Rutgers rolls past Drexel 15-7
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team rolled past Drexel in a 15-7 win at High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday, backed by 4-goal performances from sophomore midfielder Samantha Budd and junior attacker Abbey Brooks.
The Scarlet Knights (4-2) improved from when they played the Dragons last season, when Rutgers won a 9-8 game in overtime. This time around, it was a more decisive win, thanks largely to its second half performance — the Knights scored the last 7 goals of the match, which should give them confidence after their slightly lackluster first half.
Brooks had a great day, scoring a career-high 4 goals in a good all-around performance. She also added two assists to cap her special day.
Fifth-year senior attacker Nicole Kopyta and senior midfielder Paige Paratore helped with 2 goals each, while senior attacker and captain Kerri Puckhaber, junior midfielder Allie Ferrara and sophomore attacker Emily Santana all contributed 1 goal each in the win.
Rutgers' defense was stellar all night, as it only allowed 7 goals in the match. Senior Bianca Dente and junior Devon Kearns shared time in the net, holding Drexel to 3 goals in the second half.
The Knights junior defender Regina Sharp anchored the defense, locking up the Dragons' attack all day. She ended the game with three ground ball pickups — a team high — and caused two turnovers.
Rutgers will have to work on its draw controls, since in the first half it only gained possession of the ball 3 out of 11 chances. The second half was a stronger performance in the circle, where the team controlled 9 of the 13 chances.
The Knights also had the majority of shots on goal. While they put more shots on net (10-9) than Drexel in the first, they came back even stronger with 16-7 in the second half. If they perform each game like the second half against the Dragons, Rutgers can potentially make some noise in the postseason.
The Knights started the game scoring 4 of the first 5 goals of the game, highlighted by Paratore’s brace. Rutgers proceeded to close the score and secure the lead, as the teams went into halftime 6-4.
The Knights came out of the halftime locker room and did not play at their highest level, letting the Dragons get the game within 1 goal with 24 minutes left.
Something then clicked for Rutgers and it took apart Drexel's defense the rest of the game, scoring 7 goals in a row, while shutting the Dragons out for the last 15 minutes.
The Knights remain undefeated at home this season, following their win over Delaware. They will hope to keep their home-field advantage when their schedule features their Big Ten conference play in the coming weeks.
Rutgers will face off against James Madison University this Saturday at 1 p.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium.
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