No. 9 Rutgers men's lacrosse remains winless against No. 4 Maryland
The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team fell to Maryland 11-8 last night. It was Senior Night for the Scarlet Knights (8-4, 1-3), and the team honored 21 players in front of a program record of 5,823 fans prior to the faceoff versus the Terrapins (8-3, 3-1).
The game marked the first home loss of the season for No. 9 Rutgers, and the loss to No. 4 Maryland also means that the Knights have an 0-12 all-time record against the Terrapins.
The game began with strong defensive play from both sides until Maryland got on the board first with a goal at the 8:51 mark in the opening period.
The Terrapins' scoring did not stop there, though, as they scored 3 more goals and opened up with an early 4-0 lead over Rutgers to end the first period. Braden Erksa assisted on the first 3 goals for Maryland.
The Terrapins scored their 5th straight goal to open up the second period. Approximately 3 minutes later, a great save from senior goalkeeper Kyle Mullin wound up flipping the script for the Knights as they finally found the back of the cage at the other end of the field. Rutgers went on to score again, and goals from junior midfielder Jack Aimone and senior attacker Brian Cameron made the score 5-2 at the 8:38 mark of the second period.
Maryland then silenced the crowd with a goal of its own before senior attacker Ross Scott scored just 21 seconds later to cut the deficit back to 3.
The Terrapins then extended their lead to 8-3 until the Knights scored just before halftime off a goal on the man advantage from junior midfielder Shane Knobloch, which resulted in a score of 8-4.
At the break, Rutgers trailed 17-6 in shots on goal and won just 5 of the 14 faceoffs. The Knights' advantage in saves was keeping them in the game, as Mullin had nine saves, seven in the second period, to Maryland’s two.
The second half began with 2 goals from the Terrapins before Aimone scored again for Rutgers to make it 10-5. Maryland would strike once again, and the score was at 11-5 heading into the final period of play.
The Knights scored first in the fourth period with a goal from senior defenseman Bobby Russo. The goal was just his 2nd of the season thus far.
Nearly 10 minutes went by, and neither team had scored since Russo's goal. Rutgers then found the back of the cage once again to make the score 11-7 with approximately 4 minutes to play.
The game didn't stop there, as the Knights scored yet again less than 2 minutes later. They now trailed by 3 with 2:40 remaining. The 3-goal deficit was the smallest of the second half as Rutgers looked to make one final push.
Though the team came close to scoring with approximately 30 seconds remaining, the Knights were unable to score as Brian Ruppel made a save, and the Terrapins held on for the victory.
Rutgers held Maryland scoreless in the final period, but it was too little, too late, as the Knights didn't perform well enough in the first three periods.
"It’s a 60-minute game," said head coach Brian Brecht. "I did a very poor job of preparing the guys this week. I’m disappointed in myself."
Rutgers will take on Penn State in an away game on Friday. The game is the regular season finale for the Knights. Faceoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.
"I think there’s a sense of urgency now," said Brecht. "Their backs are against the wall, so I don’t have to candy-coat it anymore. We’ve got to take care of ourselves, and we’ve got to win on the road."
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