Rutgers hosts Lafayette at High Point
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team will play its last non-conference game when it hosts Lafayette on Tuesday at High Point Solutions Stadium.
With a win over the Leopards (4-6, 1-2), the Scarlet Knights (5-7, 0-2) would finish the season 6-5 in their out of conference schedule. It would mark the second year in a row finishing above .500 out of conference.
The Knights have faced Lafayette twice in the last two seasons, winning both contests by a combined score of 34-22, while also winning 8 of the last 9 matches. In 2017, they traveled to Easton, Pennsylvania to face the Leopards, and beat them 15-10.
Rutgers is showing that, at times, the team belongs near the top of the rankings, and playing an unranked opponent this week should give the team confidence heading into the second part of Big Ten play starting this weekend. It has had Lafayette's number for the better part of the matchups, and looking ahead to Big Ten play, the schedule will only get more difficult.
Every game the Knights usually have a different goal scorer, and this makes it more difficult for teams to gameplan for them. Last game, senior attacker Joanna Reilly scored twice for the second time this season. Reilly has been a key player for Rutgers, after starting two games and appearing in 10 of them.
The key player for the Knights' offense is senior attacker and captain Kerri Puckhaber, who has consistently impacted every game of the year. She is leading Rutgers with 32 points, and has helped with 2 points every game this season.
Scouting the Leopards' key players, they have a two-headed attack between juniors Jane Kirby and Emma Novick. Kirby and Novick have scored 71 goals between both of them, accounting for 57 percent of their team's offense.
This matchup is easier for the Knights to scout, since they know who will most likely be taking shots, but the execution will still be difficult.
The Lafayette goalie situation is similar to its opponents, but Rutgers has an advantage of having two very good goalies to bring into games at any time.
The Knights are allowing 12.17 goals per game, compared to the Leopards who are allowing 13.10 goals per game. The difference in this game could easily be a single goal, so every goal will matter Tuesday night.
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