After a strong start and holding a 9-6 lead with just over 5 minutes left in the third quarter, the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team was unable to close out #6 Johns Hopkins in front of the scarlet faithful. The Blue Jays put together a 6-1 run to lead by two goals with 8:07 remaining in the game. Although Rutgers rallied back to tie the contest at 12 with 3:05 remaining, a late goal from Kyle Marr of Johns Hopkins with just 14 seconds left the home crowd and Scarlet Knights stunned, as they dropped a heartbreaking 13-12 decision.
Senior Jules Heningburg led Rutgers once again and scored two early goals to put the home team up 3-1 early in the first quarter. The visiting Blue Jays tied the game early in the second period at 4, before the Scarlet Knights went to the locker room at halftime leading 6-4 after goals from Kieran Mullins and Casey Rose.
Rutgers was cruising midway through the third period after Christian Mazzone scored, extending the lead to 9-6.
What a goal from Mazzone here in the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/XWrBeLOv8C— Rutgers Men's LAX (@RUmlax) April 2, 2018
However, Patrick Fraser and Connor DeSimone combined for 3 goals in a during a 4-0 run for Johns Hopkins that gave them their first lead of the game. Rutgers responded quickly, as Heningburg scored his fourth goal of the night to tie the game at 10 with just over 13 minutes remaining.
It was the fifth game of the season that Heningburg has scored at least three goals. He also added an assist and on the season, Heningburg leads the team with 29 goals, 22 assists and 51 total points, which also is tops in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, his performance wasn’t enough for Rutgers to win the game.
Johns Hopkins responded with 2 goals in a two minute span and led 12-10 with just over 8 minutes left in the game. Rutgers came storming back, with goals from Garrett Michaeli and Tommy Coyne. It was evened up with just over 3 minutes to play.
After a few scoreless minutes, Johns Hopkins broke through with the game winner from Kyle Marr, who had been contained all night until he put the Blue Jays up for good in the final seconds of the contest. It was just the second home loss for Rutgers in their last 21 games.
Aside from Heningburg’s game high 4 goals, Christian Mazzone and Tommy Coyne each had 2 goals, while Kieran Mullins produced 1 goal and 3 assists. Goalie Max Edelmann made 10 saves on the night.
Johns Hopkins outshot Rutgers 42-29 and held a 23-21 edge with shots on goal. Rutgers did have a +3 edge in faceoff wins with a season high of 15, but they also held a -3 turnover margin. Despite the game being played on Easter night, a solid crowd of 3,014 turned out at High Point Solutions.
Head coach Brian Brecht had this to say to scarletknights.com after the loss:
“I thought we played hard all night long. I thought we prepared well. Our coaching staff did a great job getting the guys ready to play a top-10 game. It’s a sixty-minute game. It’s a game of runs. I thought we couldn’t capitalize on a bit of a run we were starting ourselves to pull away. You have to every minute of that sixty-minute game. Hopkins probably made one or two more plays than we do, and that’s the difference.”
“In a one-goal game, every turnover is magnified,” Brecht said. “We had goals in transition, we had a goal off an extra-man situation, we had goals off of six on six situations. I thought we scored and played well in all different situations. We probably needed to make just one more play at the end. We didn’t do that.”
The Scarlet Knights need to win the majority of their four remaining Big Ten regular season contests to put them in position to make the conference tournament, as well as be in contention for the NCAA Tournament. Rutgers (7-3; 0-1), who remained #9 in the latest Inside Lacrosse national rankings from Monday, April 2nd, will look to bounce back against #18 Michigan (7-3; 0-1) on Sunday, April 8th at noon. The game is at High Point Solutions Stadium and will be televised live on ESPNU. The Wolverines also lost their Big Ten opener, falling to #2 Maryland 13-5 this past Saturday.