Freshman breaks out with 5 goals as Rutgers drops 16-11 contest to James Madison
After a dominant performance against Lafayette ended its six game losing streak, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team found itself back on the losing end in the second game of its two-game home stand over spring break.
The Scarlet Knights (2-7) dropped a tightly-contested match to James Madison (4-5), 16-11, on Saturday in a game featuring a 5-goal breakout performance from the Knights’ freshman attacker Abigail Lee Brooks.
Although the game’s final result was not in Rutgers’ favor, Brooks refused to be denied in what was only her second career game with the Knights.
Head coach Laura Brand-Sias noted Brooks’ performance reflected the skills she has shown in practice throughout the season, leaving full confidence in her freshman’s ability to produce prior to the game.
“She’s really been stepping up in practice and doing really nice things, so we weren’t surprised by her producing,” Brand-Sias said of Brooks. “She definitely had a kind of breakout day, but like I said, she’s really been producing in practice, so that’s why she’s been getting more opportunity and really stepped up.”
According to junior midfielder Kristina Dunphey, who leads the Knights in points this season, Brooks’ major offensive role against the Dukes was a great look at the skill she provides for the Knights.
“In practice every day, she scores on us all the time, so she was a major role for us today,” Dunphey said. “She’s quick and shifty, and we can really use her on the attack as a big threat.”
The rookie took a humbler approach in speaking about her own game, as she had few words about her personal performance while directing attention towards the frustration of losing a close game and the positives to look at moving forward.
“It’s definitely hard,” the Moorestown, New Jersey, native said. “I think we played really well in the first half and then carried over into the second half, and (James Madison) just came out with the win in the end. As a unit, we played well together and that will carry on to our next game.”
Opposed to Rutgers’ large deficits in previous losses this year, the Knights and Dukes traded goals throughout the entire game, keeping both teams within reach of each other.
The Knights’ opportunity to go on their first winning streak of the season was halted when James Madison broke the tie and went on a 3-goal run with less than 10 minutes to play in the second half.
From there, the gap continued to widen as the risks Rutgers needed to take in order create late scoring chances ultimately ended in more goals from the Dukes.
James Madison added its final grain of salt to Rutgers wound on its 16th goal of the game with exactly one second left on the clock.
Brooks ended the game totaling 6 points as multiple Knights’ players were able to complement her performance with goals of their own.
Senior attackers Halley Barnes, who scored 2 goals, and Kim Kolodny, who had a goal and two assists, both continued their pace towards 100 career points.
Dunphey stretched her lead as Rutgers top point scorer with 2 goals and two assists, while junior midfielder Macy Scott scored her sixth of the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Devon Kearns made seven while allowing 13 goals before being replace by sophomore Bianca Dente with less than 10 minutes to play.
The Knights move on to play Hofstra in New York on Friday in their last game before dipping into their Big Ten conference schedule.
Rutgers is ready continue feeding off their positive play against Lafayette while looking past the setback faced in the loss to the Dukes.
“It’s definitely hard to have such a big win and have a little bit of a setback," Brooks said. "But we’re going keep going and keep pounding, look forward and put it behind us."
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