Rutgers upset by Army at home

The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday, falling to No. 17 Army 10-9 at Stadium.

The Scarlet Knights (2-1) were ranked at No. 8 before this game, and the Black Knights (2-0) were the first ranked opponent Rutgers faced this season.

This game was a tough battle for the Knights, who found it very difficult to get into a rhythm offensively. This was due in part to the turnover differential — Rutgers had 20 turnovers compared to Army's 11.

“We had twice as many turnovers as them in a 1-goal game,” said head coach Brian Brecht. “That’s a lot of opportunities that are missed.”

This game marked the return of fifth-year senior starting goalie Max Edelmann from injury. Edelmann was sidelined for the first two games of the season, as true freshman goalie Ben Pounds filled in between the pipes. Edelmann had 17 saves on 27 shots on goal against the Black Knights. 

“It was a 1-goal game (and) he had 17 saves,” Brecht said. “We needed all of those saves and that is the guy that has been a big part of our success over the last three years.”

Army managed to get the scoring started a minute into the game off an Alex Alacqua goal, which was assisted by Brendan Nichtern. The Knights responded quickly, thanks to back-to-back goals from junior attack Kieran Mullins. 

Nichtern would finish the first quarter with 2 goals and Connor DeWitt would add on a goal of his own to put Rutgers in a 4-2 deficit after a quarter of play.

Matt Manown would open up the scoring again for the Black Knights just slightly more than a minute into the second quarter. The Knights finally answered back with a score from true freshman midfielder Cole Daninger, the third goal of his season. 

Five minutes into the second quarter, Rutgers conceded back-to-back goals to Nick Garofano and Sean O’Brien, putting the Knights in a 4-goal hole at home. 

Rutgers would manage to get an offensive burst going as the quarter winded down, with goals from junior midfielder Owen Mead, junior attack Mark Schachte and fifth-year senior midfielder Casey Rose ensuring that the Knights would go into halftime down 7-6.

The offense would slow down in the second half, as the first 10 minutes were dominated by tentative possessions and a lack of quality scoring opportunities on either side. When the goals did come, they came fast and hard, with Manown getting his second with 4:44 left in the third and Miles Silva getting on the board 18 seconds later. 

Rutgers would answer back late in the third again, with Mullins and sophomore attack Adam Charalambides each scoring a goal to pull the game within one. 

The Knights would finally pull even early in the fourth thanks to an unassisted goal from Charalambides, which was his second of the game and 10th of the season.

Army would get the final goal of the game from Nichtern, which gave him a hat trick and the Black Knights a late goal on the road. Rutgers had the final possession of the game, but it couldn't convert an equalizer out of the timeout.

The Knights will now look to regroup as they get set to take on No. 2 Loyola this Saturday.

After the game, Edelmann cited defensive breakdowns as a critical factor in the game.

“I think we need to step it up in the clearing game, and that starts with me,” Edelmann said. “I need to be a little more vocal with our guys.”

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

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