Rutgers hosts Ohio State on Senior Day
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team hosts Ohio State this Saturday at HighPoint.com Stadium. The Scarlet Knights (5-9, 0-4) are coming off a four-game losing streak after dropping a game to Michigan this past weekend. Despite its offensive stars, Rutgers has had a hard time keeping momentum during games and go into slumps on defense.
The Knights have proven their ability to compete with top opponents, but still haven’t had a decisive win over a ranked team.
The Buckeyes (8-7, 0-4) have not improved in their past outings, losing their last three games. In its matchup history, Rutgers and Ohio State are even at three wins a piece.
Looking at the Buckeyes’ last game against Johns Hopkins, Ohio State showed its strengths on shots and draw controls. The Buckeyes were able to shoot 30 shots against the Blue Jays.
Ohio State also dominated draw controls, winning 14 of 21 draws.
Looking at the Knights, the trio of season shine with sophomore attack Taralyn Naslonski continuing to lead the team in scoring. Rutgers' defense has been solid with even control of ground balls and caused turnovers throughout the season.
Redshirt freshman goalie Kameron Halsall has a save percentage of .427, especially with the talent she has faced the past couple weeks.
In order to beat the Buckeyes, the Knights will need to focus on a couple aspects of the game in order to give Ohio State a hard time. First off, the offense will need to play at a high tempo, keeping the Buckeyes defense on their heels, letting key offensive players Naslonski and junior midfielder Samantha Budd pressure the opposing nets.
If Rutgers' offense can give its player the opportunity to possess the ball for longer periods of time and a higher volume of shots, then the Knights will have no issues racking up the score against Ohio State. Another note based off the offense is the ability to consistently win draw controls, which in turn will give the offense more time to work and take the pressure off the defense.
The defense itself has done what it can, but can use the help of less time facing the opponent offense and allowing Halsall see less shots. To even further increase time on offense, Rutgers will need to focus on completing more clears and aggressively win more ground balls.
It’s a simple math game, as the less opportunities the Knights give to the Buckeyes, the smaller the chance for them to convert goals. This is key as Ohio State has no issues getting a large amount of shots of its own.
Beside the points mentioned, there is nothing in the way of Rutgers securing the win this weekend, as it has home field advantage and the fuel of conference rivalry to amp it up.
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