No. 14 Rutgers men's lacrosse eyes victory in home battle against Loyola Maryland
The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team is hoping to get back on track with a win against Loyola Maryland on Saturday. The No. 14 Scarlet Knights (2-1, 0-0) are coming off of a crushing 14-13 loss to Army.
After traveling to West Point, New York for the last game, Rutgers returns home for this matchup against the No. 6 Greyhounds (2-1, 0-0).
In a matchup between the two teams in 2022, the Knights were able to pull off the victory over Loyola 13-12. If this year’s game is anything like the last, it will be a tight one. Rutgers will hope for a similar result while the Greyhounds are out for revenge.
This week's matchup for the Knights won’t be easy, as Loyola has started its season red-hot. After beating then-No. 1 Maryland 12-7, the Greyhounds went into their next game and knocked off then-No. 9 Johns Hopkins 13-8. With the two victories, Loyola made its way from being unranked in the preseason media poll from Inside Lacrosse all the way up to its current rank.
The Greyhounds come into this game as one of the top defensive teams in the nation. They are currently tied for 6th in the country for saves per game and are also 6th in goals allowed per game. They save 16 shots per game and allow just 7.5 goals per game (GPG).
They’ve also been excellent at forcing turnovers and rank 6th nationally in that regard. While they have played only two games, these are still some notable statistics. Luke Staudt has been especially strong as he is ranked 2nd in the nation for goals-against average at 6.27.
To counter this, Rutgers will need to limit its turnovers and use every opportunity to take shots on goal. Despite the strong defense of Loyola, its offense doesn’t rank nearly as high. If the Knights have a strong offense and score some goals against the Greyhounds’ top-tier defense, they’ll be in good shape.
Rutgers will be looking to senior attacker Ross Scott to produce on the offensive end. In last year’s game against Loyola, he had 4 goals and scored the team’s last 3 goals of that contest. Expect much of the same this time around as Scott is currently averaging 3.33 GPG.
In addition to Scott, the Knights got much of their production in last year’s matchup from junior midfielder Shane Knobloch as he scored 3 goals. Through the first three games of the current season, Knobloch has only netted 2 goals. Rutgers will need him to produce more goals going forward and the team hopes that the matchup against the Greyhounds can be a turning point for his season.
The Knights hope to bounce back after their stunning loss last week, but it will not be an easy task against Loyola.
The game will take place at SHI Stadium on Busch Campus at 1 p.m. and will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+.
For more updates on the Rutgers men's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.