Women's Lacrosse: Streak continues versus Blue Hens
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse plays at Delaware tomorrow with an established identity.
Following the Scarlet Knights’ Feb. 20 loss to Temple, they looked as if some of the problems that plagued the team last season were still embedded.
But since that game, the Knights (4-1) have put together a three-game winning streak which includes a victory against a nationally ranked program — a 6-5 victory Wednesday against No. 20 Penn.
The Knights relied on senior goalkeeper Lily Kalata and the defense to secure the win late in the game.
“We’ve known we could do it all along,” Kalata said of defeating a ranked team. “It was just a matter of getting a team in front of us to prove it.”
The defense entered Wednesday’s game ranked among the top 10 in save percentage and goals allowed.
It is the game plan head coach Laura Brand-Sias has leaned on, as the Knights are built for defensive, low-scoring games.
Brand-Sias has said so far, the offense focuses on maintaining possession of the ball and controlling the tempo of the game while looking for the best possible shot.
Against Penn, Rutgers held onto the ball for long possessions, especially after it took its second half lead. This allowed Penn with less of a chance to stage a late-game comeback.
It also took advantage of its scoring opportunities, converting four free position shot attempts.
Junior midfielder Megan Clements tallied two free position goals in the second half and now has six goals in the Knight’s last two games.
Clements and junior midfielder Amanda Trendell scored four goals apiece Feb. 23 against Monmouth.
Trendell was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for her five-point performance against the Hawks.
But junior midfielder Katrina Martinelli remains the team’s leading scorer. A pair of first-half goals against Penn increased her point total to 17 in Rutgers first five games.
She and Clements will have to take their recent play against Delaware.
“[Delaware] is a great team too,” Martinelli said after the victory against Penn. “So going in fired up and [the way] we feel right now — we just want to keep the momentum going and hopefully it will translate into this Saturday’s game.”
The Blue Hens (3-2) will have a 17-7 victory against Lehigh on Tuesday to get momentum from, as four players scored hat tricks for the Blue Hens in the game.
Attacks Chelsea Fay and Allison Hahn both had career-best performances with five goals apiece in a game that saw seven Delaware players grab points on offense.
“Delaware is a very good team and they’re having a really successful season,” Brand-Sias said. “So we have to make sure that we don’t dip at all.”