Rutgers unable to achieve revenge against Monmouth in 12-10 loss
Senior attacker Halley Barnes’ four goals were not enough as the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team fell just short of mounting a tremendous comeback against Monmouth on Wednesday.
The Scarlet Knights (1-1) lost to the Hawks (1-1) in a thrilling 12-10 game, making it the second year in a row they fell to their in-state rivals after winning the first 11 meetings in the series.
Barnes’ nearly mirrored her five-goal performance against the Hawks last season by scoring four goals this time around in attempt to lead her to team back from a seven-goal deficit the Knights faced early in the game.
“She’s a very consistent player, she’s very steady in the game and she’s someone who we rely heavily on for leadership qualities,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias of Barnes. “She’s a smart player as well as having the ability to execute what she sees.”
The beginning of the first half did not play out in Rutgers’ favor, as it surrendered seven unanswered goals.
Monmouth’s midfielder Kate Ryan scored four goals, while attacker Olivia Higson netted the other three. The two players traded goals back and forth, giving both Hawks’ players a hat trick as they controlled a 7-0 lead.
Senior midfielder Kristin Kocher said the early deficit to lack of communication on defense as well as having to adjust on offense to Monmouth’s style.
“Attack wise, it was something we haven’t seen yet, so we were hesitant with what we were doing,” Kocher said. “Defensively, we were following our game plan, but the communication just wasn’t there.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Dente was replaced by freshman Devon Kearns after the seventh goal. Dente finished with two saves, both coming from the free position.
Senior attacker Kim Kolodny finally opened the scoring for the Knights in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Kolodny’s goal was then followed up by two more Rutgers’ goals from junior attacker Kristina Dunphey and freshman attacker Emily Santana.
As momentum seemed to be heading in the Knights’ favor, Monmouth temporarily put it at a halt with another goal from Ryan.
Monmouth’s ability to capitalize on offense after winning 50/50 balls and draw controls made it hard for Rutgers to gain momentum and make a comeback.
The Knights were able to cut the deficit to 8-4 heading into halftime off a goal from Barnes with eight seconds left. The Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, native continued right where she left off in the first half, opening up the second half with two more quick goals followed by another goal by Santana, putting the game well within Rutgers' reach.
Once again, the Hawks were able to kill the Knights' momentum shortly after with a goal from midfielder Caroline Corbliss.
From there, Rutgers and the Hawks traded goals back and forth, leaving the score at 11-9 in Monmouth's favor heading into the final minutes of play.
With a little less than three minutes left on the clock, Barnes scored her fourth goal of the game to put the Knights within a goal.
A comeback seemed imminent as the clock continued to wind down, but the next goal would come from the home team.
Senior midfielder Marial Peirce, who was selected to the MAAC Preseason All-Conference team, scored the game’s final goal, giving the Hawks enough insurance to run out the clock and secure a 12-10 win. Pierce finished the game with two goals and two assists.
Although the amount of goals did not translate into the outcome they wanted, it was another big offensive showing for the Knights.
“We were able to start a fire which is something that is really difficult when you’re down 7-0," Barnes said. "So I’m proud of our effort to comeback.
Along with Barnes’ four goals, the team captain tallied two assists.
Dunphey added another two goals and an assist, giving her seven goals and 8 points on the young season.
Kocher scored her first goal of the season. Santana’s two goals were the first of her college career, while Kolodny scored in her second consecutive game.
The Knights plan to move on from their loss and get their season back on track when they head home to play in their home opener against Johns Hopkins on Sunday.
“We can’t hang our heads on a loss,” Barnes said. “Now all of our focus is on Hopkins for this weekend.”
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