The Rutgers men's lacrosse team just completed the regular season with a 10-4 record, a five win improvement from last season. The #18 ranked Scarlet Knights are preparing for the Big Ten Tournament, where they are the #2 seed and take on John's Hopkins on Thursday, with an NCAA Tournament bid still a possibility. However, today the Big Ten conference honors were announced and Rutgers took home the most awards of any program.
Adam Charalambides scored 35 goals this season in his collegiate debut, best in the Big Ten for freshman and second most in the country.
Senior Captain Scott Bieda led the Big Ten with 58 points on 26 goals and 32 assists this season. His 4.14 scoring average per game was also tops in the conference. Bieda was also named to the first team All-Big Ten for the second consecutive year after being named to the second team All-Big East his sophomore year.
This is a huge moment for coach Brian Brecht, as Rutgers went just 5-10 last season and were picked to finish last in the Big Ten preseason polls. Instead, they doubled their win total this season and finished in second place in the conference. Coach Brecht had this to say to after being announced as the coach of the year in the Big Ten:
"It is certainly an honor to receive this recognition," Brecht said. "I have been very fortunate to have both great student athletes and a great coaching staff that have worked so well together to grow so much over the past year. Players make plays and I feel confident when the whistle blows on game day that they are well prepared and trust their decisions because of all the time our staff has spent with them."
A full release from Rutgers on the Big Ten Honors can be read here. In addition to Bieda, Rutgers had another player named to the All-Big Ten first team.
Heningburg led the entire conference with 38 goals this season, including 18 goals in Big Ten play.
The trio of Bieda, Heningburg, and Charalambides combined to be the second most prolific scoring attack in the country this season. Rutgers led the Big Ten with a 12.4 goals per game average.
This is the second consecutive season that Zack Sikora was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten. The midfielder is also a team captain and led Rutgers 44 ground balls and forced 17 turnovers this season, in addition to 6 goals and 3 assists.
It has been a tremendous season for the Rutgers men's lacrosse program, and hopefully the winning continues this week as they prepare for a huge matchup in the Big Ten Tournament. With a current RPI ranking of #21, a potential win over #8 Johns Hopkins would go a long way in helping their case for a NCAA tournament berth. Rutgers upset Hopkins earlier this season with a 16-9 thumping of the Blue Jays on April 2nd. Bob will have more tomorrow on the upcoming matchup, which can been seen live on the Big Ten Network Thursday night.