Knights use second half to ignite win
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team won a tight 6-5 contest against Fairfield on Saturday afternoon at the RU Turf Complex.
Sophomore attacker Kim Kolodny was the Scarlet Knights’ (2-0) leading scorer with two goals on the game.
Redshirt freshman goalie Amanda Currell collected 10 saves to earn her first career win.
Once the whistle sounded for the second half, the Knights came out attacking and scored four unanswered goals in the first eight minutes to open up the scoring.
Senior attacker Megan Clements started the second half outburst with a goal 3:08 into the period.
“Right there is where the adrenaline just became contagious for the entire team, and I think it was the turning point for us,” Clements said.
Fairfield (0-2) fought the entire way and rallied to a one-goal deficit with 2:18 left to play before Rutgers’ defense clamped down and secured the win.
The Knights had a sluggish start to the game as the Stags controlled the ball for much of the first half and entered halftime with a 2-1 lead.
Fairfield held a 12-6 shot advantage over Rutgers in the first half, and the Knights’ offense did not hold onto the ball to set up any consistent pressure on the Stags’ defense.
The first half did not go as planned for the Knights, whose lone goal came from sophomore attacker Halley Barnes.
“We weren’t being as aggressive as we wanted to be,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias.
But Rutgers distributed the ball well, as five different players scored the team’s six goals.
Defensively, the Knights have opened up their season holding both of its opponents to less than five goals.
Redshirt freshman Currell attributed her first collegiate win to the unit that plays in front of her.
“Our defense was amazing and I could just feel the energy coming from everyone,” Currell said.
The offense struggled at times, as it did in Feb. 18’s season opener against Manhattan, but put together a scoring run that provides optimism.
In what proved to be a physical game, evidenced by the 37 fouls between the two teams, Rutgers did a solid job capitalizing on its extra-man opportunities.
The Knights scored both times on those situations, with each coming in the second half.
A big reason for the offensive turnaround was the Knights’ ability to secure possession off the draw. This allowed them to set up their offense in the attacking third of the field.
Rutgers dictated the flow of the game in the second half, with a 14-6 shot advantage and controlling seven draws to Fairfield’s two.
“Getting the draw was what gave us that run, which allowed us to squeak out the win at the end,” Brand-Sias said.
Brand-Sias lauded her team for its resiliency in bouncing back to earn the win after a tough first half.
“Even when things weren’t necessarily going our way, they kept chipping away and working at the game plan,” said Brand-Sias.
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