Junior plays scoring role for Knights
It is with an abundant amount of eye black and an American flag as a bandana that Amanda Trendell steps onto the field.
With 14 goals and eight assists, the junior midfielder sits third on the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team in points.
The purpose of the game-day attire is to get everyone on the team pumped up, she said.
Her play on the field this season has raised similar results.
“She’s a very quick player — very shifty,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. “She does a good job of breaking down a defender one-on-one, and she’s constantly moving on the ball and off the ball. People can easily lose track of her.”
Trendell said her teammates do not enjoy guarding her at practice and have given her a nickname based on the Energizer Bunny.
Given that Trendell’s style of play is built around her speed, a knee injury she suffered before her freshman season acted as a major obstacle.
She was forced to redshirt the entire 2010 season and only played periodically for the next two seasons.
When the team lost three of its midfielders this season, Trendell — who is primarily an attack — found an opportunity to switch positions and, in the process, become a prominent starter.
“My speed is where it has to be — my confidence level is there,” Trendell said. “I’ve been really happy with this year and with the effort of my teammates.”
Brand-Sias said Trendell has been able to realize her strengths and focus on them instead of trying to accomplish everything on the field.
She often plays on the perimeter of the offensive zone alongside junior attack Megan Clements.
“Usually I just try to see what opportunity is there [and] look first in the middle,” Trendell said. “If not, [I] try to just dodge as quickly as I can.”
Along with scoring on her own and finding open targets for assists, Trendell has been able to draw several penalties as a result of her quickness in maneuvering against defenders.
After losing three of its first four Big East matchups, Trendell said the offense needs to cash in on its scoring opportunities.
“Our biggest thing is our attack. All our opportunities are there, we just haven’t been finishing,” Trendell said. “We just have to work harder, practice and continue our shooting because all of the raw skill is there — it’s just that little extra bit of work that we’re going to need if we make Big East play.”
The offense has taken between 20 and 31 shots in each of its last four games but has failed to reach double-digits in scoring in any one of them.
In a loss against Connecticut on April 5, the team fired 29 shots –— more than twice as many as their opponents produced — but only found the back of the cage seven times. Less than half of the team’s shots required a save by the goalkeeper.