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Rutgers Men's Lacrosse: Okay, this is fun!

A national ranking and a 4-0 start to the season. Life is good.

With a 15-7 win over Wagner yesterday, the Knights men's lacrosse team has opened its second year in the Big Ten with a 4-0 record.  For a team that went 5-10 last season, that is a good sign. Rutgers is now 8-0 against the Seahawks.

Wagner Box Score
RU Goals Assists
Heningburg, Jules 4 1
Bieda, Scott 3 1
Charalambides, Adam 2 3
Jordan, Josh 2 0
Trasolini, Christian 1 0
Hollingsworth, Ryan 1 0
Rose, Casey 1 0
Franckowiak, Zackary 1 1

Rutgers has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2004.  But with an unbeaten record to start the regular season. the Knights have entered the national polls, ranking as high as No. 16 in the USILA/Nike Coaches poll. That ranking is the first for the team since 2011 and the highest since 2005.

"We've got to prepare for heading on the road, focusing on ourselves and getting better," head coach Brian Brecht explained. "We'll get to know our opponent quickly with the short turnaround and have a great opportunity to keep maturing and taking steps forward."

Rutgers has the top offense in the Big Ten, averaging 14.67 goals and 23.33 points per game. Offensively, Rutgers is led by a dynamic front line in Scott Bieda (seven goals, 10 assists), Adam Charalambides (13 goals, two assists) and Jules Heningburg (eight goals, three assists). Charalambides leads the league with 4.33 goals per game. Bieda tops the conference with 5.67 points per game, with Charalambides just behind him at 5.0 points per game.

The Big Ten season hasn't started yet, but the results of non-conference games are looking good for the Knights.

Big Ten Standings

W-L %
Rutgers 4-0 1.000
Ohio State 3-1 0.750
Penn State 3-1 0.750
Maryland 1-1 0.500
Johns Hopkins 1-2 0.333
Michigan 1-2 0.333
Standings current through Mar. 1

Honors and awards

It's great to win. It's even nicer when you're recognized for your play, and it's been a nice start for RU in terms of awards.

Three players from No. 16 Rutgers men's lacrosse earned conference weekly honors, the Big Ten announced Tuesday. Christian Mazzone was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Jules Heningburg was Co-Offensive Player of the Week, and Adam Charalambides was named Co-Freshman of the Week.

Mazzone earned his first ever Big Ten honor after leading the team defensively in a 12-6 win over Fairfield.  Rutgers held the Stags to just six goals, three below their season average, and the least amount of goals the Scarlet Knights have surrendered this season.

Heningburg shared the Offensive award after scoring four goals and adding an assist in the win over Fairfield. It was his first Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor. He is the second Rutgers player to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors this season, with Scott Bieda earning the recognition after totaling nine points in the season opener.

Charalambides earned his third Big Ten Freshman award after three collegiate games.  He has scored three goals and added an assist in Saturday's win. He currently leads the Big Ten with 4.33 goals per game.

NCAA Player of the Week

This one deserved its own separate category.  Following a five goal, four assist output in the 19-11 win over St. John's, Scott Bieda was named NCAA Offensive Player of the Week by

Bieda set a career-high in points (nine), and tied a career-high in goals (five) in the game, as he totaled five goals, four assists and three ground balls. Bieda's nine points was sixth on Rutgers' all-time single game points list. His nine points were the most points scored in a game by a Rutgers player since at least 2006.

Tewaaraton Award

Scott Bieda is on a roll.  The senior attacker was named to the 2016 Tewaaraton Award Watch List, as announced by the Tewaaraton Foundation on Tuesday.  Bieda is one of 50 men's players named in contention for the award. The Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States.

Upcoming Schedule

3/05/16 at Monmouth N.J. Long Branch, N.J. 2:00 p.m. ET
3/11/16 at Stony Brook Stony Brook, N.Y. 6:00 p.m. ET