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No. 4 Rutgers men's lacrosse finishes 2022 season with Final Four appearance

The No. 4 Rutgers men's lacrosse team had a historic 2022 season propelled by many old and new faces. – Photo by Rutgers Men's LAX / Twitter

The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team reached new heights never seen before by climbing its way up the college lacrosse ladder. The No. 4 Scarlet Knights (15-4, 4-1) made their first-ever Final Four in what was a historic season.

Rutgers’ postseason journey started in the Big Ten Tournament, where it defeated Ohio State 12-10 in the semifinals. The win put the Knights in the conference title game for the first time since 2016, where they would lose to the eventual national champion Maryland. 

Rutgers would clinch a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, their second consecutive appearance in the tournament. 

At Yurcak Field on Busch campus, the Knights hosted Harvard in the first round, winning 19-9. Junior attacker Ross Scott totaled 8 goals, while senior attacker Brian Cameron tallied a hat trick. The win sent Rutgers to the national quarterfinals for the second straight year.

This time in the quarterfinals, the Knights would play Penn. Against the 3-seeded Quakers (11-5, 3-3), Rutgers would win 11-9 in what was a close match.

With the win, the Knights put themselves in a situation to compete for their first-ever national title the next weekend in East Hartford, Connecticut. 

In the Final Four, Rutgers would lose to 7-seeded Cornell 17-10, as the Big Red (14-5, 6-2) led 8-3 at the half and held that lead through the rest of the game. The Knights' season ended one game away from the chance to play for a national championship.

As Rutgers saw familiar faces have success, several new players also contributed to the historic year. With seven total transfers, the Knights grew stronger even though all seven never played in the Big Ten before this season. 

Three, in particular, were senior attacker Mitch Bartolo, senior midfielder Ronan Jacoby and Cameron. These senior transfers heavily contributed to the team's high-flying offense. 

Scott led the team in several offensive categories. The West Linn, Oregon, native finished 2022 with 50 goals, 25 assists, 75 points and an NCAA All-Tournament Team selection. His 50 goals tied a single-season record with Rutgers alum Tom Sweeney, who reached 50 in 1978.

Sophomore midfielder Shane Knobloch had five hat tricks throughout the season, as he totaled 32 goals throughout the year. In two seasons with the Knights, Knobloch has scored 48 times, was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2021 and an All-American Honorable Mention in 2022.

Senior goalkeeper Colin Kirst also played his fair share in Rutgers’ success. He played more than 1,000 minutes in 2022, posting a 15-4 record with a goals-against average (GAA) of 11.08, a save percentage of .540 and a total of 234 saves.

Kirst faced 700 shots in his final season on the Banks. He was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team as well as Second Team All-American.

Throughout the season, the program honored former head coach Tom Hayes, who passed away earlier this year. Hayes is the all-time winningest coach in program history, with 194 victories. During the season, the players wore Coach Hayes' name on the back of their jerseys.

The Knights will look to make the new heights reached this season into a recurring tradition as they head into the offseason and begin preparations for 2023.

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

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