June 24, 2019 | 72° F

Rutgers seeks to end skid in Connecticut

Photo by Naaz Modan |

Junior attacker Halley Barnes scored a goal in the Knights 17-7 loss to No. 13 Penn on Wednesday. Barnes hopes to duplicate her career-high five-goal performance against Monmouth earlier in the season when Rutgers meet rival Connecticut.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team (1-4) will look to serve that vengeance on Saturday against former Big East rival UConn (3-3).

When these two teams met last time, it snowballed into a down-to-the-wire match.

The Scarlet Knights took a 7-3 lead into the locker room, but with 30 seconds left in regulation, they trailed the Huskies 11-10. Sophomore midfielder Macy Scott fired a shot in the closing moments to push the game into overtime, but UConn managed to score the only goal in the extra period to steal a victory at High Point Solutions Stadium.

The veterans on the team remember the crushing defeat of yesteryear and will use their knowledge of the matchup against the Huskies to pursue a win in the Constitution State.

“We’ve always had a pretty good series with UConn. It’s always a gritty, scrappy, really competitive game,” said senior defender Erin Turkot. “We’re excited to play them. Last year, we lost in a heartbreaker, so we’re looking for a little vengeance on the road.”

The motivation of avenging a tough loss will be combined with the incentive of ending a four-game skid for Rutgers.

The Knights have continuously mentioned the lack of a full 60 minutes of play as a reason for their recent woes. 

Head coach Laura Brand-Sias saw the exact issues that can be worked on to improve the team’s results.

“We’re going to work on moving the ball more quickly on attack, more readiness on defense. Those two are going to have to go hand in hand,” Brand-Sias said. “With our offense being more aggressive and moving the ball quickly, our defense is going to have to step up to be able to stop them. As a team, we have to realize that each side of the ball has to improve the other.”

Rutgers will face a UConn unit that has had its fair share of struggles in the early going. The Huskies started the season losing three of their first games. 

But they're back in the win column after a 17-8 thumping over New Hampshire at home and an 18-8 crushing of Quinnipiac.

“It’s going to be a battle. It’s always going to be a battle with them. They’re getting better with every game, so we need to be ready to play from the first whistle,” Brand-Sias said. “It’s a big rivalry for us. We’re going to be ready to rebound and try and come out with a win.”

The desperation to exit this funk for the Knights mounts by the game. With a sound performance, resilient defense and overpowering offense, Rutgers can dominate the Huskies.

Junior attacker Kim Kolodny demonstrated the team’s firm desire to end the streak in her short, but sweet, preview of the next match.

“We better win. We need to win — so this is the game to do it. Hopefully we score a lot of goals and win by a lot,” Kolodny said.

For updates on the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Brian Fonseca

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