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Rutgers women’s lacrosse loses to No. 4 James Madison in final regular season game

Graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn led the Rutgers women's lacrosse team with 4 points but her efforts were not enough, as the Scarlet Knights ultimately fell to James Madison with a final score of 14-7. – Photo by @rutgers_wlax / Twitter

The Rutgers women's lacrosse team fell to James Madison today at SHI Stadium on Busch campus by a score of 14-7. The Scarlet Knights (7-8, 1-5) honored 10 players on Senior Day in their last game of the regular season against the Dukes (15-1, 5-0).

Tai Jankowski scored the 1st goal of the match for No. 4 James Madison after approximately 2 minutes of play. Approximately 1 minute later, the Dukes quickly added to their lead with a goal from Isabella Peterson. Maggie Clark added a 3rd goal for James Madison with 5:23 remaining.

Senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis netted Rutgers' 1st goal of the game with a free position attempt. The Knights would continue their momentum, as Spilis and senior attacker Jenna Byrne both scored to level the game at 3-3 heading into the second quarter.

The Dukes would dominate on offense in the second quarter, scoring 5 goals. Katelyn Morgan and Savannah Derey both scored in the first 2 minutes of the quarter. Shortly after, Jankowski scored 2 goals from free position attempts to establish a 4-goal lead. Peterson netted her 2nd goal of the match with an assist from Maddie Epke, and freshman attacker Ava Kane scored the final goal of the quarter to make the score 8-4 heading into halftime.

Rutgers started the third quarter fast, as graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn scored 2 goals in approximately 4 minutes. Shortly after, Taylor Marchetti and Jankowski both scored to re-establish a 4-goal lead for James Madison. The Dukes would continue their scoring run with 2 goals from Peterson. Going into the fourth quarter, the Knights trailed 12-6.

The final quarter would be a defensive battle between both teams. Marchetti scored James Madison's 13th goal of the contest with 5:48 remaining. In the final 3 minutes, Jankowski found the back of the cage to extend the Dukes' lead to 8 goals. Senior attacker Lindsay Newton scored the final goal of the contest in an attempt to reduce the score deficit, resulting in a final score of 14-7.

Hartshorn scored 2 goals and provided two assists to combine for a team-leading four points.

Senior defender Meghan Ball led Rutgers on defense with five draw controls and two caused turnovers. Between the pipes, junior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello saved eight shots on goal. On the other side of the pipes, Kat Buchanan stopped nine shots and only allowed 7 goals to be scored.

The Knights will look to return to their winning ways when they travel to Baltimore, Maryland, to take on No. 22 Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The game will be played on Saturday at Homewood Field, and Rutgers will be the sixth seed in the tournament, while the Blue Jays (8-7, 4-2) will be the third seed.

"We were right in the game in the first half," said head coach Melissa Lehman. "I think our team was battling. We were putting a lot of shots on cage, which I liked our offense playing aggressively. I think just losing the draw control stat put us at a disadvantage."

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

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