Men's Lacrosse: Rutgers’ losing streak reaches eight games
The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team’s late comeback bid fell short Saturday as Villanova took the 11-9 victory. The loss marks the team’s eighth straight.
“We were going into a Big East game against an opponent that has had our number recently, and we were trying to get this win for the seniors who haven’t beaten these guys,” said head coach Brian Brecht. “We did a great job fighting for all 60 minutes but just came up short. I’m proud of our effort. I just wish we could win one of these one-goal games.”
The Scarlet Knights (2-9, 0-4) trailed the Wildcats 10-6 with four minutes left in regulation when they attempted to pull off their comeback. Junior midfielder Matt Klimchak scored his third goal of the game to cut the lead to three.
The Knights lost freshman goalie Kris Alleyne during the game to an upper-body injury and was replaced by junior goalie Steven Lusby. Lusby was able to keep Rutgers in the game despite Villanova (4-6, 3-0) outshooting it, 47-35, in the game.
“Matt had a great week of practice, and battled some injuries early in the season,” Brecht said. “It’s nice to see him starting to put together his game now that he is healthy once again.”
Klimchak’s goal proceeded goals from junior attack Nick DePaolera and freshman midfielder Jacob Coretti to bring the Knights within one with 90 seconds left in regulation. It was the second 3-0 scoring run for Rutgers in the game.
A late slashing penalty against Rutgers gave Villanova a man-up opportunity in the last minute of the game.
The Knights’ offensive production came from six different players, and eight different players registered a point.
Including Klimchak’s hat trick, sophomore attack Brian Goss tallied one goal and two assists to give him his fourth multi-point game of the season.
But Villanova kept the pressure on Rutgers all game and forced the Knights to play from behind most of the game.
Rutgers trailed 2-0 after the first quarter before Klimchak delivered a man-up goal. Coretti found the back of the net with 3:51 left in the half for his first goal of the game, but the Wildcats would score two goals to go into halftime with a 4-2 lead.
The third quarter began with the Knights’ first 3-0 run, which included Klimchak’s second goal. Rutgers also received goals from Goss and junior attack Scott Klimchak, who extended his scoring streak to 11 games.
Sophomore midfielder Joseph Nardella dominated the face of with wins in 17 of 24 face-offs. Nardella also scooped up a team-high eight ground balls in the contest.
“With guys like Kris and Joseph, you know exactly what you are going to get from them,” Brecht said. “A guy like Joseph gives your team some confidence when playing from behind, knowing there is a good chance that he is going to win the face-off and keep the momentum going your way.”
The Knights will return home this Tuesday against No. 8 Princeton.