Rutgers takes 2nd win of season in defeat of St. John's
It was déjà vu for the Rutgers men's lacrosse team, who rode another hot start to a decisive 17-10 win over St. John’s — extending its win streak against the Red Storm (0-1) to seven straight.
The Scarlet Knights (2-0) had another efficient offensive game, with junior attacker Adam Charalambides leading the way with a double hat-trick. Junior attacker Ryan Gallagher was right behind him with 4 scores, which tied a career high for him. Seven different Rutgers players were credited with one assist each.
“Our team can be pretty lethal on offense when all six guys on offensive are banging the ball around,” Charalambides said. “Our guys were doing a great job of drawing slides, that's what allows me to get open, so credit to those guys for helping set it up."
The key difference in this game came off of turnovers. The Knights were able to cause 18 turnovers, coughing up the ball just nine times themselves. That advantage was a big part of the reason why Rutgers was able to have such a dominant outing.
"We played really well today,” said head coach Brian Brecht. “We played with a lot of tempo and a lot of energy for the second game in a row.”
The Knights struggled to get anything going from the X, finishing just 6-of-31 on draws against St. John's. They also struggled to collect ground balls, being outdone 39-to-23 in that aspect of the game despite a career-high six ground balls from junior defender Garrett Bullett.
With that being said, the transition offense and tough defense was enough to make up for that, as both teams finished with 48 shots.
Rutgers benefited from a lockdown showing from the backline, going 23-of-24 on clears. By limiting second chance opportunities, the Knights were able to disrupt the Red Storm attack and create opportunities the other way.
“We cleared the ball exceptionally well,” Brecht said. “I was pleased with the team's effort."
Junior goalkeeper Stephen Russo had another solid outing between the pipes, starting off strong with nine saves in the first half. While it was an open competition during the offseason, Russo seems to have the position locked down as the schedule begins to heat up.
Now with two straight wins under its belt, Rutgers finds itself unscathed heading into a critical two-game road trip against ranked opponents in Army and Loyola.
When the Knights played those two teams last year, they dropped both games and fell to 2-2, which became an ominous sign of what was to come against ranked opponents.
If they want to prove that this time is going to be different, the next two weeks are a golden chance for them to do so.
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