September 22, 2019 | 84° F

RU aims to improve offensive output after opener

Photo by Tianfang Yu |

Junior midfielder Jenny Vlahos scored twice on both of her shots in the Knights’ season-opener Tuesday against Manhattan. She added two caused turnovers and a team-high four groundballs. The rest of Rutgers struggled offensively.

Coming off of Tuesday’s season-opening home win against Manhattan, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team is assessing what it needs to improve on.

In order to stay on the winning track, the consensus among the squad is that the offensive production needs to increase.

After the Scarlet Knights scored only six goals against the Jaspers, it is apparent that more output is needed from the attack line going forward.

“In the first half we really weren’t working together as an attack,” said junior midfielder Jenny Vlahos, who scored two goals in the game.

The Manhattan defense stifled the Scarlet Knights for much of the contest, but they were able to take advantage of their shots off of free positions throughout the game.

“The second half we really pulled together and got our shots off,” Vlahos said.

A key statistic that head coach Laura Brand-Sias would prefer to see decrease is turnovers, as Rutgers had 14 in the game.

“When things weren’t going our way we reverted to some bad habits,” Brand-Sias said.

The bright side for the Knights is that they have the entire season ahead of them.

With over 80 percent of the team’s scoring returning from last season, it will only be a matter of time before the attack hits its stride.

Rutgers completed its first objective of the season, and Brand-Sias always stresses the importance of taking things one game at a time.

“That’s what the first game is for — you have to get those kinks out and see what you have to improve on,” Brand-Sias said.

Brand-Sias credited the effort of her team, along with the defense, as the main keys for victory against Manhattan.

“I was really proud of the fight of our team, every 50/50 ball we were in there trying to battle for it,” Brand-Sias said.

The Knights had the edge in ground balls, 20-17, an easy indicator of the effort shown by the team as a whole.

“I felt like the ball was completely going our way in that sense,” Brand-Sias said.

Next up for the women’s lacrosse team is a home contest against Fairfield.

Brand-Sias readily admitted the Knights have their work cut out for them in preparations for the game.

“We definitely have a lot of work to do heading into our next game,” Brand-Sias said.

For updates on the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

By Conor Nordland

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