Brecht’s first season ends with loss
Entering its season final against Georgetown on Friday, the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team had nothing to lose and a history-changing victory to gain.
With the knowledge that neither team had a chance to compete in the Big East Tournament, the Scarlet Knights played for a chance to be the first Rutgers team to defeat the Hoyas in program history.
And for an entire half, it looked like the Knights would finally add that first check in the win column against Georgetown. But five unanswered goals in the third frame from Georgetown began a downward spiral for the Knights that ended in a 13-8 loss, another in a long list for Rutgers.
“It was definitely a disappointing game for everyone,” said senior midfielder Will Mangan. “It was a close game, tied at half time and everything. Then third quarter we just came out flat. They went on a big run, and it was just too much to come back from.”
Mangan brought the Knights within three goals of the Hoyas early in the fourth with his first goal. The midfielder’s unassisted goal brought the contest to 8-5, the closest the contest became before Georgetown snuck three more past the Rutgers defense.
The rest of Rutgers’ scoring for the remainder of the game came from Mangan, who led the offense along with sophomore attackman Scott Klimchak. Each player tallied a hat trick apiece.
Mangan’s three goals capped a team-leading senior season, ending his final campaign with 30 goals and 10 assists.
“At the end of the day, we need to improve some things. We leaned on Will a whole lot this season, and Will did everything in his power [in] this game again,” said head coach Brian Brecht. “As a midfielder, a lot of attackmen don’t reach [40 points]. He was a warrior, a great teammate and a great leader. We might need to find some more Will Mangans for the future.”
Even without his help in the coming years, Mangan thinks the streak of Georgetown losses will end in the near future.
“I definitely see the tide changing,” he said. “All around the country, the gap is closing. Everyone is getting better players, and the amount of talent is changing. I can definitely see Rutgers knocking off some of the better teams in the future, especially Georgetown.”
The co-captain also has high hopes as a whole for the team he called his own for the last four years. With Brecht in only his first year at the helm of the program, Mangan has nothing but faith in putting the team in Brecht’s hands.
“The future is bright for this program. Coach Brecht is going to do a great job here,” Mangan said. “It will take a couple years, but I am proud that I was part of [Brecht’s] first class.”
As for Mangan personally, neither the final loss to Georgetown nor the conclusion to the season has truly sunk in yet. He said he will not know it is over until today, when he does not dress for practice.
“It hasn’t really hit me or sunk in or anything,” Mangan said. “It is going to be weird not going to practice on Monday. It’s a really emotional time.”