August 22, 2019 | 76° F

No. 15 Rutgers uses dominant defensive performance to beat Brown on road

Photo by Garrett Steffe |

The Rutgers men's lacrosse team picked up its most impressive win of the season on Saturday with a 10-8 road triumph over Brown, who opened the season ranked No. 18 in the country.

After a slow start and falling behind 4-1, the No. 15 Scarlet Knights (4-1) went on a 6-1 run to close the first half. That was a lead they would not relinquish, as the defense — led by a stellar performance from senior captain Michael Rexrode — locked down the Bears and gave Rutgers its second straight win.

"This was a great win for our team," said head coach Brian Brecht, according to "They played hard and competed for the last 53 minutes of the game today. I was very pleased and excited with the play of (senior midfielder) Christian Scarpello and (junior midfielder) Mark Christiano in the midfield, and our defense did great today."

Brown's Carson Song was coming off a 5-goal, two-assist performance against Stony Brook a week prior and was held to just 1 goal and an assist.

The Knights' offense played a lot better than the 10 goals suggest, as Bears goalie Phil Goss played the game of his life, facing a ridiculous 30 shots on goal, to Brown's 13, and saving 20 of them. If it weren't for Goss's stellar play in the net, Rutgers would have blown the Bears out of the water and won by a hefty margin.

Junior long-stick midfielder Kyle Pless, who is the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, led the Knights with three caused turnovers.

Offensively, it was a balanced effort for Rutgers, as four different players scored 2 goals, with senior captain Jules Heningburg leading the attack with 2 goals and three assists. Fifth-year senior midfielder and fellow captain Christian Mazzone netted 2 of his own and is second on the team with his 8 goals on the season.

"Jules Heningburg and Christian Mazzone were excellent today in the clutch," Brecht said, according to "This was a great team win for us on the road against a talented team. With all the distractions, and the excuses they could have made with our eight-hour bus trip, they were very businesslike on the field today. I am very proud of the team today."

The Knights are back in action on Saturday when they visit in-state rival Princeton for the Harland W. Tots Meistrell Cup.

For updates on the Rutgers men's lacrosse team, follow @GriffinWhitmer and @TargumSports on Twitter.

Griffin Whitmer

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