April 23, 2019 | 61° F

Syracuse spoils early RU?lead in victory

Playing the No. 2 team in the country Saturday, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team started fast with a two-goal lead. But the Orange were too much, defeating the Scarlet Knights, 15-10, in Syracuse, N.Y.

Head coach Laura Brand-Sias was disappointed with the loss, but remained satisfied with the way the Knights performed against such a highly-ranked opponent.

“[Our performance] showed that we’re a good team today,” Brand-Sias said. “Syracuse is a very good team.”

Two late goals capped the scoring for Rutgers, but the late offensive surge was not enough to erase Syracuse’s lead.

Junior midfielder Stephanie Anderson’s goal represented the closest the Knights came to overtaking Syracuse (8-2, 3-0), as the Orange scored four straight times to increase their lead to 12-7.

Senior midfielder Ali Steinberg netted a goal with eight minutes left, but another Syracuse scoring run followed her strike. The Orange’s Alyssa Murray scored the last goal on an assist from Gabby Jaquith. The goal was Murray’s fifth of the half and sixth of the game, which increased Syracuse’s lead to as much as seven.

Rutgers answered after halftime on Anderson’s third goal of the game. Her strike with 24:44 left secured Anderson’s sixth hat trick of the season.

“It’s great,” Brand-Sias said on Anderson’s performance. “It’s always good to have a consistent scorer like that. She’s a competitor and a competitor every day in practice, and it translates into the games.”

Syracuse did not intimidate Rutgers, as Steinberg scored on an unassisted goal less than four minutes into the first half. Junior attack Annie McGinley assisted sophomore Lauren Sbrilli two minutes later to increase Rutgers’ lead to 2-0.

After Syracuse answered on three straight goals by Katie Webster, Devon Collins and Kailah Kempney, McGinley found the back of the net for a 3-3 score. The goal capped an impressive day for McGinley, who recorded four points for the Knights.

Anderson scored twice in the half. The second strike with 4:52 left gave Rutgers (7-5, 2-2) its last lead of the game, a 6-5 advantage. But Syracuse scored two goals to enter the half with a 7-6 lead.

“They need to know that we’re a good team and that people need to be scared to play us,” Brand-Sias said. “They need to have that attitude. We’re no longer the team that walks into games hoping to win.”

The loss also finished off a week that witnessed Rutgers go 1-1 thanks to Thursday’s 13-5 victory against Villanova. With both games behind them, the Knights’ next game is in more familiar territory, as they take on Louisville on Friday at the RU Stadium Complex.

“We’ll have three full days of practice before [Louisville],” she said, “so it should give us time to work on things and get better.”

By Bradly Derechailo

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