Rutgers heads to Philadelphia to take on Drexel
After a tough loss on Wednesday to the No. 10 team in the nation, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team looks to get back in the win column this weekend, as it heads back out on the road after the one-game home stand.
The Scarlet Knights (2-3) will head out to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to face the Drexel Dragons (3-1) this Saturday at Vidas Field.
Rutgers is coming off an impressive performance against the University of Pennsylvania, where the Knights cut a 5-goal deficit with 14:21 left in the game down to just one with 4 straight goals down the stretch with 6:42 remaining.
The Quakers scored the last goal of the game and held on to win 11-9 at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Senior midfielder Macy Scott had the second hat trick of her career against Penn, including capping the 4-goal surge late in the second half to cut the Quaker lead to 10-9.
“I think we know what we are capable of now,” Scott said. “Going into this weekend’s game, we are going to take our momentum, our practice tomorrow and our practice Friday and take it right into Saturday.”
Another senior midfielder, Kristina Dunphey, led the team with five points, 2 goals and three assists, keeping the Knights in the game against the tough opponent. Dunphey was involved with more than half of the scoring in the game for Rutgers, leading to her being tied for second in team points.
More highlights for the Knights included a goal and assist from senior team captain and attacker Amanda Turturro, who leads the team with 13 points for the season, and 2 more goals for junior Nicole Kopyta, taking early-game frustration out on the net and on the field, where she received the only yellow card of the game.
“We have a really bright future ahead of us,” Dunphey said.
Kopyta has scored multiple goals in all five games so far this season, leading the team in that category with 11.
Junior attacker Joanna Reilly scored her third goal of the season during the 4-goal streak that led to the late-game pressure on No. 10 Penn.
Rutgers shot the ball on a consistent basis, taking 20 shots with 16 of them on target of the goal, compared to Penn’s 31 shots with 24 on goal.
Junior goalkeeper Bianca Dente had 13 saves for the game, bringing her season total up to 49 saves in just five games played.
The Knights hope to bring some of their fierce defense from the Penn game into this weekend’s match with Drexel, as they caused six of the Quakers' 11 turnovers.
“Possession is huge, I think we did a much better job than we did last weekend of possessing the ball and working the time of possession to give our defense a breather,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias.
Rutgers and Penn now split their overall series tied at 9 apiece, with the Knights' last victory coming during the 2013 season.
Drexel is coming off three straight wins after a season-opening loss to then-No. 10 Duke. On Wednesday, the Dragons had a tough battle again Monmouth in West Long Branch, New Jersey, resulting in an 11-9 win for the team coming into this weekend’s game.
Drexel trailed in the second half, but scored 5 of the last 7 goals in the game, sealing it for the victory. This was the team’s second consecutive win on the road.
After playing three games in a week's span, including two of which being road games, the Knights will have a week to rest up and focus in practice before their next game. Rutgers will stay on the road for the second straight game, as it will travel down to Harrisonburg, Virginia to face the James Madison University Dukes (4-1).
“To know that we are in a position that if we put everything we have into a game, that we can play with a top ten program is not a bad spot to be in right now,” Brand-Sias said.