Rutgers kicks off home stand on two-game win streak against Ohio State
After a tough loss to its highest ranked opponent yet, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team hopes to bounce back this weekend in its second straight Big Ten matchup.
The Scarlet Knights (5-4, 0,1) kick off a four-game home-stand this Friday night, where they will face off with another conference rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-5, 0-1). Both Rutgers and the Buckeyes will try and pick up their first conference wins of the season.
Friday’s matchup will be the fifth matchup between the teams in the last three seasons. Rutgers and Ohio State have faced off in both the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament in the last two years.
The Knights are currently on a two-game win streak against Ohio State, as Rutgers defeated the Buckeyes in both games last year, both in sudden death overtime wins.
Last April, the Knights took Ohio State into overtime, where former Rutgers player Halley Barnes scored her sixth goal of the game, a career best, and the 100th point of her career to beat the Buckeyes 13-12. Then-junior midfielder Kristina Dunphey added three goals for the Knights in the win.
In the 2016 Big Ten tournament, Rutgers and Ohio State met again in the first round, where the Knights upset the Buckeyes 11-10 in overtime and advanced to the semifinals. Dunphey and then-junior attacker Amanda Turturro each had a hat trick for Rutgers.
“Ohio State is a rivalry game, so it makes it more exciting to play,” Dunphey said. “I just come out with a lot of fire, especially against Big Ten teams, and try to lead my team so that hopefully when I bring my energy and my best game, then other people can also step up and we can have a good team win.”
Now in 2017, the Knights are coming off an 18-7 loss to No. 9/8 Penn State, which ended a season high three-game winning streak.
The game started off evenly matched, with the clock ticking down to the 11:33 mark in the first half and the score tied 3-3. Penn State then broke things wide open, going on a 9-3 run until the end of the first half, heading into the locker room up 12-6.
Rutgers couldn’t get back into it, letting up another six goals to its one, ending the game 18-7 in the host's favor.
Turturro and junior midfielder Paige Paratore led the way for the Knights, scoring two goals apiece, while sophomore attacker Abbey Brooks added a goal and an assist as well.
The Buckeyes are coming into High Point Solutions Stadium off a close 8-7 win over Binghamton. The win on Sunday snapped a rough four-game losing streak for the Buckeyes, that saw the team lose two games by one goal.
Ohio State will play two games this weekend, first against Rutgers and then an odd neutral field matchup against the USC Trojans in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey.
The 7 p.m. game will be the first Friday night game of the season for the Knights, who usually plays its weekend games on Saturdays.
After the Big Ten clash in Piscataway this weekend, Rutgers will take a break from conference play, facing Niagara (3-3) at home on March 28.
“Our team thrives off home games. A lot of us are from New Jersey so we have our family and friends come,” Dunphey said. “There are a lot of Ohio State people from around here, so that will get us a big crowd and get us more pumped up to play an even better game."
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