The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team snapped its two-game losing streak on Friday night with a 13-12 overtime victory against Michigan. The game went to sudden death overtime after being tied at 12-12. In overtime, the Scarlet Knights (8-3, 1-2) pulled out the victory over the Wolverines (5-5, 1-2).
The win over No. 16 Michigan marked No. 12 Rutgers' first Big Ten win of the season and also improved the Knights' home record to a perfect 7-0 this season and 14-0 over the last two seasons.
Rutgers started the game on the front foot when senior midfielder Noah Daniels scored an unassisted goal approximately 4 minutes into the game. Senior midfielder Justin Kim followed up with a goal of his own, and the Knights went up 2-0 with 9:54 left to go in the first period.
The Wolverines evened things up at 2-2 later, but a goal from junior midfielder Jack Aimone gave Rutgers the 3-2 lead heading into the second period.
The second period began with 2 consecutive goals for Michigan, giving it its first lead of the game. The Wolverine's lead did not last long, though, as the Knights responded with 2 goals of their own.
Senior attacker Brian Cameron scored Rutgers' first goal of the second period. This game marked Cameron's return to the starting lineup after he missed or played limited minutes in the last three games due to injury.
Cameron's goal kicked off a 6-0 scoring run for the Knights, which would extend late into the third period when he scored Rutgers' 6th consecutive goal with approximately 5 minutes left to go.
Cameron's third-period goal gave the Knights a 9-4 lead, which was their largest lead of the day.
Rutgers looked in control with 5 minutes left in the third period, but Michigan clawed its way back into the game with a 4-0 run over the final 4:12 of the period.
The Knights led 9-8 going into the fourth period.
Rutgers found the hot hand to begin the final period of regular time, as Cameron scored his 3rd goal to put the Knights up 10-8. After both teams exchanged goals, the player scored again to give Rutgers a 3-goal lead with 9:33 left to play.
With the Knights looking to put the game out of reach, the Wolverines went on another scoring run to end regulation. The Michigan scoring run was helped in part by an illegal body check penalty from Kim that forced Rutgers to play a man down for a whole minute.
The Wolverines took advantage of the penalty, scoring 2 man-up goals in just 16 seconds of game time to cut their deficit to 1 goal. Approximately 3 minutes later, Michigan scored again to tie the game at 12-12 with around 4 minutes left to play.
Both teams could not find a game-winner in the final minutes of regulation.
In the second half, the Knights struggled to win faceoffs against the Wolverines, trailing 12-5 in faceoffs won after halftime. Despite this, Rutgers won the faceoff to begin overtime and called a timeout. After the timeout, junior midfielder Shane Knobloch fired a shot that found the back of the net, winning the game for the Knights.
"I came up off the pick from Justin Kim, got my hands free, and got my shot off," Knobloch said. "We learned a lot about controlling the game, having to bounce back and control the ball offensively."
Knobloch finished the contest with 3 goals and an assist. Cameron's return to the starting lineup ultimately proved crucial to the game's outcome, as he led Rutgers with 4 goals.
Senior attacker Ross Scott attempted seven shots on goal and scored 1 goal.
Senior goalkeeper Kyle Mullin returned to the cage for the Knights and recorded 11 saves.
Rutgers returns to action next Sunday against Maryland. The contest will have a faceoff scheduled for 7 p.m. and be played at SHI Stadium on Busch campus. The game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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