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Rutgers prepares for Cornell after losing to No. 2 Maryland

Over the weekend, the Rutgers women’s lacrosse team had a tough game against No. 2 Maryland in a 20-3 loss. The Scarlet Knights (5-7, 0-3) had their hands full as they took on an elite program Saturday afternoon at HighPoint.com Stadium. 

Despite the offensive prowess of Rutgers, the team was only able to score 3 goals off 20 shots throughout the entire game. In the end, the Terrapins (12-0, 3-0) overwhelmed the Knights in the blowout.

The game was completely in Maryland's hands. Thirteen different Terrapins scored goals, with Brindi Griffin leading the team with 4. Jen Giles, Meghan Siverson, Hannah Glaros and Kylie Davis each scored 2 each. 

Rutgers saw little action on offense, as junior midfielder Dakota Pastore and attacks sophomore Taralyn Naslonski and true freshman Marin Hartshorn scored the only goals of the game for the team. 

The Knights struggled with draw controls, giving up 16 of 23 draws during the game. They also had issues with turnovers, leading the game with 10 total turnovers compared to Maryland's eight. 

The Terrapins had a shootout on Saturday with 33 out of 40 shots on goal.

Freshman goalkeeper Kameron Halsall had 13 saves, with a season high 11 saves in the first half.

Despite showing promising play in its other ranked opponent matchups, Rutgers just could not handle the national powerhouse. There are certainly many things that the team could improve to stay competitive. 

This is now the Knights' third loss in Big Ten play, as they struggle to keep up with the rest of the conference. The team still has matchups against Cornell, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State before the Big Ten Tournament. 

The team’s last three games are against conference opponents, which hopefully will give Rutgers the chance to prove the conference that it's a legitimate program that deserves to be playing such high-level competition. While the last couple games are going to be tough matchups, there is no reason to doubt that the team can still finish the season with a couple more wins.

The Knights will have to regroup and focus on their next game against the Big Red (5-4, 2-1) today at 4 p.m. Cornell is a team that Rutgers can beat if the team collectively plays consistently. 

The Knights will have to focus on the Big Red's ability to win draw controls and rely on their defense to keep Cornell under its 12.67 goals scored per game. 

Rutgers will have to shut down the Big Red's top scorers Sarah Phillips and Caroline Allen in order to keep the offense at bay. The Knights will need their offense to step up and put up a lot of shots on goal against the Big Red's Katie McGahan. 

McGahan currently has a 47.4 save percentage and on average allows 8.73 goals a game. Knowing that the team is capable of producing a high-powered offense in game, Rutgers should focus on getting the offense a lot of possession time to let the offense do its thing.

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

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