No. 11 Rutgers falls in Big Ten Tournament to No. 2 Maryland
The Rutgers men's lacrosse team knew it needed a win against No. 2 Maryland to keep its season alive.
After coming up short just three weeks ago in College Park by a score of 11-10, the No. 11 Scarlet Knights were looking for revenge and a shot to play in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday.
But at the end of the day, the Terps showed why they are the No. 1 team in the NCAA RPI rankings and came away with a 12-9 win.
"Some things didn't go our way. They're just a good team and things didn't fall for us," said senior midfielder and captain Austin Divticos. "Some shots didn't go that we wish they went."
With Kieran Mullins unavailable with the stomach flu, Connor Vercruysse get the start at attack for Rutgers, filling in for the Big Ten leader in conference goals. And Vercruysse performed admirably, leading the team with 3 goals.
"(Vercruysse) is the type of guy with that mentality of next man up and he filled that role to the best of his ability," Divitcos said. "He was hitting his shots today, getting the boys fired up. (He) came out with a lot of energy."
The other 6 goals for the Knights came from six different players, but the balanced effort wasn't enough to match that of Maryland, who had two different players with hat tricks in Bubba Fairman and Jared Bernhardt to pace its offense.
In the last game the two teams played, Connor Kelly dominated the game for the Terps, having 4 goals and 4 assists and being a part of 8 of his team's 11 goals.
He was contained for the most part on Thursday, as he had 2 goals and an assist, and did not register a second half point, but the depth of the Terps was simply too much, as they were able to get production all over the field.
As for now, Rutgers must sit and wait, hoping that every possible break goes its way and it can sneak in as one of the last teams in the field for the NCAA Tournament. While unlikely, it's still possible.
"Hopefully some luck goes our way and we get selected by the Committee," Divitcos said.
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