March 18, 2018 | ° F

Rutgers travels to Delaware off of back-to-back wins

Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

Head coach Laura Brand-Sias hopes to keep her team’s two-game winning streak alive when the Knights visit Delaware tomorrow afternoon.

Off to its best start since 2014, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team looks to continue the good start this weekend, as the Scarlet Knights (2-1) travel down to the University of Delaware (1-1).

The Knights are coming from back-to-back wins over the last week. First, Rutgers won a tight matchup against Monmouth last weekend, 12-11. The Knights then went to Easton, Pennsylvania for their first road game of the season and defeated Lafayette 15-10 behind a strong second half.

Rutgers and Lafayette were in a tight battle early on, swapping goals one after another, eventually going into halftime tied 7-7. In the locker room, head coach Laura Brand-Sias knew it was time to make adjustments and focus.

“We needed to make adjustments on the draw, because we weren’t as successful as we wanted to be in that category and just also our transition, we needed to be a little more team oriented,” she said. “I think those adjustments helped for sure, but I also just think the team’s confidence was different in the second half.”

The Knights dominated the second half, scoring 8 goals and using stifling defense, as junior goalie Bianca Dente had great goal protection to win the game 15-10.

Dente ended the game with 10 goals allowed, her fewest of the season, along with 12 saves off 22 shots on goal from the Leopards.

“We had a little slow start in the first half, it took us a little while to adjust, but in the second half we cut off their key players and did our job,” Dente said. “We should take our confidence from the second half and carry that into the whole game against (Delaware).”

Rutgers has won eight of the last nine games against Lafayette, including a 19-7 thrashing of the Leopards last season in what was the Knights' best win of the year.

On Wednesday, senior attacker Amanda Turturro led the team with six points by way of 4 goals and two assists. Turturro capped off the performance by only having one turnover for the game.

“She did really well,” Brand-Sias said. “She really seized her opportunities the way that they were playing the crease and that provided her some open cuts when the ball was up top. She did a great job recognizing those situations and then finishing. She was a great leader on the field for us.”

The team captain leads the team overall with 10 points (7 goals and three assists) so far this season.

Rutgers had nine players score in the game this past Wednesday, including multiple goals from the Rutgers trio — freshman midfielder Samantha Budd, sophomore attacker Abbey Brooks and redshirt junior attacker Nicole Kopyta.

Budd had another great game at the start of her college career, adding another three points, a team-high five draw controls and two ground balls.

“We played really well, it was definitely a step in the right direction for us since we haven’t won back to back games in a really long time, so it was a great opportunity to show people what we’ve got and to take it into the (Delaware) game,” Turturro said.

In last season’s matchup against the Blue Hens, the Knights played consistently, only down by 2 goals at halftime, but ultimately fell by a score of 13-9. Junior midfielder Kristina Dunphey led the team with a hat trick and an assist for four points.

The Blue Hens come into this weekend’s matchup looking to regain momentum after a tough loss to Penn last weekend. The tight game ended in Penn’s favor, 9-7.

“Delaware is a very talented team, they put a lot of pressure on the ball, their defense includes some pretty high-pressure looks,” Brand-Sias said.

The Knights will return to High Point Solutions Stadium next Wednesday to face Penn at 6 p.m.

“We are going to have to pick up where we left off, be team oriented and when given the opportunity be able to finish,” Brand-Sias said.

For updates on the Rutgers women's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Coby Green

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