The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team entered Big Ten play on a three game winning streak in non-conference action, but lost to #8 Penn State on the road last weekend by the score of 17-8. However, this team continues to battle and put together their most complete performance Friday against Ohio State at home.
After surrendering an opening goal by the Buckeyes, Rutgers responded with five straight scores to take control of the game. With a 5-3 lead at the half, the Scarlet Knights dominated after the break, outscoring Ohio State 10-2 in the second frame. Rutgers finished the game with seven unanswered goals, winning 15-5.
“It was a great performance by us,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. “I thought in the first half we did a lot of nice things, but we didn’t land as many shots as we’d like. In the second half, we shot 10-for-16, which was a lot better. Our opportunities were there throughout the game, we just did a better job capitalizing on them in the second half.”
The Scarlet Knights were led senior Kristina Dunphey and freshman Samantha Budd, who each scored a hat trick in the game. Co-captains Macy Scott and Amanda Turturro both scored twice, as did junior Paige Paratore. Goaltender Bianca Dente recorded 8 saves on the night and the Rutgers defense forced 17 turnovers from Ohio State. The win moves Rutgers record to 6-4 on the season and 1-1 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes fall to 6-6 and 0-2 in conference action.
Both Rutgers and Ohio State entered this game having received votes in the latest media poll from Inside Lacrosse. The win for the Scarlet Knights marked their third consecutive victory over the Buckeyes, including twice last season that was highlighted by an 11-10 overtime win in the Big Ten Tournament.
Dunphey and Turturro are now tied with a team best 26 points on the season, while Nicole Kopyta added her team leading 18th goal in this game. The Scarlet Knights now have nine different players with at least 8 goals and at least 10 points on the season.
This win started off a four game home stand that will end with two top ten opponents coming to High Point Solutions Stadium. First, Rutgers will take on Niagara (3-4) this Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Purple Eagles play at Iona this afternoon ahead of this matchup. Rutgers will then host current #7 ranked Cornell (5-1) on April 1st, before returning to Big Ten play against current #1 ranked and undefeated Maryland (7-0) on April 8th.
Hopefully, this team can build of this B1G win, which saw the program equal their victory total from a year ago with still six regular season games remaining. It’s been a solid campaign so far and there is a lot of opportunity to finish the 2017 season strong.