June 26, 2019 | 82° F

Knights end season on four-game Big East skid

Photo by Tian Li |

Junior midfielder Katrina Martinelli led Rutgers with two goals Sunday against Cincinnati and an assist Friday against Louisville. Despite the efforts, the Knights dropped both contests and ended the season 1-7 in Big East action.

The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team dropped its final two games of the season last weekend, as it closed out Big East play with four straight losses.

The Scarlet Knights lost Sunday to Cincinnati, 9-8, after they fell Friday to Louisville, 14-1.

Cincinnati would thwart the Knights’ (9-8, 1-7) attempt to end the season on a positive note. The Bearcats scored four unanswered goals to end the game and overcame a three-goal deficit with less than 10 minutes remaining.

The run began after freshman attack Kim Kolodny notched the final goal for the Knights and extended their lead, 8-5.

But Cincinnati (7-9, 1-7) attack Katie Kiriazoglou scored a hat trick in the second half, including the game-winner with 18 seconds left.

“It probably was the lowest point of our season,” said junior midfielder Katrina Martinelli. “I think going into next year, we all have to remember how that game felt and how miserable we were, and we can’t ever feel like that again. We really need to have that in the back of our minds.”

Senior goalkeeper Aimee Chotikul allowed four goals in 10 minutes of action in relief of senior co-captain Lily Kalata. Both goalies combined for seven saves in their final appearances between the pipes.

“You have to hand it to them, they were the team that came out and played all 60 minutes,” Kalata said. “Really, it’s nobody’s fault but ours.”

A goal by junior attack Megan Clements, who recorded a career-best three assists, kept the lead at two in the middle of the second period.

Clements found sophomore defender Jenny Vlahos, who was able to convert one minute later to give Rutgers a 7-4 advantage.

Freshman midfielder Chrissy Schreiber closed the first half with a goal before scoring in the first minute of the second period to open up a two-goal lead.

Senior attack Annie McGinley put the Knights on the board midway through the first period in her final game as a Knight. She sparked a run in which the Knights scored four of their next five goals. Martinelli tallied the next two for Rutgers, putting her season total at 37.

McGinley scored the lone goal Friday for the Knights in their most lopsided loss of the season.

Louisville (11-6, 3-5) held Rutgers off the board in the second half, as it went on to score seven goals of its own.

Combined with a five-goal run to complete the first period, the Cardinals accounted for the game’s final 12 tallies.

Louisville’s leading scorer, midfielder Nikki Bolta, began the second period with a goal less than one minute in and paced the team with five goals in the contest. Midfielder Kaylin Morissette followed up with a free position shot less than one minute later on Kalata.

Morissette and Bolta combined for nine of the Cardinals’ 14 goals, including the first five in the second period.

Kalata was pulled late in the second half after allowing 13 goals. She made seven saves in the first half, and entered with a 14-save performance in the Knights’ win against Louisville last season.

Offensively, Rutgers took six shots in the game, with only one coming in the second period.

McGinley answered a 2-0 Louisville lead when she scored on a pass from Martinelli less than eight minutes into the game.

Vlahos secured the ensuing draw, which led to a Martinelli free position attempt. Goalkeeper Ashley Herbst, who only had to make three saves in the game, stopped Martinelli. Vlahos secured two draw controls in the contest, along with two caused turnovers and a pair of groundball pickups.

By Ian Erhard

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