No. 11 Rutgers men's lacrosse loses regular season finale against No. 5 Penn State
The Rutgers men's lacrosse team suffered a 14-5 loss against Penn State on Friday night during the Scarlet Knights' (8-5, 1-4) final regular season game of the year.
The 5 goals scored for No. 11 Rutgers were the fewest goals scored in a game for the program since a 15-4 loss to Army in 2020. The loss also places the Knights last in the Big Ten standings.
After Rutgers averaged approximately 13.5 goals per game before the team's most recent two games against Maryland and the Nittany Lions (9-3, 4-1), the Knights scored just 13 goals across those two games combined.
With the Big Ten Tournament up next, Rutgers will need to regroup and string together a couple of wins if the team wants to make the NCAA Tournament.
The game against No. 5 Penn State began the same way as the game against the Terrapins (8-4, 3-2), as the Knights went down 5-0 in the first 10 minutes of play. Rutgers spent the rest of the game attempting to catch up.
After trailing by 5 goals, the Knights went on a quick 3-goal scoring run to make the score 5-3 with 12:08 to go in the second period. Senior attacker and midfielder Eric Civetti began the scoring run for Rutgers, and junior midfielder Jack Aimone and senior midfielder David Sprock scored the following 2 goals.
With the score tightening, the Nittany Lions responded, going on a 6-1 scoring run that began with 9:48 left in the second period and extended all the way into the fourth period.
With 7:33 left to go in the game, senior defenseman Jack Stahanczyk scored the Knights' first goal in more than 19 minutes of play and their 5th goal of the contest. It was Stahanczyk's first goal of his collegiate career. The goal was too little too late, though, as Rutgers still trailed by 6 goals.
The Knights would not be able to muster a comeback attempt as Penn State scored 3 more goals to ultimately close out the game, winning by 9 points.
Kevin Winkoff led the Nittany Lions with 3 goals, and TJ Malone chipped in with 1 goal and four assists. Ten different players from Penn State scored at least 1 goal in the contest.
Junior midfielder Shane Knobloch led Rutgers with two points, scoring 1 goal and adding an assist. Sprock, Civetti, Aimone and Stahanczyk each scored a goal, while senior attackman Ross Scott was held scoreless but did record an assist.
Jack Fracyon had a strong day in the net, recording 17 saves for the Nittany Lions. On the other hand, senior goalkeeper Kyle Mullin seemed to struggle, making eight saves and allowing 11 goals for the Knights.
Rutgers returns to action on Saturday against No. 3 Maryland in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Knights are the No. 6 seed, while the Terrapins are the No. 3 seed. The winner will face the No. 2 seed, Johns Hopkins. Rutgers and Maryland will face off at 8 p.m., and the game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.
The winner of the Big Ten Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while everyone else will await potential at-large bids when the bracket is announced on May 7.
For more updates on the Rutgers women's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.