Rutgers goes on road to face No. 2 Maryland
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team prepares for its toughest opponent of the season when it gets set to face No. 2 Maryland Friday evening.
The Scarlet Knights (6-7, 0-2) will be looking for their first Big Ten conference win of the season, as the Terrapins (11-1, 2-0) strive to stay on top of the conference.
Rutgers has won 2 of its last 3 games, and will continue to rely upon a balanced attack combined with a strong defense to overtake Maryland’s power house program.
The Terps have a serious advantage in their favor by winning all 18 matches against the Knights in the series. Last year, Rutgers lost 20-8, with then-sophomore attacker Abbey Brooks and then-junior attacker Joanna Reilly both scoring 2 goals.
The game was moved from Saturday to Friday due to the incoming snowstorm, so the teams will both be playing on a shorter rest schedule than usual. Also, Maryland usually celebrates its senior night this game, which could help motivate the Knights to win even more than usual.
The Rutgers offense has been running through a balanced front line with senior attacker and captain Kerri Puckhaber leading the way in points. She has been taking it upon herself to set up her teammates — she has 12 assists on the season and at least one assist in 6 of the last 7 matches.
Brooks is tied for second on the team in points and leads it in assists. She has 9 points in the last three games and is one of the keys in initiating its fast-paced attack. She was helped off the field last game against Lafayette in the final minute, but it appeared that the injury was not serious.
Senior midfielder Paige Paratore has been on a tear as of late scoring 10 goals in the last four games. She is also leading the team in multi-goal games, with eight games where she's scored at least twice.
The team's defense has been stellar, but against Maryland, the Knights' highest ranked opponent all season, they will need to really grind it out. The Terrapins are averaging 16.33 goals per game, which is fourth best in the country. Senior attacker Megan Whittle is the ninth-highest scorer in the country with 4 goals per game, and has scored 48 on the season.
For updates on the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.