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No. 4 Rutgers men's lacrosse set to face Johns Hopkins this weekend

Senior long-stick midfielder Ethan Rall and the Rutgers men's lacrosse team look to continue their undefeated start to Big Ten play this season when the team hosts Johns Hopkins on Sunday. – Photo by Rich Graessle / Scarletknights.com

The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team has a chance at back-to-back Big Ten home wins this weekend as the program hosts Johns Hopkins on Sunday evening.

The No. 5 Scarlet Knights (9-1, 1-0) are coming off a 18-7 win over then-No. 8 Ohio State last weekend, which was capped off by a 10-2 scoring run through the second half. The win moved the team back inside the top five in the national rankings.

Senior attacker Mitch Bartolo and junior attacker Ross Scott led the way offensively with 4 goals while senior goalkeeper Colin Kirst had 13 saves.

It has been a historic start to the season for Rutgers, whose 9-1 start is the program’s best since 1956, and that start has led to a slew of individual accolades.

Yesterday, five players were given midseason All-American awards. Senior long-stick midfielder Ethan Rall was the only one named to the First Team, while Kirst, Scott and senior midfielder Brennan Kamish made the Third Team. Sophomore attacker Shane Knobloch was named an honorable mention.

On the other side of this matchup, the Blue Jays (5-5, 1-0) are also looking for their second straight conference win after beating Michigan 15-12 in their conference opener last weekend. 

The victory snapped a stretch in which Johns Hopkins lost 4 of its previous 5 games. The Blue Jays have struggled to win away from home, going just 1-4 in road games at this point of the season.

Johns Hopkins has an experienced attack, with 3 of its top 4 goal scorers all in their senior year or fifth year of eligibility. Garrett Degnon has been the leading scorer for the Blue Jays with 23 goals, while Joey Epstein is right behind him with 19 on the season. 

Degnon and Epstein have combined to make up 37.8 percent of the total scoring this season. As a whole, the team is averaging 11.1 goals per game.

In goal, Josh Kirson is back as the starting goalkeeper, where he has put up a 12.27 goals allowed average while saving 49.8 percent of shots faced.

In terms of winning 50-50 balls, Johns Hopkins has struggled in several categories. The team has not controlled the faceoff battle, winning just 46.4 percent of its draws this year. In addition, the program has a minus -35 differential in ground balls and a minus -8 differential in caused turnovers.

A win against the Blue Jays would be the Knights’ third in their last four meetings, as the Knights won both regular-season matchups last year before getting knocked out by Johns Hopkins in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Rutgers would also remain undefeated at home, having won all five of its games at SHI Stadium on Busch campus.

The game will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and on 88.7 WRSU-FM.


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


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