Rutgers face Monmouth after 1st win of season
Knights will play 3rd straight road game
Following a decisive win on Tuesday, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team hopes to get a win streak going this weekend.
The Scarlet Knights (1-1) play at Monmouth (0-2) on Saturday, the third straight road game to open the season before returning home to play Delaware next Saturday. Being in-state rivals, the two teams have a lot of history, with Rutgers winning the most recent matchup by 1 goal last season.
The Knights enjoyed a 15-4 victory at LIU Brooklyn earlier this week, getting goals from 10 different players, and hat tricks from two players who hadn’t scored 3 goals in a game before. The team has scored 23 goals through two games, and have 12 players who have scored, as well as 13 players with points.
Monmouth, on the other hand, has gotten off to a rough start. Picked to finish fifth out of nine teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Hawks lost their first two games, including an 18-7 loss to Temple on Wednesday. The 11-goal difference was seven more than when Rutgers lost to the Owls last Saturday, so there’s optimism that this will lead to good results.
“We’re going to come together as a team and work on our plays and make sure we execute each play correctly,” said junior attacker Dana Gisonno. “If we know our plays, we can make sure that each play works and we get the ball in the back of the net.”
Still, players admitted that there’s no reason to not play as hard against a winless opponent.
The Knights’ top goalscorer through two games is senior midfielder Paige Paratore, who has 4 goals, including a hat trick against Temple. Paratore also leads the team with shots on goal.
Freshman midfielder Taralyn Naslonski and Gisonno have 3 goals each, both achieving hat tricks against LIU.
“It helps to boost my confidence,” Naslonski said after her performance on Tuesday. “I’m definitely looking forward to the upcoming games. This is just setting the bar, so hopefully I can surpass it.”
Junior attacker Abbey Brooks leads the team in points with 5, thanks to her 2 goals and three assists, the latter of which is also a team high.
Rutgers has a strong defense that has forced 39 turnovers so far, including 25 against LIU. The unit is led by senior Amanda Casten, one of the Big Ten preseason Players to Watch on the Knights, and a three-time All-Big Ten defender.
All of these factors leave the team in a good position to claim victory tomorrow.
“We know that we have confidence and we can win games,” Gisonno said. “We have to go into our next game with our heads up, knowing that we can do it.”
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