Rutgers looks for 1st win of season at LIU Brooklyn
Knights to head to Long Island Tuesday
Following a season-opening loss, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team looks to bounce back and win its first game of the season Tuesday afternoon.
The Scarlet Knights (0-1) head to Long Island to take on LIU Brooklyn (0-0), hoping for better results after their 12-8 loss at Temple last Saturday. This is the first time ever that the two teams are playing each other.
While Rutgers was picked to finish fifth out of seven teams in the Big Ten, the Blackbirds were picked to finish in last place out of eight teams in the Northeast Conference. LIU Brooklyn went 3-12 last year, which included a 1-6 record in conference play, and lost its three leading goal scorers to graduation.
The Knights showed a lot of promise in its loss to the Owls over the weekend, getting goals from six different players. Senior midfielder Paige Paratore had the first hat trick of her career, and five other players scored one goal each.
And after finding itself in a hole in the second half, the team clawed back and made it a three-goal game late. While it didn’t finish the comeback, it proved that it will fight to the final whistle in every game.
Rutgers has a lot of scoring depth this season, as they return 6 of their top 9 goalscorers, including three who scored more than 15 goals. Fifth-year senior attacker Nicole Kopyta is the team’s top-scoring returnee (24 goals last season) with junior attacker Abbey Brooks (18) and Paratore (16) not far behind.
As for the leaders of this team, attacker Kerri Puckhaber, midfielder Alana Navaroli and defender Christine DiLullo, all seniors, are captains this season. Puckhaber and Navaroli played in all 16 games last season, while DiLullo sat out due to injury.
Puckhaber also found herself on the Big Ten’s Players to Watch List, along with sophomore midfielder Samantha Budd and senior defender Amanda Casten. Casten was an All-Big Ten defender in each of the past two seasons.
Despite never having played LIU before, the Knights' close loss to Temple should give it enough motivation for this game and for the rest of the season.
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