September 22, 2019 | 77° F

Rutgers dominates Ohio State for third straight victory over Buckeyes

Photo by Henry Fowler |

Junior attacker Nicole Kopyta scored her team-leading 18th goal of the season in the Scarlet Knights’ dominating 15-5 victory over conference foe Ohio State on Friday night.

In another dominating performance this season, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team beat down on Ohio State and made it three straight victories against the visiting squad.

The Scarlet Knights (6-4, 1-1) took on the Buckeyes (6-6, 0-2) at High Point Solutions Stadium on Friday, starting off a four-game home stand with a big win over their conference rival.

Rutgers has now beaten Ohio State three straight times, dating back to two overtimes wins, including a tough one in the first round of the 2016 Big Ten Tournament last season.

Although the Knights won the initial draw control of the game, Ohio State struck first with the first goal just 2:17 into the game.

“It starts from the draw, really fighting for draw control, which is such an important aspect of our game,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. “Great defensive sets, good goalie saves, taking care of the ball in transition and just maximizing our opportunities on attack and really trying to work the clock as best as we could.”

Rutgers took some time to respond, but eventually tied things up off an unassisted goal by senior team captain midfielder Macy Scott.

The Knights then broke the seal on the game, scoring another two goals and taking a 3-1 lead with 19:54 on the clock in the first half. The back-to-back goals came from junior attacker Joanna Reilly and freshman midfielder Samantha Budd.

“It was a great win, it was a great feeling and it was a total team effort,” Budd said. “After watching them on TV and seeing how exciting it looked to beat them in overtime twice, it was a great feeling to carry that on and win against them three times in a row.”

Senior team captain attacker Amanda Turturro extended Rutgers' scoring streak to three, scoring off a shot from the left side and extending the Knights' lead to 4-1 with 13:34 left in the first half.

Turturro connected on her second straight goal off the assist from sophomore attacker Abbey Brooks. Rutgers looked in good shape, holding a 5-1 lead with 11:04 to play in the half.

The Buckeyes finally stopped the Knights' scoring streak of five straight and cut into their lead with two straight goals of their own, making it 5-3 with three minutes remaining in the first half.

Rutgers nearly scored another goal with three seconds left in the half, but it was called back because of a penalty. The Knights took a 5-3 lead into the locker room.

Budd opened things up for Rutgers at the start of the second half, scoring her second goal of the game and extending the lead for the Knights back to 3 goals.

Ohio State didn’t let that stand for long, scoring less than thirty seconds later and putting Rutgers' lead back to two with the score at 6-4.

Redshirt junior attacker Nicole Kopyta added to her team-leading 17 goals on the season at the 25:17 mark in the second half, scoring her 18th goal off a free position shot.

The Knights matched their largest lead of the game at 4, after junior midfielder Paige Paratore scored to give Rutgers an 8-4 lead with 22:32 left to play. Two minutes later, the Buckeyes scored to tighten things up at 8-5.

“I thought we played really well,” Paratore said. “We prepared for this all week, we scouted them, we really did the things that we worked on and really executed, so I think we just all around played well on both sides.”

After nearly 10 minutes of scoreless action, Paratore broke the silence and scored her second goal of the game, bringing the Knights a 9-5 lead with 10:34 left in regulation.

Rutgers took its largest lead of the game at the 9:11 mark of the second half, when senior midfielder Kristina Dunphey scored off an unassisted goal. Dunphey scored again less than two minutes later for back-to-back goals for the Knights, extending their lead to 6 goals and an 11-5 score.

Budd scored her third goal of the game with a little over seven minutes to play, getting the hat trick off a goal down the middle and bringing the lead to 12-5 in Rutgers’ favor.

The Knights brought their scoring streak to seven straight off a goal from junior midfielder Sydney Quinn, another goal from Scott, and a third goal from Dunphey. With that, Rutgers brought the score to 15-5 and would finish it off as such.

The Knights matched both their highest scoring game and lowest goals allowed in the matchup with Ohio State.

“I think it has just become that natural rivalry,” Brand-Sias said.

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

Coby Green

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