Rutgers falls to No. 7 Northwestern at home
Back on their home field, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse (4-5, 0-1) took on No. 7 Northwestern (6-3, 1-0) at HighPoint.com Stadium for both teams’ first Big Ten matchup. The Scarlet Knights had a big challenge against the Wildcats, losing 23-13.
Northwestern came out strong and kept the ball moving the whole game. After losing a close game to James Madison, the Scarlet Knights just couldn’t keep up with the Wildcats back home. The game was very fast paced with a lot of offensive possessions.
Both Rutgers and Northwestern had a total of 72 shots with each team scoring on 44 percent and 28 percent respectively. Northwestern dominated on draw controls, winning 24 throughout the game.
The Wildcats started the game with a blazing 3-0 run kickstarted by two goals from Izzy Scane and one from Selena Lasota, before Rutgers had the chance to make it onto the scoreboard. The Scarlet Knights began their offense with goals from senior attack Abbey Brooks, sophomore attack Taralyn Naslonski, and junior midfield Samantha Budd.
Rutgers traded goals early in the game and eventually closed the deficit to a score of 5-3. The rest of the half saw long runs from the Wildcats, with another four goals by Izzy Scane, two free position shot goals by Lauren Gilbert, two goals from Emily Stein, and a goal each by Leighton Yenor, Megan Kinna, and Selena Lasota. The Scarlet Knights chipped away at the score with goals scored by sophomore midfield Julia Lytle, Budd, and another two from Naslonski.
Every time Rutgers got back into the groove, the Wildcats stomped them out with an attack of offensive success. After outscoring the Scarlet Knights 6-2 in the final 16 minutes of the first half, Northwestern led 14-7.
Coming back in the second half, the Wildcats continued with an abundance of shots, scoring another nine times. Northwestern’s Selena Lasota and Izzy Scane scored a combined 15 goals, nine and six respectively.
Rutgers scored sporadically during the second half and were unable to keep up with Northwestern’s long streaks. The second half saw two goals from Lytle, and the rest coming from Budd, freshman midfield Camryn Rogers, freshman attack Marin Hartshorn, and redshirt junior Dakota Pastore.
The game showcased Rutgers’ ability to score, as it seemed every time Rutgers had the ball on the offensive side of the field, they made a viable chance for themselves to score. The Scarlet Knights had three players score hat tricks by Budd, Naslonski, and Lytle. Brooks had a career high four assists. On defense, redshirt freshman Kameron Halsall stopped a career high 14 shots while senior midfield Tess Howland had a career high 3 turnovers.
The Scarlet Knights struggled with ground balls, only recovering 11 of 33 during the game. The Knights also had problems clearing the ball, unable to hit their mark 5 times. Turnovers were big as Rutgers caused 9 of the 10 turnovers Northwestern committed.
Coach Laura Brand Sias said, “We knew it was going to be a shootout coming in” and that “there was going to be a lot of goals scored and we wanted to try and counter that.” This holds true as the Wildcats have scored over 20 goals in seven of their last eight games, proving their high-powered offense was not stopping that trend with Rutgers. Coach Sias also added, “We had a really tough time with the draw today, which hurt us a lot,” and “when we had the ball I think we had good opportunities. But credit to them, they’re a really solid team and they’re really deep. We put up a fight, but we made a lot of critical mistakes.” When asked how the team would move on and improve, Coach Sias said the team would go over the film and see what skills will have to be looked at.
The Scarlet Knights have two road games ahead of them versus Lafayette College and No. 23 Johns Hopkins. After a long week on the road, Rutgers will face number two ranked University of Maryland back home. The team hope to start next week with a win in Easton, Pennsylvania against Lafayette Tuesday, March 14th.