June 26, 2019 | 82° F

Knights fall to pair of ranked foes

Photo by Lianne Ng |

Senior goalkeeper Lily Kalata helped the Knights defense hold Loyola to 10 goals on 26 shots despite injuries. But thanks to its lowest-scoring output of the season, Rutgers fell, 10-4.

The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team dropped its final two home games of the regular season last weekend.

The Scarlet Knights fell yesterday at home to No. 13 Loyola, 10-4, following a 13-5 loss Friday to No. 8 Georgetown.

Loyola (9-6, 5-1) dominated defensively, holding the Knights to their lowest scoring output of the season. Rutgers (9-6, 1-5) went through two scoreless spans that lasted nearly 25 minutes each, despite nearly matching Loyola in shots.

“Their goalie played well. She definitely covered her angles, but again it’s our shooting,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. “Our shooting is not good, and that has been the difference in quite a few of our games.”

Freshman attack Halley Barnes paced the team as she scored both Rutgers’ first and last goals.

The Greyhounds stormed out to a seven-goal lead early in the second period.

A strong counter-attack with quick passes downfield resulted in back-to-back goals by midfielder Katrina Geiger and attack Kara Burke.

But senior goalkeeper Lily Kalata and the Knights defense managed to hold the Greyhounds to 10 goals on 26 shots, despite missing a few injured players.

“Our defense had a ton of obstacles in front of them and — all things considered — they played very well,” Brand-Sias said. “When you’re playing a talented offense that has a good shooting percentage, there’s only so much you can do.”

On Senior Day for the Knights, a pair of freshmen scored the only two goals in the first half.

Midfielder Chrissy Schreiber gave the Knights their second score late in the period, but four goals in a six-minute span gave the Greyhounds a 6-2 lead at the half.

Barnes scored on a free position shot after the offense was scoreless for the first 23 minutes. The score ended a 3-0 run by the Greyhounds to start the game.

Attack Annie Thomas capitalized on a Knights defense that was not set up. She ran from behind the net for an uncontested shot to give Loyola an early two-goal lead.

After a methodical pace by both offenses to begin the game, Payton struck with the first goal for Loyola.

Rutgers had negative momentum after losing to Georgetown (11-3, 5-1).

Barnes went top shelf on Georgetown goalkeeper Barb Black with less than 10 minutes remaining for the team’s fourth goal of the second period.

Rutgers was able to match the Hoyas’ scoring in the second half.

Junior midfielder Katrina Martinelli strung together two consecutive goals early on in the period. Junior attack Megan Clements followed with a goal on a bouncing shot and forced Georgetown to regroup with a timeout.

But two Hoyas goals a minute and a half into the second period — along with a dominating first 30 minutes of play — left Rutgers in a major hole.

Four different players contributed with three points apiece and midfielder Meghan Farrell paced the Hoyas in goals with a hat trick.

They took a 9-1 lead into halftime after midfielder Sophia Thomas buried a goal with five seconds remaining in the first period.

Martinelli, who finished with a hat trick of her own, had the best look for the Knights offensively in the first half. She scored unassisted after running up from behind the net.

Before Martinelli’s tally, Georgetown put together an 8-0 lead.

Midfielder Kelyn Freedman finished up the run by faking a shot high and shooting low past Kalata. Six of the Hoyas’ first-half goals were unassisted.

“First half, we had a terrible time,” Brand-Sias said. “Credit Georgetown for what they’re doing and recognizing that I don’t think our composure was great. I don’t think our team effort was necessarily the best at that moment. I think we picked it up in the second half.”

The Knights offense could not keep possession for any substantial amount of time in the first period. Georgetown exhibited pressure in every area of the field and Rutgers was overmatched early on.

Most of the play took place in the Knights’ defensive zone, which put immense pressure on the second-ranked scoring defense coming in.

“It was tough, we can stop them as many times as we want, but if the ball keeps going into our end, eventually it’s going to go in,” Kalata said.

By Ian Erhard

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