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Rutgers women's lacrosse looks to continue winning run against Vermont

Once again, senior defender Meghan Ball will look to make an impact in ground balls and caused turnovers when the Rutgers women's lacrosse team takes on Vermont on the road this weekend. – Photo by

The Rutgers women's lacrosse team will travel North this weekend to face off against Vermont on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights (5-7, 0-5) will look to build on their upset victory over No. 6 Stony Brook. 

This will be the first meeting between Rutgers and the Catamounts (5-6, 2-2) in program history. 

Vermont is coming off a 16-13 win over New Hampshire on Saturday, during which Ava Vasile netted a team-leading 5 goals.

The Catamounts won the American East Tournament for the first time in program history last year and are currently ranked fourth in the conference.

The team averages approximately 12 goals per game. Vasile leads Vermont with 31 goals from 54 shots on goal. The Knights must also look out for Jane Trauger and Maddie Erskine, who have a combined total of 50 goals and 14 assists on the season. 

The Catamounts are stronger on the defensive side of the ball, as Vermont has only conceded 110 goals this season, which is the lowest in its respective conference. Carolyn Carrera leads the American East conference in ground balls per game and caused turnovers per game. 

Sophie McLaughlin will most likely be between the pipes for the Catamounts. She currently owns a .429 save percentage in 11 starts and allows an average of 10.54 goals to be scored against the team.

A key for Rutgers is to force Vermont to commit turnovers. The Catamounts average a conference-high 16.91 turnovers per game. The Knights will look to senior defender Meghan Ball to generate those turnovers. Ball, who was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, leads the nation, averaging 3.92 caused turnovers per game.

On offense, Rutgers will look to senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis and graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn to continue scoring goals. Spilis leads the Knights with 34 goals scored this season.

Senior attacker Jenna Byrne can create scoring chances for Spilis and Hartshorn. Byrne has dished out a team-leading 17 assists on the season. 

Junior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello will need to continue her strong play between the pipes. Cardello registered 12 saves in Rutgers' last matchup.

The game between the Knights and Vermont will begin at noon on Virtue Field. The game will also be broadcasted on ESPN3. 

"We have to have high standards and continue to play with something to prove," said head coach Melissa Lehman. "We have to finish out the rest of the season strong if we (want to) have a chance at the postseason. This team right now is very locked in, and I'm super confident that they're ready for that next game."

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

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