Attacking duo eyes strong close to successful careers

<p>Senior attacker Kim Kolodny scored her 100th career point against No. 7 Northwestern. She has 26 goals and a career-high 11 assists this season.</p>

Senior attacker Kim Kolodny scored her 100th career point against No. 7 Northwestern. She has 26 goals and a career-high 11 assists this season.

With only two games remaining in the regular season for the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team, seniors look to close out a disappointing season on a high note.

The Scarlet Knights' (3-11, 0-3) senior attackers Halley Barnes and Kim Kolodny try to find some light in their final seasons despite dawning a negative record.

On the positive side for the two seniors, this is the final year in which every team, despite its record, is able to participate in the Big Ten Tournament, giving the Knights some extra motivation moving forward.

“It’s kind of a unique opportunity,” Barnes said of the tournament. “Going into it regardless of your record, you get to go in and make an impact to compete for a Big Ten championship, so I think we still have a lot of motivation going into that.”

The Garnett Valley, New Jersey, native has been a significant piece in the Rutgers offense during all four years with the team. Currently on the season, Barnes sits third on the Knights with 24 goals and 30 points, putting her only 3 points away from 100 in her collegiate career.

While Barnes has only a few more opportunities to achieve the milestone, her attacking partner Kolodny was able to reach the feat against Northwestern on Sunday. Playing through another game that Rutgers found themselves at the mercy of another team’s offense, Kolodny was able to break out with an offensive showing of her own.

“I was extremely emotional (last Sunday), and I’m just happy and thankful that my mom, my sister and a few of my cousins were there to see it happen,” Kolodny said.

Kolodny now has 26 goals and 37 points on the season, and she sits only 2 points behind leading scorer junior midfielder Kristina Dunphey.

Despite being overpowered by Northwestern’s offense, head coach Laura Brand-Sias said she was happy to see Kolodny achieve 100 points by scoring a few tough goals while never straying away from the Knights’ game plan.

“(For) a couple of her goals (on Sunday) she had a couple of people on her, and she re-dodged through them," Brand-Sias said. “That’s not her traditional style, so she’s really trying to step up and really diversify the way she plays.”

Kolodny said being able to score 100 points created a better story for her final year, even though a losing record has been tough.

“This season hasn’t been what we wanted and like I said, we’re going to capitalize on these last few games hopefully,” said the Farmingdale, New York, native. “This is definitely an individual accomplishment that I am happy I was able to accomplish.”

For Barnes, there has not been any competition between her and Kolodny in regards to who would reach the milestone first. The team captain even admired how her teammate reached the feat based off of the determination to help Rutgers win, rather than boosting her own personal stat line.

“I’m pretty sure neither of us were really focused on reaching that milestone as much as much as we were focused on winning and Kim was really out to win that game yesterday, and she just happened to achieve that goal,” Barnes said. “I look at every single game going into that the same way, like my job is to produce goals, and If I reach it I do, if I don’t, I don’t.”

Barnes will have multiple opportunities to close in on 100 when the Knights play their final regular season games against Ohio State and Michigan at High Point Solutions Stadium.

Kolodny said these final games will be a great opportunity to regroup and finish out 2016 strong.

“With these last few games, we’re just really trying to improve on the mistakes we had in the last game and move forward,” Kolodny said. “Hopefully we come out with a few wins because we only have two games left, so it’s pretty scary.”

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

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