Rutgers sees winning streak end at No. 9 Penn State
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team saw its longest win streak of the season come to an end this weekend, as it faced off against No. 9 Penn State in their first Big Ten match of the season and came home empty handed.
A red hot Scarlet Knights team (5-4, 0-1) traveled to University Park, Pennsylvania to take on the Nittany Lions (8-1, 1-0) on Saturday, riding a three game win streak, which included taking down No. 12 James Madison University and then defeating Manhattan College at home after the weather ended the game early with Rutgers firmly in the lead.
The Knights took down the Dukes 12-9, in Harrisonburg, Virginia for their best win of the season. This was the first ranked victory for Rutgers this year.
Rutgers then beat up on Manhattan College 15-5, before the heavy snow falling forced an early ending via the mercy rule.
In this past Saturday’s game against the Nittany Lions, the Knights fought hard in the unfamiliar territory, but ultimately fell 18-7.
Senior midfielder Kristina Dunphey kicked things off for Rutgers, scoring the game’s first goal off an unassisted shot from the middle with 24:44 on the first half clock.
Penn State responded with a spree of goals, scoring three times in a row to take a 3-1 lead with 18:43 left on the board.
At the 12:49 mark, sophomore attacker Abbey Brooks scored for the Knights off an assist from junior attacker Joana Reilly and cut the Nittany Lion lead to 3-2.
Less than two minutes later, junior midfielder Paige Paratore scored an unassisted goal to tie the game up at 3 goals apiece.
Penn State responded again with a three-goal barrage, breaking the game open and taking a 6-3 lead with 9:19 left to play in the first half.
Rutgers cut into the lead slightly with 8:15 on the clock, after junior attacker Kerri Puckhaber put the ball through the net off the pass from sophomore attacker Dana Gisonno.
The Nittany Lions wouldn’t let up, gutting through the Knight defense and scoring a whopping five straight goals in just over three minutes of play. With 4:42 left in the first half, the score was one-sided at 11-4 in Penn State’s favor.
Rutgers initially stopped the bleeding for the half with another goal from Paratore with 54 seconds left in the half, but Penn State couldn’t be stopped, scoring another goal 30 seconds later.
Senior team captain attacker Amanda Turturro capped off the half for the Knights with a quick goal with 12 seconds left in the half off an assist from Brooks. Rutgers went into the locker room down 12-6 and looked to tighten things up in the last 30 minutes.
After a slow start to the second half for both teams, Penn State broke the seal and kept it flooding, scoring a crushing six straight goals on the Knights. It was a night that saw both junior Bianca Dente and sophomore Devon Kearns with time in the goal.
Turturro supplied Rutgers with the final goal of the game and the 13th on the season for her, finishing the game at 18-7 in favor of the hosts.
The stat line included 24 shots for the Knights with 16 on goal, compared to 37 shots for Penn State with 26 being on goal. Additionally, Rutgers had 16 ground balls, 11 draw controls and 18 turnovers for the game.
Turturro leads the Knights in total points with 24 after the game against Penn State, followed closely behind by Dunphey with 23 and redshirt junior attacker Nicole Kopyta with 18. Kopyta leads the team in total goals this season with 17 over nine games of play.
They begin a four-game home stand this weekend with another Big Ten battle against Ohio State (5-5). Rutgers is currently on a two-game win streak against Ohio State, including an 11-10 overtime victory against them in the first round of the Big Ten tournament last season.
For updates on the Rutgers women's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter