The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team was ten minutes away from a disappointing defeat in just the second game of the season on Saturday. Instead, an offensive surge saved the day as the Scarlet Knights finished the game on an emphatic 7-0 run to defeat St. John’s 19-15 on the road.
After falling behind 2-0 at the start, Rutgers went on to hold leads of 5-2 and 9-3 before the Johnnies scored six straight goals to tie it at halftime. It was a back and forth third quarter, as the team’s entered the fourth quarter locked at 12. St. John’s scores three early goals in the final frame before freshman David Sprock started the rally for Rutgers.
It was two midfielders who provided crucial goals down the stretch as Ryan Gallagher had the tying score and Casey Rose scored the game winner. It was their only scores on the day but were extremely clutch.
Kieran Mullins led the way with 6 goals and 3 assists in the game. Three other players scored multiple times: Adam Charalambides scores 4 goals, Tommy Coyne scored three times and freshman Cole Daninger scored twice, the first goals of his career.
Goalie Ben Pounds made 15 saves for his second victory of the season. Max Edelmann remains out with an injury, but is expected back soon.
Rutgers held a 35-27 edge with ground balls, but were just 16 of 38 on face offs. However they did win 6 of 11 in the fourth quarter. They also committed just 11 turnovers and zero in the fourth quarter. They were 17 of 19 on clears and outshot the Johnnies 45-41.
Head coach Brian Brecht had this to say after the game:
“Great road win for our team as many guys chipped in to get it done today. Our attack really played well together, the man-down defense had a big stop at the end to keep the lead, and our extra-man unit had a huge goal in the fourth quarter to help us to victory today. I’m proud of our mental toughness to come back for a good road win in the fourth quarter after being down.”
Next up for #12 Rutgers (2-0) is a home game next Saturday, February 16th at noon against Army. Last season, the Black Knights defeated RU 9-7 in West Point, so Rutgers will be looking to repay the favor this season. It won’t be easy, as Army beat #18 UMASS on the road Saturday 12-11 in their season opener.