Rutgers falls short for third straight game, drop 13-9 contest to Delaware
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team’s early season struggles continued, losing its third straight game after starting off with a win in its season opener against Villanova.
The Scarlet Knights (1-3) lost 13-9 against Delaware (4-1) at High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday in a game where they found themselves down early and having to play catchup once again.
Head coach Laura Brand-Sias said the Knights were collectively not sharp enough, leading to their first half deficit.
She said the loss was not attributable to one side of the field, but as an overall unit, the Knights were not playing with enough confidence or drive they need to play with.
“I think in the beginning of the game, we were really, really flat,” Brand-Sias said. “Each side of the ball had flat moments and you can’t do that when you only have 60 minutes to play.”
Delaware took an early lead on a free position shot that was put in by midfielder Kara Dattellas.
From there, Rutgers and the Blue Hens traded goals back-and-forth with senior attacker Kim Kolodny scoring the Knights' first goal of the game.
Rutgers would only hold the tie for a few minutes before Delaware went on a three-goal run, getting goals from midfielder Coley Ricci and attackers Caroline Farley and Shannon Hawley.
Kolodny spoke about the difficulties in falling behind early in a game, but said it is not worth being negative when the score is against their favor.
“Getting negative and getting upset about it doesn’t really do anything,” the Farmingdale, New York, native said. “We always try to stay positive and then the defense brings it in and says fight, then we get our heads back on straight and go from there.”
The Knights, preparing to make another comeback, answered with two goals of their own with Kolodny’s second goal and senior attacker Halley Barnes’ first of the game.
Once again, the Blue Hens came charging out with another three-goal eruption started by attacker Jamie Schwartz.
Datellas picked up her second of the game while midfielder Becky Gohsler’ goal put the Blue Hens up 8-4 with a little over five minutes remaining in the half.
Gohsler’s goal would end sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Dente’s day as she was replaced for the third game in a row by freshman goalkeeper Devon Kearns.
Continuing the same trend after Delaware’s initial three-goal outburst, the Knights were able to close the gap back down to two goals after sophomore attacker Joanna Reilly and Barnes both scored with less than two minutes closing out the first half.
The second half spurred a lot of the same offensive surges from Delaware as the Blue Hens scored another three unanswered goals. In the midst of the three-goal run, Datella capped off her hat-trick with what became the game-deciding goal.
Senior defender Addington Elliot believes Delaware’s consecutive scoring happened because Rutgers' difficulties communicating on defense.
“When we’re not communicating, that’s when the offensive runs happen,” Elliot said. “So we need to get our communication back and try to create a caused turnover to bring the spark back to the defense.”
The Knights were able to close the gap heading into the final stretch, but Delaware’s extended possession time made it impossible for Rutgers to complete a comeback.
Elliot said not being able to get the ball back at the end was the most frustrating part of the game.
Junior midfielder Kristina Dunphey finished the game with three goals, marking the third time the Hillsborough native has scored multiple goals in a game this season.
Barnes and Kolodny each scored two goals, extending Barnes’ goal scoring streak to four after scoring in every game so far this season.
Joanna scored her second goal of the season while sophomore midfielder Paige Paratore recorded her first career goal as a Knight.
Kearns closed out the game allowing five goals and registering six saves.
Rutgers has a quick turnaround in its schedule as its next matchup comes away against Penn on Wednesday.
For the Knights, a positive attitude will be key moving forward.
“Coming off of two or three losses, I mean it’s tough, but we just need to stay positive and be there for each other and just stay motivated,” Kolodny said.
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