Rutgers women's lacrosse prepares for matchup with No. 16 Johns Hopkins in Big Ten Tournament
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team will travel to Baltimore, Maryland, to take on Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament tomorrow. The Scarlet Knights (7-8, 1-5) will be the sixth seed in the tournament, and the Blue Jays (8-7, 4-2) will be the third seed.
Earlier this season, then-No. 25 Rutgers fell to No. 16 Johns Hopkins by a score of 12-11. In that match, the Knights conceded 6 goals in the final quarter and ultimately suffered their fourth conference defeat. Senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis scored 4 goals, and senior attacker Janey Galski netted a hat trick.
Overall, Rutgers has only won once on the road against the Blue Jays.
Johns Hopkins is a strong team on offense, as six players have contributed at least 20 points this season. Ava Angello has scored a team-leading 29 goals and dished out 12 assists. Two other players that the Knights must look to contain are Maeve Barker and Campbell Case, who have combined for 75 points this season.
The Blue Jays are just as strong on defense as they average a conference-leading 18.33 ground balls per game. Johns Hopkins also sits in third in the Big Ten for caused turnovers per game and draw controls per game.
Maggie Tydings will likely start in between the pipes for the Blue Jays. She currently owns a .404 save percentage from starting in 15 games and allows opposing teams to score an average of 11.14 goals per game.
A key for Rutgers in the contest will be to force Johns Hopkins into turnovers. The Blue Jays average a conference-high 18 turnovers per game.
The Knights will need to continue creating scoring opportunities on offense. Rutgers will look to senior attacker Jenna Byrne to create these chances, as she has provided 22 assists on the season. Spilis, who was named to the First Team All-Big Ten Midfield, and graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn, who was named to the Second Team All-Big Ten Attack, will need to lead the offense in goal scoring.
Freshman attacker Ava Kane and freshman attacker and midfielder Lily Dixon have been in strong form recently. The duo could also contribute on attack against Johns Hopkins.
Senior defender Meghan Ball was named to the Tewaaraton Award Top 25 and First Team All-Big Ten Defense. She will need to cause a majority of the turnovers and scoop up ground balls to win possession. Junior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello, who saved nine shots in the meeting between both teams earlier this season, must stand strong between the pipes.
The game between the Knights and the Blue Jays will begin at 1 p.m. tomorrow and will be played at Homewood Field. The game will also be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+.
"Last time we played Johns Hopkins, we had a great first half, and we couldn’t finish," said head coach Melissa Lehman. "It’s learning from our mistakes from having played them previously. I think this team is definitely excited to get another crack at them because in the last game, we let it get away."
For more updates on the Rutgers women's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.