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Rutgers Lax: So close yet so far

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A half time lead and a quick start to the second half wasn't enough for the No. 16 Knights against conference-leading Maryland.

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Rutgers hadn't lost a game this season when it had a lead after two periods.  That streak ended on Saturday afternoon at Byrd Stadium as Maryland (9-2, 3-0) reeled off seven straight goals en route to a 11-8 win over the Knights. It was the Terps eighth straight win.

Despite four goals by Jules Heningburg (31 on season), RU (9-3, 2-1) could not hold onto he 6-3 lead it had built three minutes into the third quarter.  It was then that UMd went on its run, taking the lead for the first time with 4:47 left in the third quarter.  It was a lead they would not relinquish.

Rutgers did score twice more but it was too little, too late.

"I thought we had a great trip down here," head coach Brian Brecht said. "To start off with the success we had, a 4-3 lead at halftime, and then come out of halftime with two quick ones to go up 6-3, that was a great effort by our guys. They fought back and it was a one-goal game in the fourth quarter. Maryland's a top-five team and give them credit for making plays in a tight game in the fourth quarter."

This was the first game this season that Rutgers lost after holding a halftime lead. The loss snaps Rutgers' four-game winning streak.

This sets up a critical home Big Ten matchup this Friday night against No. 18 Penn State.  The Lions lost a 12-11 home contest to Hopkins over the weekend, its second straight one-point loss.

Now at No. 19, RU has Penn State and a road contest against OSU remaining.  Hopkins still has Maryland left on the schedule, while the Lions have last place Michigan after their game against Rutgers.  With a win, Rutgers can pretty much guarantee at least a second place finish.

Results and remaining schedule

4/16/16 at Maryland * College Park, Md. L, 11-8
4/22/16 vs. Penn State * TV Piscataway, N.J. 8:00 p.m. ET
4/30/16 at Ohio State * TV Columbus, Ohio 7:00 p.m. ET

Rutgers is still the highest scoring team in the Big Ten (12.7 ppg) and is just behind Maryland in defense (8.8 ppg to 8).

Big Ten Standings Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Maryland 3-0 1.000 9-2 .818
RUTGERS 2-1 .667 9-3 .750
Johns Hopkins 2-1 .667 7-4 .636
Penn State 1-2 .333 7-5 .583
Ohio State 1-2 .333 6-7 .462
Michigan 0-3 .000 3-8 .273

Women's Lacrosse

Unlike the men's team, the women are trending downward.  On a four-game losing streak, the women are 3-11 for the season and 0-3 in the Big Ten.  The women went 2-16 last year, winning one Big Ten contest - the last of the season - against Michigan.

RU lost its last Big Ten game over the weekend, dropping a 20-9 game to No. 12 Northwestern. Despite the loss, there was one highlight.

4/17/16 at No. 12 Northwestern * Evanston, Ill. L, 20-9
4/21/16 vs. Ohio State * TV High Point Solutions Stadium 7:00 p.m. ET
4/30/16 vs. Michigan * High Point Solutions Stadium 12:00 p.m. ET