helped to keep the lead intact, posting four saves in the quarter.

The third quarter saw the lowest-scoring period for both sides, with the Knights holding a 2-1 advantage to further their lead to three going into the final 15 minutes. 

The last quarter saw Rutgers going on a 4-2 run, ending the game at 13-8 in the Knights’ second straight win.

In this performance, multiple players surpassed their statistical bests, with Naslonski producing a season-high seven points, recording 6 goals and an assist. Junior defender Meghan Ball also topped 150 career draw controls after securing 5 of Rutgers' 8 this evening.

The Knights are now on a two-game winning streak after narrowly defeating No. 20 Johns Hopkins in a comeback win this past weekend. Senior attacker Marin Hartshorn found Naslonski with 6 seconds left to earn Rutgers the victory. 

Next time out, the Knights will face Arizona State at SHI Stadium on Busch campus this Sunday at noon. The Sun Devils (4-5, 3-2) are coming off of two consecutive ranked losses, dropping games to No. 18 USC and No. 11 Florida. Live stats for the matinee will be provided at the first draw on Scarletknights.com.


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


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