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No. 14 Rutgers women's lacrosse takes down San Diego State to start new winning streak

Graduate student attacker Taralyn Naslonski scored a game-high 6 goals to lead Rutgers women's lacrosse to a win over San Diego State. – Photo by Rich Graessle / Scarletknights

The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team wrapped up non-conference play with a 14-4 win over San Diego State on Saturday. With their 12th win of the season, the No. 14 Scarlet Knights (12-3, 2-2) earned their most wins in a season since they went 12-5 in 2007.

Rutgers dominated the game from start to finish, holding the Aztecs (6-8, 0-0) to 1 goal in each period. The Knights opened the first quarter with a 7-1 run in large part thanks to graduate student attacker Taralyn Naslonski, who contributed 5 points, 4 goals and an assist in the first 15 minutes of play.

Senior attacker Marin Hartshorn, graduate student attacker Stephanie Kelly and junior attacker Jenna Byrne also contributed goals in the first quarter, while junior defender Jessica Beneducci assisted the final goal to close the quarter.

The second quarter was much like the first, as Rutgers outscored San Diego State 3-1. Hartshorn netted 2 more points with a goal and an assist to junior midfielder Cassidy Spilis. Spilis now has 51 goals this season. 

The Aztecs closed the first half with a goal from Courtney Robinson for her 2nd goal of the game.

Even with an 8-goal lead at the half, the Knights remained at work expanding their lead. Coming out of halftime, Naslonski joined Spilis and scored her 50th goal of the season. This milestone marks the first time two Rutgers players have reached 50 goals or more in a single season. 

Sophomore attacker Kate Carolonza and sophomore midfielder Ashley Moynahan closed the quarter with a goal each to raise the score to 13-3. 

Deanna Balsama scored San Diego State’s final goal of the match to open the fourth quarter. She made program history with her 53rd goal, the most goals in Aztec history for a single season.

The Knights now have a two-game winning streak and hope to end the season strong with two games remaining. Two more wins would put Rutgers at 14 wins, tying the 1999 record for most wins in a single season. 

Penn State and Ohio State are the Knights' final two opponents. Rutgers will first host the Nittany Lions (6-7, 0-4) on Senior Day this Saturday.

“Today was a great team win," said head coach Melissa Lehman after the game. "We played some lockdown defense, and our goalkeepers were just brick walls today. We shared the ball a lot and took control and attacked from the get-go.”

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

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