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Rutgers men's lacrosse earns much-needed 1st Big Ten victory in melee with No. 16 Michigan

It was a team effort in the Rutgers men's lacrosse team's win over No. 16 Michigan on Sunday. – Photo by Tim Fuller /

The Rutgers men's lacrosse team knocked off Michigan 9-7 on Sunday night in a defensive battle at U-M Lacrosse Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Scarlet Knights (7-4, 1-2) saw a dominant performance by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Cardin Stoller against the Wolverines (6-5, 1-2) in their first Big Ten victory of the season.

The scoring got going at the 13:37 mark of the first quarter after junior attacker Dante Kulas ripped one past Hunter Taylor from distance. The scoreboard stayed at 1-0 in favor of Rutgers until approximately 7 minutes later when No. 15 Michigan's Isaac Aronson capitalized on the man-up advantage to even the score.

The Knights and the Wolverines would each trade goals afterward with graduate student attacker Ross Scott and Justin Tiernan finding the back of the net for their respective teams.

Scott, though, would get the last laugh at the end of the first quarter, completing a hat trick with 2 more goals to give Rutgers a 4-2 lead heading into the second.

The Knights tallied only 2 goals in the second quarter, courtesy of senior midfielders Shane Knobloch and Jack Aimone. Knobloch went top cheddar at the 13:50 mark of the quarter, with Aimone bouncing one in shortly after at the 11:28 mark. Rutgers led 6-2 by halftime.

Stoller impressed with 10 saves in the first 30 minutes of play, not allowing a single goal in the second quarter.

"I think he's had a great week of practice," head coach Brian Brecht said at halftime. "He's focused and locked in, and he's having a great night for us."

The first goal of the second half came almost halfway into the quarter as junior attacker Logan Peters took a nice feed from Knobloch and fired it home at the 8:47 mark to give the Knights a 7-2 lead.

After Rutgers' 5-0 scoring run, Michigan answered with 3 goals in approximately a 3-minute span. John Morgan hit the twine twice to help the Wolverines lessen their deficit to 2 goals.

With 1:41 remaining in the third quarter, Knobloch retaliated with a blast from the left wing to give the Knights an 8-5 lead heading into the final frame.

Scoring was slow once again to begin the fourth quarter until the 9:43 mark when Morgan connected for a hat trick of his own. Just 11 seconds later, Kyle Stephenson got one past Stoller after winning the faceoff. Michigan trailed 8-7.

Rutgers, though, would regain its footing. Approximately 2 minutes after the Wolverines notched their 7th goal of the contest, Aimone brought the Knights back up by 2 goals.

Strong defense and multiple big saves from Stoller would give Rutgers the road win, ending its two-game skid. It would be the 9th straight victory for the Knights over Michigan, as Stoller tied his career high with 19 saves on the night.

Rutgers will now head into a new week with its head held high. The Knights will need to stay in the right mindset, as they will take on stout No. 6 Maryland at 7 p.m. Saturday in College Park, Maryland.

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

To view more of Josh Meyers' work, follow @JoshCMeyers on X.

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