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Rutgers women’s lacrosse falls flat in loss to No. 2 Northwestern

Senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis scored 3 goals against Northwestern giving her the second-most goals in program history with 175. – Photo by Ben Solomon /

The Rutgers women's lacrosse team fell to Northwestern yesterday by a score of 16-6 at SHI Stadium on Busch campus. The Scarlet Knights (4-7, 0-5) had trouble on offense against the Wildcats (12-1, 4-0).

After less than 1 minute of play, graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn scored the 1st goal of the match for Rutgers. Approximately 5 minutes later, No. 2 Northwestern responded with a goal from Hailey Rhatigan. With 5:40 remaining in the period, Samantha Smith dished out a pass to Erin Coykendall to give the Wildcats their first lead of the contest.

Shortly after, Izzy Scane netted one to extend Northwestern's lead to 2 goals. The Knights responded quickly, with junior midfielder Ashley Moynahan finding the back of the cage to cut the deficit to 1 goal. The Wildcats added to their lead with goals from Scane and Madison Taylor, ending the quarter with a score of 5-2.

In the opening 5 minutes of the second quarter, Scane secured her hat trick to score Northwestern's 6th goal of the match. Approximately 1 minute later, Dylan Amonte successfully converted a free position attempt, resulting in a score of 7-2.

With 7:26 remaining in the first half, senior midfielder Ashley Campo scored a goal to cut the deficit to 4 goals. In the final 5 minutes of the second quarter, Rhatigan netted her 2nd goal of the contest to extend the Wildcats' lead to 5 goals. Northwestern led 8-3 heading into halftime.

With 11:41 remaining, senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis scored the first goal of the third quarter. Approximately 5 minutes later, Campo passed the ball to Spilis, who took a shot and scored again to cut the deficit to 3 goals.

Nearly 50 seconds later, Rhatigan netted her 3rd and 4th goals of the contest, resulting in a score of 10-5. The Wildcats took full control of the match at the end of the quarter, scoring another pair of goals. Going into the final quarter, Northwestern had a 12-5 lead. 

In the opening 3 minutes of the fourth quarter, Smith netted the Wildcats' 13th and 14th goals of the contest, scoring 2 goals in 1 minute to extend their lead to 10 goals. 

With 3:54 remaining, Rhatigan netted her 5th goal and Northwestern's 16th. In the final 2 minutes of the match, Spilis scored the last goal to make the score 16-6. 

Rutgers had trouble handling the ball, as the Knights turned the ball more than 20 times. Spilis' 3 goals on the night gave her the second-most goals in program history with 175. 

Senior defender Meghan Ball led the backline with six caused turnovers and seven draw controls. Junior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello let in 16 goals for the Wildcats but made eight saves during the course of the game.

Rutgers will look to return to winning ways when it takes on No. 6 Stony Brook at SHI Stadium on Wednesday. Face-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

"We stayed in the game for a long time," said head coach Melissa Lehman. "My team came out with a high level of intensity ... I think late in the game, turning it over, not getting many shots and capitalizing on the possessions really hurt us."

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

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