Rutgers earns first conference victory
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team split two games this weekend to begin Big East play.
The Scarlet Knights (8-2, 1-1) defeated Marquette yesterday, 9-4, after failing to upset No. 7 Notre Dame on Friday in their conference opener.
While the Golden Eagles scored early in the second half to bring the game within one, the scoring ended there.
Midfielder Kenzie Brown led Marquette with two goals, including one in the first minute of the second period.
Senior attack Annie McGinley answered with her fourth goal of the weekend, and the Knights scored three-consecutive goals in the second period.
“She did a really nice job, this weekend, of taking the opportunities that were given to her and not really forcing too much,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias.
The Knights brought a 4-2 advantage into halftime after junior midfielder Katrina Martinelli scored two goals in a span of 20 seconds — midway through the first period — to give Rutgers its first lead of the game.
The scoring margin against the Golden Eagles allowed for younger players to see the field.
“We had the opportunity to get some players in the game that haven’t been given the chances that maybe they would like in other parts of the season,” Brand-Sias said.
In Friday’s game, six different players recorded points for the Knights, but Notre Dame was able to snap Rutgers’ six-game winning streak with a 9-6 victory.
A late offensive surge by the Knights would not be enough to stage a comeback. The contributions of McGinley could only bring them to within three goals.
She secured a hat trick with her third goal after Martinelli scored her only goal of the game late in the second period.
As a fifth-year senior, McGinley said she needed to step up to begin conference play in the absence of senior co-captain Stephanie Anderson, who is missing time because of an injury.
“This weekend going into Big East [play], I knew it was my time to try to step up and be a leader,” McGinley said.
A few minutes earlier, attack Kaitlyn Brosco was left alone in front of the net and maneuvered the ball past senior goalkeeper Lily Kalata — keeping distance on the scoreboard for the Irish.
On the following possession, Notre Dame secured a draw control and scored on a breakaway as attack Lindsay Powell was left unaccounted for.
The score was Powell’s second of the game and helped to seal the victory with a five-goal advantage.
Freshman attack Kim Kolodny scored her first-career goal midway through the first period.
While the two teams traded goals to begin the second half, the Knights found themselves behind because of a lack of scoring mentality.
Amanda Trendell initiated the offense for the Knights late in the first period and assisted on the team’s only goal before halftime.
She found McGinley straight up the middle for the score — after she helped Rutgers maintain its first substantial possession with less than ten minutes to play in the first half.
A four-shot possession came after the Knights were held to only two shots through the first 20 minutes of play.
The lack of scoring opportunities early on came from the swift execution of the Irish on the defensive side.
Rutgers was unable to take advantage of any one-on-one opportunities and the aggressiveness of the Irish in their own zone made it difficult to keep possession of the ball.
Kalata gave up the first three goals of the game as she faced pressure from the Notre Dame offense for most of the first period.
A sequence of saves before halftime kept the Knights within two goals. She would make 10 saves in the game to try to keep the Knights close.
“We were really, really upset and let down about the game against Notre Dame,” McGinley said. “But we knew it was something we needed to move on from quickly. From here on out, Big East is what matters.”