The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team completed a wild comeback to defeat Penn State on Senior Day yesterday. An overtime game-winner from junior attacker Ross Scott capped off the comeback for the 15-14 win and earned the No. 4 Scarlet Knights (12-2, 4-1) a program-record 12th win in the regular season.
“It was a great win in a toughly contested game,” said head coach Brian Brecht after the win. “I’m very proud of the whole team.”
Rutgers traded blows with the Nittany Lions (3-10, 1-4) in the first half, ending the first quarter tied at 3. The Knights trailed 8-7 in the final 3 minutes of the second quarter before getting back-to-back goals from senior midfielders Tommy Coyne and Brennan Kamish.
Rutgers went into the break up 9-8.
Penn State responded out of halftime with a 4-0 run in the first 8 minutes of the third quarter to take a 12-9 lead, the team's largest lead of the afternoon. A pair of goals from Scott and sophomore midfielder Shane Knobloch got it back to a 1-goal game as the quarter came to an end.
Still down 1 goal in the final minute, Rutgers would have one last possession to potentially tie the game. The ball ended up in Scott's stick, who converted an unassisted goal with just 8 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
Scott then delivered the sudden-death winning goal with 2:21 left in the overtime period as Knobloch found him at the far left post for his fourth assist of the day.
“We did a really good job of staying strong and pushing back against them,” Scott said. “I was lucky enough to be in a good situation on that game-winning goal.”
In addition to Scott tying his career-high with 5 goals, senior attacker Mitch Bartolo scored a hat trick while Knobloch had a career-high 6-point day with 2 goals and four assists. Seven different Knights found the net as Rutgers outshot the Nittany Lions 51-42.
The Knights also controlled both the faceoff and ground ball battles, winning 17 of 31 faceoffs while earning a plus-10 margin on ground balls collected. Senior goalkeeper Colin Kirst had 8 saves in the win.
With a program-record 12-win regular season in the books, Rutgers now has a week off with a bye into the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in College Park, Maryland. The program will play the highest-seeded quarterfinal winner.
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