No. 9 Rutgers men's lacrosse gets ready for crucial home matchup against No. 4 Maryland
The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team will look to win its second consecutive game when it takes on Maryland Sunday night. The Scarlet Knights (8-3, 1-2) started off with a record of 0-2 in Big Ten play before defeating Michigan in an overtime thriller in their last game. No. 9 Rutgers will now look to keep that momentum going against the defending NCAA champion Terrapins (7-3, 2-1).
No. 4 Maryland is coming off an overtime victory of its own after defeating Ohio State 12-11. Coming off a perfect 18-0 season in 2022, the Terrapins program has been less dominant this season, having already picked up losses to Loyola Maryland, Notre Dame and Michigan. Despite these losses, though, Maryland remains a top team in the country and will be a tough opponent for the Knights.
This matchup will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two teams. Rutgers currently stands at 0-11 in the series and will be looking to make history with a victory against the Terrapins.
On paper, this matchup is supposed to be a good one. The Knights currently average 13.55 goals per game (GPG), while Maryland matches that statistic, averaging 12.6. On the defensive side, the numbers are even closer as Rutgers allows 10.18 GPG and the Terrapins allow 10.5. The Knights' 10.18 GPG allowed places them at No. 10 in the country, while Maryland ranks 13th.
The goalkeeping matchup is another area to keep an eye on, as both teams' goalies have very similar statistics. Senior goalkeeper Kyle Mullin currently boasts a save percentage of 51.7 percent for Rutgers, while Brian Ruppel saves 52.2 percent of shots fired his way for the Terrapins.
The Knights were hurt by penalties late in their last game versus the Wolverines (5-5, 1-2) when an illegal body check by senior midfielder Justin Kim forced them to play a man down. No. 15 Michigan then scored 2 goals in 16 seconds with its extra-man opportunity. Rutgers will need to learn from this and limit its penalties in this game, as Maryland has scored on a strong 45.2 percent of its man-up opportunities this season.
Offensively, senior attacker Brian Cameron made his return to the starting lineup in the Knights' last game and contributed with 4 goals. Rutgers will likely lean on him once again as he leads the team in GPG at 2.67.
Senior attacker Ross Scott has scored just 2 goals across his last three games. The Knights will need Scott to get back on track this game when they look to pull off the upset victory.
The game will be played at SHI Stadium on Busch campus and marks the second consecutive home game for Rutgers, who is currently a perfect 7-0 at home this season. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network as well as 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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