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No. 25 Rutgers women's lacrosse ends 2024 season with Big Ten Tournament loss to No. 15 Penn State

Graduate student midfielder Cassidy Spilis played her last game with the Rutgers women's lacrosse team in its loss to Penn State. Spilis finished with a program-high 280 points and is the most decorated Scarlet Knight in program history.  – Photo by Evan Leong

The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team fell to Penn State 17-8 in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday. The Scarlet Knights (8-10, 1-5) struggled mightly in the third quarter, giving the Nittany Lions (11-6, 4-2) a comfortable lead en route to their 9-goal win. 

No. 15 Penn State started off fast, going on a 3-0 scoring run before No. 25 Rutgers could even find the back of the cage. With 4 seconds remaining in the first quarter, junior midfielder Alexa Corbin slammed in the 1st goal for the Knights to put them on the scoreboard. 

Rutgers continued its momentum in the second quarter. Freshman midfielder Payton Tini, sophomore midfielder Ava Chiarella and junior midfielder and attacker Victoria Goldrick all scored to give the Knights their only lead of the evening. Kayla Abernathy netted 2 goals to put the Nittany Lions back in front. 

The game was put on hold halfway through the second quarter due to weather, but shortly after play resumed, junior midfielder and attacker Michelle Warren rocketed the ball into the back of the net, tying the game once again. Penn State had the last laugh, though, scoring 2 straight tallies to take a 7-5 lead heading into halftime. Rutgers was still in the game but needed a scoring run to get ahead. 

The third quarter began with a goal from graduate student midfielder Cassidy Spilis to cut the deficit to 1 goal, but the Nittany Lions would shut the door on the Knights, scoring 8 straight goals to put the game to bed. Warren and Spilis scored 2 more goals, but Penn State advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Championship against Northwestern. 

In her final game for Rutgers, Spilis scored 2 goals and finished 2024 with 74 goals, which is currently the second-most in the country. Overall, Spilis has produced 280 points, 266 goals, 102 caused turnovers and 313 draw controls, making her the most decorated player in program history. Senior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello had 11 saves between the pipes. 

Three Nittany Lions had hat tricks as they outshot the Knights 33-23. 

Since Rutgers finished the season with a record below .500, it is eliminated from earning an NCAA Tournament berth. The Knights have reached the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament for the past four seasons but have not made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 2022

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

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