The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team defeated Ohio State in a comeback victory for its 14th win of the season. The victory matched the program's single-season record for wins and solidified its position as the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.
For the second consecutive week, junior midfielder Cassidy Spilis was named Big Ten Midfielder of the Week on Tuesday. After her game-high 5 goals against Penn State last Saturday and her combined eight points in back-to-back wins against Wagner and San Diego State earned her the third weekly honor of her career.
With a hat trick in the season finale, she leads the No. 15 Scarlet Knights (14-3, 4-2) into a formidable Big Ten Tournament next week.
The Buckeyes (9-7, 2-4) started rapidly as they outscored Rutgers 3-1 in the first quarter. Graduate student attacker Taralyn Naslonski bagged the Knights’ only goal to keep their fight alive for the quarter.
Rutgers faced a 2-goal deficit at the half and had double the Buckeyes’ turnovers. With a lead in draw controls, the Knights revamped their momentum and initiated a comeback in the final half of their regular season.
The third quarter only saw 1 goal from Ohio State and 2 from Rutgers. Thanks to three saves from sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Cardello and captains senior attacker Marin Hartshorn and Spilis’ 2 consecutive goals, the Knights were 1 goal behind going into the fourth quarter.
Spilis opened the final quarter with a game-tying goal to tie it at 7. Two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Mikayla Dever put Rutgers in the lead for the first time.
Clare Johnston scored to even the match once again with 8 minutes left in the game. Then with 2:42 remaining Dever delivered once again, finding Spilis for her hat trick and to give the Knights the lead they needed to seal the game.
Hartshorn scored the clinching goal with 1:13 left and put the Buckeyes to bed with a hat trick of her own, ending the game at 10-8.
“We spoke tonight about owning gritty stats and hustle points. Toward the end, it seemed like all those loose balls went our way. We won possessions when we needed to and took advantage of opportunities when they were there,” said head coach Melissa Lehman.
Rutgers’ first Big Ten road win of the season comes before the program hosts the Big Ten Tournament at SHI Stadium on Busch campus. The Knights will face No. 2 seeded Northwestern on Friday at SHI Stadium at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.
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