It was a big week for the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team. On Wednesday, the #18 ranked Scarlet Knights went on the road and beat its first ranked foe of the season, defeating #16 Lehigh by the score of 8-7. They capped off the week with an impressive 14-10 victory over #12 Syracuse (3-3) in front of a record home crowd of 5,048 at High Point Solutions Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Rutgers trailed 8-7 with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter, but scored 7 straight goals to blow by the Orange for a stunning triumph. Syracuse added two late goals, but it wasn’t enough to scare the home faithful, as the issue was no longer in doubt.
Senior attackman Jules Heningburg followed up his game winning goal performance against Lehigh by scoring 6 goals and dishing out 2 assists. He started the rally by tying the score at 8 and then producing the game winning goal for a second straight game. He added another 2 goals during the 7-0 run and Heningburg’s game best 6 goals tied a career high. He now leads Rutgers with 22 goals and 20 assists this season.
Another senior, midfielder Christian Mazzone, added 3 goals and 1 assist. He is second on the team with 15 for the season. Junior midfielder Casey Rose added 2 goals and is now third on the team with 13 for the 2018 campaign. Goalie Max Edelman made 10 saves in the victory.
“We got back to the basics of taking care of ourselves and playing to our strengths, both offensively and defensively,” Rutgers head coach Brian Brecht said. “It’s a big win for our alumni, a big win for our program over one of the most tradition rich programs in our sport, and to be able to do this at home in front of our fans. I thought the offense really grew up today to help us win a big game. This is great momentum heading into the second half of the season with one last non-conference game left before Big Ten play.”
“This is a big time win for our program,” Heningburg said. “It gives us lots of momentum. It means a lot to all of the guys in the locker room. We came out today and executed. We need to take this forward now and get the next one.”
Rutgers (6-2) should see a healthy jump up the national rankings after beating two ranked foes in the past week. It was much needed momentum for the program after a disappointing overtime loss to Princeton the week before. This team has proved they have the balance on both sides of the field to play with anyone, it’s just a matter of being consistent and maximizing their abilities.
Next up, the Scarlet Knights host Delaware (3-4) on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. The visiting Blue Hens just lost to #10 Johns Hopkins (5-2) this past weekend 14-8. Rutgers opens Big Ten play at High Point Solutions Stadium on Easter Sunday (April 1st) at 7:00 p.m. The game will be televised live on BTN and will be a major opportunity for Rutgers to start off conference play on a high note.
UPDATE: Rutgers jumped to 11th in this week’s Inside Lacrosse media poll.
For now, this team deserves praise for its recent strong play and statement win over national power Syracuse.