Rutgers lose second straight in home opener in 14-2 drubbing against No. 15 Johns Hopkins
Just as the clouds started to move away from the sun trying to cast some light on the struggling Rutgers women’s lacrosse team, the sun was once again covered as its opponent continued to take the advantage.
The Scarlet Knights (1-2) lost to Johns Hopkins (3-0) in a one-sided 14-2 affair on Sunday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Head coach Laura Brand-Sias said the Knights fell away from their game plan in the blowout loss, which contributed to their lack of offensive production.
“At the end of the day, it was just about us coming out and playing Rutgers lacrosse, and it just didn’t happen,” Brand-Sias said. “We changed things up, we threw a lot of different people in there to try and see if it was a personnel thing, but we played pretty slow consistently across the board.”
Coming off a game where Rutgers struggled in the first half, it once again found itself in an early hole.
Haley Schweizer opened the scoring for John Hopkins, making it the second game in a row where the Knights surrendered the first goal. The Blue Jays added another goal from Emily Kenul before Rutgers could put itself on the board.
Senior attacker Halley Barnes continued her hot streak, scoring her seventh goal of the season to cut the Knights' deficit in half. Rutgers' captain refused to see her continued scoring success as a positive, and Barnes said only scoring one goal was not enough contribution from herself.
“A game like this, my team really needed me," Barnes said. "I think I let them down a little bit in the goal and the assisting department."
Any momentum from Barnes’ goal would be short lived as the rest of the first half was all Johns Hopkins.
Dene DiMartino scored the Blue Jays’ third goal before Kenul and Schweizer would both record their second goals of the game. Johns Hopkins scored two more goals before the end of the first half — with one coming from Schweizer with eight seconds left — to extend its lead to 7-1.
Unlike their game against Monmouth, the Knights were unable to close the gap before the first half was over, and things would continue to go against Rutgers in the second.
After surrendering another goal to start the second half, freshman attacker Emily Santana would score Rutgers' second and final goal for the game.
From there, it was a lot of the same story from the first half.
Rutgers continued to allow a high number of shots and Johns Hopkins was capitalizing on them. Schweizer continued her productive day by scoring her fourth goal of the game less than three minutes after the Knights' second.
Schweizer was not done there, as she collected two more goals to finish with a game-high total of six. The Blue Jays got their other goals from Shannon Fitzgerald and CeCe Finney, who each finished with two.
Rutgers sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Dente was able to make a lot of big saves, but was once again replaced by freshman Devon Kearns.
Dente, who made 10 save during the game, was taken out of the game with less than 10 minutes left because of a tired Rutgers defense.
“I think our defense started to get tired and she was hung out to dry a little bit at the end, because we were gassed so we wanted to take her out and give Devon a shot,” Brand-Sias said. “She had some really nice saves, particularly in the first half in that stretch where we were holding them.”
Despite being pulled in back-to-back games, the Knights continue to show support for their goalkeeper in her first year with the team.
“I mean, she’s amazing," said senior attacker Kim Kolodny. "We are so happy to have her and we just give her all the support that she needs.”
The Knights will remain at home for their next game against Delaware on Saturday, where the team looks to put this loss past them and regain their style of play.
“We are a good team,” Brand-Sias said. "It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to take this opportunity to show we’re a good team, but we just need to regroup and get back at it and understand that we have another opportunity on Saturday against a really solid Delaware team.”
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