Rutgers falls to Cornell in Ithaca
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team surrendered a second-half lead on Saturday in its 14-9 loss to No. 21/RV Cornell.
The Scarlet Knights (5-7, 0-2) and the Big Red (6-3, 2-1) had a back-and-forth first half. Rutgers had a 5-2 lead in the first 13 minutes, including 2 goals from senior midfielder Paige Paratore. Cornell came back to tie the game at 6-6 heading into halftime.
The Knights returned from halftime on fire, taking a 9-6 lead with 3 goals in slightly more than five minutes. Then, the wheels fell off and the Red scored 8 unanswered goals to win 14-9.
Among the leading players for Rutgers were senior attacker and captain Kerri Puckhaber, who had 1 goal and two assists. Every game this season she has contributed at least 2 points, leading her to be the most consistent player on the squad.
Senior attacker Joanna Reilly came off the bench to score 2 goals for the second time this season. On the season, she has 8 goals and one assist, giving the Knights a high-energy option off the bench this season.
Sophomore midfielder Samantha Budd had a good game, but not in terms of shooting. Budd had seven draw controls, leading Rutgers in the circle. She has found ways to contribute even when her shot is not finding its target, as she took just six shots and had only 1 goal against Cornell.
The Knights can take a few learning experiences from this game. They outshot the Red 27-25, so their shot accuracy will need to improve to take the next step for the program. Also, they had more ground balls, which helped lead them on more counter attacks.
Rutgers has one of the country’s most difficult out-of-conference schedules, and it shows with the games it has been playing.
According to Laxpower.com RPI rankings, the Knights have the 57th-hardest schedule in the whole country — they are behind Penn, who already beat Rutgers 19-9 in February. Cornell is in the 18th spot on this list, showing that the East Coast is loaded with some of the hardest lacrosse schedules in the country.
Looking ahead, the Knights play their last out-of-conference game Tuesday against Lafayette (4-6, 1-2). Rutgers is looking to finish with an above .500 out-of-conference record for the second straight season.
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