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Rutgers women’s lacrosse ends season with home games against Ohio State, No. 4 James Madison

The Rutgers women's lacrosse will look to extend its two-game winning streak with victories against Ohio State and James Madison. – Photo by Ben Solomon /

The Rutgers women's lacrosse team will play its last two games of the regular season at SHI Stadium on Busch campus against Ohio State and James Madison this week. The Scarlet Knights (6-7, 0-5) will play the Buckeyes (5-10, 0-5) today and the Dukes (14-1, 5-0) on Sunday.

Last season, then-No. 15 Rutgers defeated Ohio State by a score of 10-8. Senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis and graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn netted hat tricks in the match, while senior defender Meghan Ball led the backline with three caused turnovers and seven draw controls.

The Knights have a 7-4 all-time record against the Buckeyes and currently own a four-game winning streak against them.

This year, Ohio State sits tied for last in the Big Ten standings and has yet to win a Big Ten game. The Buckeyes have struggled on offense, as they average a conference-low 24.07 shots per game.

Nicole Ferrara leads Ohio State with 37 goals this season. Rutgers will also have to watch out for Jamie Lasda, as she can score as well as create scoring chances for her teammates. So far, Lasda has netted 25 goals and dished out 29 assists for a team-leading 54 points this season.

The Buckeyes have also struggled on defense. Ohio State allows a conference-high average of 12.12 goals per game. Regan Alexander will likely start in between the pipes for the Buckeyes. Alexander has had a strong season thus far, with 9.87 saves per game on average, leading the conference in that category.

After the Knights' midweek matchup against Ohio State, they will stay home to take on No. 4 James Madison on Sunday.

Last season, then-No. 13 Rutgers defeated the then-No. 21 Dukes on the road by a score of 12-5. Spilis scored a team-leading 5 goals in the match, and junior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello saved nine shots.

This year, James Madison has taken a step up in its play, as the Dukes are undefeated in the American Athletic Conference and are on a 14-game win streak.

James Madison is a strong offensive team, averaging 13.73 goals per game and a conference-leading 31.07 shots per game.

Isabella Peterson leads the Dukes and the American Athletic Conference with 60 goals on the season. Tai Jankowski is another player that the Knights will look to contain, as she has scored 40 goals and provided 19 assists this season.

Kat Buchanan will likely start in goal for James Madison. She currently owns a .482 save percentage and has the lowest goals-against average throughout the entire conference.

For Rutgers to win both contests, it must remain clinical on offense. The Knights have scored more than 10 goals in both of their last two games and must continue that trend against the Buckeyes and the Dukes. Spilis, who was named IWLCA Co-Offensive National Player of the Week, and Hartshorn, who was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, will need to continue their dominant performances in front of the cage.

Rutgers will also need to limit James Madison from attempting shots on goal. The Knights will look to Ball to cause turnovers and recover possession through ground balls. Cardello, who was named Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, must remain dominant between the pipes.

The match against Ohio State will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM. The contest against the Dukes will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

For more updates on the Rutgers women's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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