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Knights win behind goal in last minute

<p>Sophomore midfielder Chrissy Schreiber chases a loose ball in Rutgers’ 8-7 win on Saturday at the RU Turf Field.</p>

Sophomore midfielder Chrissy Schreiber chases a loose ball in Rutgers’ 8-7 win on Saturday at the RU Turf Field.

With less than a minute left to play and the scored tied, the ball was given to Rutgers women’s lacrosse sophomore midfielder Chrissy Schreiber to score the game winner.

She drove to the left side of the net and fired a shot that went under the stick of Delaware goalie Alex Zaugra, putting the Scarlet Knights up, 8-7, with 23 seconds to go.

An impressive last-second save by Rutgers redshirt freshman goalie Amanda Currell secured the victory.

For Rutgers, the 8-7 win against Delaware (1-3) on Saturday at the RU Turf Field served as a bounce-back victory. The Scarlet Knights (3-1) needed a win after the team’s resounding 11-4 defeat to Princeton last Wednesday.

“Now that we got this [win], we can use it as an example moving forward and our starting point for the rest of the season,” Schreiber said.  

The Knights had their most complete game of the season, with the offense finding its rhythm early on in the game and the defense handling the Blue Hens’ talented attack line.

Junior Lauren Sbrilli led Rutgers in scoring. She collected two goals in the first half and finished with a hat trick — the eighth of her career.

“We really came out with a fire and got it done today,” Sbrilli said.  

Six other Knights scored in the game — a sign that the offense is shaking off some early season rust.

Head coach Laura Brand-Sias shuffled her starting lineup in an attempt to generate more chances offensively. Rutgers has had a different lineup in each of its four games so far, as Brand-Sias tries to find the right fits for her team.

“We’re still trying to find our offensive identity,” Brand-Sias said. “We haven’t really clicked yet and we’re really looking for that time when we do.”

Brand-Sias noted that Sbrilli’s two consecutive goals were key for the offense before entering halftime, and especially for the junior midfielder who redshirted last year due to injury.

“She’s such a big center force for us. I’m glad that she got those goals and kind of got the monkey off her back,” Brand-Sias said.

Sbrilli accounted for three of the Knights’ season-high eight goals.

Rutgers also had an impressive performance Saturday from Currell, who had a career game in net. She collected 13 saves and eight ground balls — both career highs.

The Knights’ defense collectively shut down the Blue Hens at the most pivotal points in the game, and Currell’s last second save led to her teammates mobbing her as time expired.

Rutgers returns to action Wednesday with a renewed sense of confidence, a key for the Knights to try and build on Saturday’s victory.

Brand-Sias, who preaches the mentality of “one game at a time,” emphasized that her team needs to stay focused on improving as the season goes on.

For players such as Sbrilli, the mentality has rubbed off on them as they look to correct the team’s problems entering its next game.

“We have to try and improve on the little things and just keep working hard,” Sbrilli said. 

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