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Cardin Stoller heroics: No. 19 Rutgers men's lacrosse narrowly defeats UMass on Long Island

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Cardin Stoller recorded an impressive career-high 19 saves to help propel the Rutgers men's lacrosse team to victory against UMass. – Photo by Chloe Berwick

The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team battled with UMass Saturday afternoon on Long Island. The Scarlet Knights (6-2, 0-0) defeated the Minutemen (4-3, 0-0) in a tight contest, hanging on for a 10-9 win.

No. 19 Rutgers won the first faceoff of the game, but UMass scored the 1st goal of the contest moments later through Grant Breyo. The Knights forced Minutemen goalkeeper Matt Knote into saves but were finally able to find the back of the cage from senior midfielder Shane Knobloch

Both teams traded goals before Rutgers took its first lead of the afternoon with a rocket of a goal from sophomore long-stick midfielder Ryan Splaine. The Minutemen responded with 2 more goals to lead 4-3 after the first quarter.

The Knights came into the second quarter with momentum, as Knobloch and graduate student midfielder Ross Scott each scored to put Rutgers back in front. But UMass ended the quarter on a 3-0 scoring run and led 7-5 at halftime. 

It was a battle of the goalkeepers in the first half, as Knote and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Cardin Stoller both recorded more than 10 saves. The Knights outshot the Minutemen 30-23 but were trailing after 30 minutes of play. 

The third quarter started even, but graduate student Tanyr Krummenacher found the back of the net after approximately 5 minutes of play. Thirty-seven seconds later, freshman midfielder Colin Kurdyla got involved in the scoring to tie the game at 7-7. The offensive prowl continued as senior midfielder Nick Teresky scored off a UMass turnover to put Rutgers in front for the first time since the 7:10 mark of the second quarter.

With approximately 6 minutes left in the third quarter, Mason Bregman leveled the game once again but Scott scored an impressive goal to give the Knights a 9-8 advantage heading into the final quarter. Rutgers was much sharper defensively in the third quarter, allowing the Minutemen to score just 1 goal. 

UMass scored first in the fourth quarter, as Charles Kurtz netted the Minutemen’s 9th goal of the contest. No goals would be scored for approximately 10 minutes until Knobloch secured his hat trick to give Rutgers a narrow 10-9 lead. UMass attempted one final shot to force overtime, but Stoller came up big with a save to seal the win. 

After Stoller clinched the win for the Knights, his team rushed around him to celebrate.

“That’s what you play the game for, is those moments,” Stoller said of the late-game heroics and celebration.

Stoller recorded a 67.9 save percentage and a career-high 19 saves.

Head coach Brian Brecht was impressed with his redshirt freshman goalkeeper.

“Cardin Stoller was outstanding in the goal,” Brecht said. “Really the best performance I’ve seen of him in his young career.”

With a 2-goal deficit at the half, Rutgers showed its grit in coming back to finish with a win. The Knights will now need to display more of that with their Big Ten schedule beginning at home against Johns Hopkins next weekend.

“Could be up 10, could be down 10, we’re gonna fight ‘til the last second,” Stoller said.

For more updates on the Rutgers men's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Matthew Mangam's work, follow @matthewmangam on X.

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