Rutgers returns to Piscataway empty handed after 9-5 loss to Lehigh
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team took one final detour away from its Big Ten opponents on Tuesday, but were not able to find its way back onto the winning road in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The Scarlet Knights (3-9, 0-1) lost their last out of conference game of the season to Lehigh (9-2, 3-1), 9-5, in a game where the Knights' run-in with foul trouble and turnovers cost them in the first half.
Rutgers found itself behind early as Lehigh opened up the scoring less than three minutes into the game.
The start to the Knights' foul trouble began when senior midfielder Taylor Pennell received a yellow card, resulting in another Mountain Hawks goal from junior attacker Allison LaBeau, this time at the free position.
Rutgers’ offense came storming back, recording a free position shot of its own from senior attacker Kim Kolodny. Following her goal, the Farmingdale, New York, immediately sprang out on a breakaway, but was denied by Lehigh’s goalkeeper to keep the Knights down 2-1.
After Kolodny’s failed breakaway attempt, the Mountain Hawks cruised back down into Rutgers' end and scored 2 quick goals to put Lehigh up 4-2.
The Knights looked unfazed by their opponent’s lead, controlling Lehigh’s zone in the ensuing minutes.
While maintaining the offensive zone, Rutgers was finally able to cut into the Mountain Hawks’ lead when freshman attacker Abbey Brooks scored her team’s second free position goal after taking a hard foul.
From there, more turnovers and foul trouble continued to haunt the Knights, as Lehigh went on a 4-goal run to close out the first half.
Down 8-2 to start the second, Rutgers once again surrendered an early goal to the Mountain Hawks, but the Knights were not ready to go away quite just yet.
Junior midfielder Kristina Dunphey, who leads Rutgers in scoring this season, was on a mission to put her team back in the game. In less than six minutes, Dunphey scored 3 consecutive goals, putting her team within four.
Following the 3-goal outburst, the Knights and Lehigh traded offensive opportunities back and forth only to see a great display of goalkeeping at each end. Sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Dente's most notable save came in that span, stopping LaBeau from the free position.
Rutgers continued to press on, as the Mountain Hawks began to slow down their offensive possession to kill the clock.
While the Knights were able to even up the amount of turnovers surrendered in the first half, Rutgers did not have enough time to overcome the scoring deficit, resulting in a 9-5 defeat.
Kolodny’s goal leaves her with 23 on the season and only 5 points away from her 100th career point on the Banks.
Dunphey’s hat trick extended her team high in goals to 28 as the Hillsborough, New Jersey, native also leads the Knights with 35 points as well.
Rutgers will be back at it again on Saturday when it heads home to play its second Big Ten Conference game against Maryland.
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