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RU stresses intensity at Delaware

Following Wednesday’s 11-4 loss at Princeton, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team is going back to the drawing board.

In a game the 18th-ranked Tigers (1-1) completely dominated, the Scarlet Knights (2-1) realize that changes need to be made if it wishes to get back to its winning ways.

“We need to turn the page on a lot of things after [Wednesday’s] loss, it was a poor effort all around,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias.

The competition does not get any easier for the Knights.

Their next opponent, Delaware, was 10-6 last year but have started the new season slow at 1-2.

Brand-Sias got her team together for a long meeting Wednesday morning following the loss to Princeton.

The purpose was to remind everyone of the goals they set out for themselves at the start of the year and to remain focused after a tough loss. Her players seemed to get the message.

“Staying positive from start to finish is really important for us,” said senior midfielder Amanda Trendell.

Relying on the game plan set out for them is important but bringing the proper effort is critical for Rutgers, which Brand-Sias reiterated.

“Overall, our intensity and competitiveness needs to be better,” Brand-Sias said. “We have to bring it for the full 60 minutes.”

Delaware, much like Princeton, will pose a tough test for the Knights.

The Blue Hens have a high-powered offense with five key starters from last year’s unit.

Attacker Kara Dattellas leads the Blue Hens with eight points so far into the season.

The Knights’ defense will need a big turnaround from Wednesday’s loss, where they allowed a season-high 11 goals.

The same could be said for the offense, which scored only 16 goals so far this year.

While Brand-Sias knows her team does not lack talent, she acknowledges that there are other important facets of the game that the Knights need to get better at.

“We really need to work on our mental toughness going forward,” Brand-Sias said.

Brand-Sias also mentioned that changes might be made to the starting lineup as practice goes on throughout the week.

Tweaking the starting units may prove to be a beneficial change for Rutgers.

“Our number one thing is putting together the best unit that wants to win,” Brand-Sias said.

The team as a whole realizes its game needs to get better if it wishes to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Collecting wins in the non-conference portion of the schedule is essential for the Knights once they start conference play in the competitive Big East.

Delaware provides Rutgers the perfect opportunity to rebound while the season is still young.

The Knights need more intensity, according to Brand-Sias, who stresses the team expects more from themselves.

“We need to bring our competitive fire to the field on Saturday,” Trendell said.

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

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