The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team is suddenly reeling after three straight losses. The skid began with a home loss to a strong James Madison squad, ranked #3 in the nation, and then culminated with a loss to a ranked Penn State team to open Big Ten conference play.
Despite the losses, Rutgers’ offense has stayed hot, scoring 8 goals against James Madison, 12 at Villanova, and 13 in a comeback bid that fell short against Penn State.
Kerri Puckhaber has posted back-to-back hat tricks, and freshmen Taralyn Naslonski posted a hat trick of her own against Penn State.
Midfielder Allison Ferrara and senior Paige Paratore posted hat tricks against Villanova.
After the loss against PSU, Coach Laura Brand Sias assessed her team’s performance and said this to scarletknights.com.
“We definitely had moments where we put it all together, but against a high-quality opponent, we need more of those.”
In the losses, it has been the defense that has faltered, putting the Scarlet Knights in holes early in games.
R.U. faced a 4-1 deficit after 10 minutes of play against the Dukes of James Madison, trailed 4-1 against Villanova after 13 minutes of play against Villanova, and trailed Penn State 5-1 midway through the first half.
The Knights conceded the first 2 goals of each of the last three games as slow starts have become a bit of a theme of late for Rutgers.
In each instance however, Rutgers showed some resolve including a spirited comeback against Villanova that saw R.U. take a brief 5-4 lead late in the first half.
Rutgers trailed Penn State 11-3 before outscoring the Nittany Lions 10-7 to close the game; the types of moments that coach Brand Sias had referenced.
Next, Rutgers faces its second Big Ten conference game when it travels to Ohio State on Friday, March 23rd at 1:00 PM.
Rutgers will need to solidify its defense, and get off to a better start in order to give itself a chance to end the losing streak, and even its record in conference play.