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No. 4 Rutgers men's lacrosse wraps up regular season with matchup against Penn State

Senior attacker Mitch Bartolo will be one of several players honored before the game when the Rutgers men's lacrosse team hosts Penn State in their final regular-season game. – Photo by

One of the best regular seasons in the history of the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team will come to a close tomorrow when Penn State comes to SHI Stadium on Busch campus for a Senior Day matchup. A win would break the record for most regular-season wins in program history.

The No. 4 Scarlet Knights (11-2, 3-1) earned a bye into the semifinals of next month’s Big Ten Tournament last week with a 13-12 win over Michigan. The win also got the team back inside the top five of the national rankings as they moved back up to fourth while holding on to second place in the conference.

The regular-season conference title is not entirely out of reach either. If Rutgers wins and Maryland loses to in-state rival Johns Hopkins tomorrow, the Knights would capture a share of the Big Ten crown with both teams finishing 4-1.

Rutgers is riding a high-powered offense that has seen the team average 15.46 goals per game on the season. The leading individual scorer is junior attacker Ross Scott with 31 goals so far this season.

The midfield has contributed to the scoring as well, with senior midfielder Ronan Jacoby posting 28 goals and sophomore midfielder Shane Knobloch scoring 24.

Defensively, the Knights have also been among the nation’s best. They are second nationally in clearing percentage, successfully clearing 91.9 percent of their attempts on the year.

Meanwhile, senior goalkeeper Colin Kirst is posting a career-best 10.30 goals against average while saving 55.3 percent of his shots.

Rutgers will face a Nittany Lions (3-9, 1-3) team that came into the year with high expectations and did not come close to meeting them. Penn State was ranked 20th in the preseason national rankings but stumbled out of the gate and now sits at just 3-9 on the year to go along with a 1-3 Big Ten record.

In addition, the Nittany Lions have lost 6 of their last 7 games and have a 1-4 record against ranked opponents.

The Knights look to have a slight advantage at the faceoff spot, with Penn State winning just 42.6 percent of their draws as a team. For comparison, Rutgers has won 47.6 percent of its faceoffs, with junior faceoff specialist Jonathan Dugenio leading the unit with a 51.6 winning percentage on his draws.

The Knights will also honor their senior class in a pregame Senior Day ceremony, as 27 players will be recognized for their contributions to the program.

Several starters will be graduating from the program following this season, including Kirst, Jacoby, senior attackers Mitch Bartolo and Brian Cameron and senior long-stick midfielder Ethan Rall.

One notable graduate is senior midfielder Zackary Franckowiak, who is the longest-tenured member of the team, having played his freshman season in 2016.

The game will begin at 4 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network. Afterward, Rutgers will have next weekend off courtesy of the first-round bye before heading to College Park, Maryland, to begin the Big Ten Tournament.

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

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