Knights expect full 60-minute showing
For head coach Laura Brand-Sias, it was not the effort Saturday from the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team that was the problem in its 15-10 loss at Syracuse.
It was the missed opportunities around the net that she would like the team to have back.
“If we had a better percentage in that, it could have been a different game,” Brand-Sias said. “You never want to walk away from seven opportunities on cage and only have one goal out of them, so that’s something we will continue to work on.”
That 1-for-7 mark was a complete opposite for the Orange, who converted on all four of their free-position shots in the victory.
For the Scarlet Knights to be successful tomorrow against Louisville, they have to convert more free-position opportunities — much like in their two games before Syracuse, when Rutgers shot 11-for-17 in its two victories against Connecticut and Villanova.
Brand-Sias also wants the team to play for a full game — something the Knights struggled with against Syracuse. While Rutgers kept it close in the first half, the Orange strung together four separate scoring runs of three goals to pull away.
“We just have to fine-tune [our game] and focus for a full 60 minutes and minimize any type of run opportunities our opponent can get,” Brand-Sias said.
Rutgers has an opportunity to achieve that against the Cardinals, who enter Yurcak Field with a 3-8 record and a lone victory in Big East play.
Louisville’s play has especially suffered in its last two contests. The Cardinals lost both games by a total of 36-19 and entered halftime of both contests trailing by five goals or more.
Starting fast has not been a problem for the Knights in recent play — they only trailed Syracuse by one at halftime.
The recent play of Stephanie Anderson also aids Rutgers (7-5, 2-2) in scoring out of the gate. In her past six games, the junior midfielder has registered 22 goals, including six straight hat tricks.
“We are starting to peak later in the season, and that’s when you want to see your team peak,” Brand-Sias said. “She certainly is at the forefront of that, and I’m excited to see the progress she will continue to have over the next four games.”
Those next four games include Sunday’s matchup with Cincinnati and two away games against Loyola and Georgetown to finish out the season.
And with those remaining games separating Rutgers from postseason play, Anderson remains confident about Rutgers’ play entering the later part of the schedule.
“I think that we have been playing great all season, and overall our season, I think, has been really productive,” Anderson said. “We’ve all taken on new goals, and everyone is starting to come together at the end of the season, which is good to see — especially when we have some major Big East games ahead.”