After dropping 2nd straight to Drexel, Rutgers readies for Monmouth
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team traveled to Vidas Field in Philadelphia and fell to Drexel 18-12 this past Saturday. Despite being outshot 42 to 27, the Dragons (2-2) capitalized on multiple scoring runs to hold off the Scarlet Knights (3-3).
The first half was a balanced fight with Drexel’s Lucy Schneidereith scoring first.
Rutgers' offensive prowess of attacks seniors Abbey Brooks and Allison Ferrara, along with sophomore Taralyn Naslonski and freshman Marin Hartshorn put the Knights ahead 7-5 with less than 6 minutes remaining in the first half. Junior midfielder Dakota Pastore also contributed to Rutgers' 7 goals.
Despite losing at the end of the first half, the Dragons went on a scoring spree with 5 additional goals from Schneidereith, Colleen Gardy and Cassidy Delaney. Drexel changed the narrative, leading 10-7 by the end of the first half.
The Knights came back into the second half with 2 goals from Pastore and junior midfielder Samantha Budd’s first goal of the game to close the gap to 11-10, but it wasn’t enough. The Dragons continued to deliver as they were able to score an additional 7 goals throughout the half. Rutgers were only able to tack on 2 more before the end of the game.
Looking inside the crease, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kameron Halsall played 50 minutes and 46 seconds before being replaced by senior goalkeeper Devon Kearns, who closed out the game. Halsall faced 16 shots on goal and saved four, recording her lowest save percentage of the season at .250.
Kearns allowed in all 6 shots on goal she faced between the pipes. She was able to maintain an average save percentage of .833 during her first three games before this one.
The last two games against UPenn and Drexel proved otherwise as Kearns's save percentage fell to .333 and .250 respectively. For the Knights to improve throughout their season, they will have to be consistent with scoring goals.
Highlights from this game came from Pastore and Naslonski, who led the game with 4 and 3 goals respectively while Budd contributed 2 goals, two assists and her 100th draw control of her career, becoming the seventh player to in program history to reach the draw milestone.
The Knights can count on the offensive dominance of Naslonski, as she is currently for tied sixth nationally in points with 31, tied 15th in assists with 12 and tied 16th in goals with 19. In Big Ten stats, Naslonski is second in the conference, averaging 5.17 points per game.
Rutgers will have a chance to redeem themselves against in-state rival Monmouth tonight at 6 p.m. The Knights currently lead 13-2 in the series with Rutgers winning the last two meetings.
This game will hopefully allow the Knights to regroup and focus on what improvements need to be made ahead of their difficult schedule against No. 4 James Madison and No. 7 Northwestern matchups coming up in the next two weeks.
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