7-goal run propels Rutgers to road win in Queens

The Rutgers men's lacrosse team got its second win of the 2019 season against St. John’s in Jamaica, New York, taking down the Red Storm (0-1) in a 19-15 shootout that was defined by scoring streaks on both sides.

“I give our guys a lot of credit, being able to come back on the road,” said head coach Brian Brecht. “We have a lot of new guys, and St. John's has most of their guys returning from last year.”

Junior attack Kieran Mullins was the leading man on offense for the Scarlet Knights (2-0), finishing the game with 6 goals and three assists on 11 shots. 

Rutgers went to true freshman goalkeeper Ben Pounds in net once again, as fifth-year senior goalkeeper Max Edelmann remained sidelined with an injury. His status remains day-to-day, and it's unknown if he will play against Army on Saturday. 

Pounds finished with 15 saves on 41 shots against the Red Storm. 

“I give (Pounds) a lot of credit for stepping in and making the most of the opportunity,” Brecht said. 

The Knights got off to a rough start, conceding the opening goal within the first minute of play to St. John's Mike Madsen. The Storm's Ryan Schafer would get the second for St. John's 7 minutes in to give it an early 2-0 lead.

Rutgers would suffer a major injury shortly afterwards, as fifth-year senior faceoff Connor Harryman was helped off the field with 7:30 to go in the first period. 

Harryman was named Big Ten Co-Specialist of the Week, playing a major role for the Knights by winning 22 of 25 faceoffs in the opening game against Lafayette. His status remains unknown.

The rest of the first period would be controlled by Rutgers, as it would go on a 4-0 run to end the quarter. Two of those goals would come from Mullins.

The second quarter was a shootout, with sophomore attack Adam Charalambides getting a hat-trick within the first 7 minutes for the Knights. True freshman midfield Cole Daninger would get the first 2 goals of his career, and with 5 minutes to go in the half, Rutgers found itself up 9-3. 

But, the Storm came roaring back with 6 unanswered goals to go into the half tied at 9. Madsen scored two straight to give himself a hat-trick. St. John's Matt Stockfeder scored 2 goals and set up a screen on the equalizer from the Storm's Chris Buscemi.

St. John's netted the first two scores of the second from its own Jonathan Huber and Colin Duffy. Charalambides would respond for the Knights with a shot from the right wing, while Mullins would maneuver his way through the Storm's defense to even the game at 11. 

It wouldn’t last long, as Madsen would get his fourth goal of the game. Sophomore attack Tommy Coyne would respond with a close shot, and Rutgers would end the third period tied at 12. 

The fourth period would begin with another St. John's scoring run. The Storm's Declan Swartwood and Matt Oehl netted the first three goals of the quarter, putting the Knights in a 15-12 hole with 10 minutes to go in the fourth period.

But Rutgers turned it on late, going on a 7-goal run in the next 3 minutes. True freshman midfield David Sprock would get the run started with just over 8 minutes to go. 

Coyne would follow up off a dish from the corner to make it a one-goal game. Sophomore midfield Ryan Gallagher played a critical role down the stretch, tying it up with his first of the game. He then assisted on fifth-year senior midfield Casey Rose's  go-ahead goal with 4:52 remaining in the last period. Mullins would get the next 3 goals to ice the game for the Knights.

“I think overall we stayed in the game, kept our heads up and stuck to our game-plan,” said senior defenseman Garrett Michaeli. 

The win gives Rutgers a 2-0 record, as it returns home to face Army this Saturday. The Black Knights (1-0) are coming off a 12-11 overtime win against UMass. Army is now ranked at No. 19 in the country.

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

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