March 17, 2018 | ° F

Coach seeks answers in home loss

In the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team’s inaugural game at High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday, No. 18 Stony Brook routed the Scarlet Knights, 14-4.

The Seawolves (4-2) got off to a quick start and never looked back against the Knights (3-3), leading 6-1 by halftime.

Senior attacker Katrina Martinelli’s lone goal was Rutgers’ only score until 22:44 left in the second half. Junior midfielder Lauren Sbrilli scored off the assist from sophomore attacker Kim Kolodny.

The Knights found a little momentum, cutting the score to 9-4 before the Seawolves closed the last 10 minutes in strong fashion.

Rutgers’ pace was not up to par with Stony Brook’s. The Seawolves dictated the tempo for most of the game.

Stony Brook edged the Knights in shots — 24-17 — ground balls — 18-14 — and stood even with the Knights with 10 draw controls each.

“We just were not prepared to match their speed,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. “They were going 100 miles per hour at everything.”

Stony Brook never trailed in the game. The closest the Knights got was at 24:20 in the first half, when Martinelli tied the game at one.

Seawolves midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke played forcible offense, scoring a hat trick to go along with two ground balls and a draw control. She now has 19 goals, leading an offensive unit averaging 11.5 goals per game.

Rutgers’ offense, meanwhile, stood stagnant for most of the contest. The Knights’ highest scorer was Kolodny, who scored two goals and added one assist.

Rutgers had trouble adjusting to the Seawolves’ zone defense. Senior midfielder Amanda Trendell said the different alignment gave the Knights some offensive issues.

“We prepared for the zone, but it took us longer to get in our groove mainly because of it,” Trendell said.

The Knights defense, which the team relied on to keep them in games, was substandard at best. They allowed a season high 14 goals — the most since last year against Louisville.

“We just sat back too much and waited to see what was going to happen,” Brand-Sias said of her defense.

In a game in which Rutgers fell short in all aspects, Brand-Sias said that her team’s effort lacked throughout. Brand-Sias specifically pointed out the Knights’ failure to fight for loose balls.

Trendall also mentioned that because the offense carried out several turnovers, the Knights’ intensity diminished.

“I think the competitiveness was there, but sometimes it falls short when we’re just not meshing as a team,” Trendell said.

Despite dropping two consecutive games, the Knights are staying positive for the year. They believe the problems plaguing the team are correctable and something that will take time to fix.

“We have a lot of work to do, but we have a lot of season ahead of us,” Brand-Sias said.

By Conor Nordland

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