No. 1 Loyola (2-0) At No. 18 Rutgers (2-1)
How To Watch, Listen, News & Notes
Where: HighPoint.com Stadium
When: Saturday, February 23rd at 2:00 p.m. ET
TV: BTN - Scott Sudikoff and Mark Dixon
Series History: Loyola leads 9-1 all-time with the last meeting coming in 2009. Rutgers’ lone victory came in 2007.
Loyola Points Leaders: Pat Spencer (8 goals, 6 assists); Kevin Lindley (9 goals); Chase Scanlan (6 goals, 2 assists); John Duffy (4 goals, 1 assist); Alex McGovern (3 goals, 2 assists)
Rutgers Points Leaders: Kieran Mullins (12 goals, 5 assists); Adam Charalambides (10 goals, 3 assists); Tommy Coyne (3 goals, 3 assists); Casey Rose (3 goals, 1 assist)
The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team has a tremendous opportunity on Saturday afternoon. They host the top ranked team in the country, the undefeated Loyola Greyhounds, at 2 p.m. at home in a game that will be televised live nationally. Loyola has been very good to start the season, as they’ve already beaten ranked foes Virginia and Johns Hopkins by a combined score of 35-21. It’s a squad that went 13-4 last season and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals, where they lost to eventual national champion Yale.
Loyola’s offensive attack is led by three time All-American and senior Pat Spencer, who is arguably the front runner for the Tewaaraton Award, given to the top college lacrosse player each year. He was a finalist last season, totaling 94 points with 35 goals and 59 assists. He is off to a great start through two games in 2019 with 8 goals and 6 assists. Sophomore Kevin Lindley looks even better than last season and has 9 goals in just two games. Fellow sophomore Aidan Olmstead is a key returning player that has been solid with 2 goals and 2 assists. Freshman midfielder Chase Scanlan has emerged early on as a scoring threat as well, scoring 6 goals already.
The defense has four year starter Jacob Stover is in net for the Greyhounds and has an impressive .588 save percentage through two games, making 30 saves, including 18 in the win over Virginia, holding the Cavaliers to just 9 goals.
For Rutgers to give Loyola a run in this game, it’s no secret that Kieran Mullins and Adam Charalambides need to provide firepower for the offense. The duo have combined for 22 of the 44 goals Rutgers has scored through three games this season. The Scarlet Knights need to avoid falling behind early, as Loyola jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first quarter against Virginia and 5-1 lead against John’s Hopkins.
Returning starter Max Edelmann, who was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection last season, returned to the net for Rutgers last weekend after missing the first two games to injury. He was impressive, despite a 10-9 defeat to now no. 13 Army, as Edelmann made 17 saves in his return. He will be a major key for Rutgers to have any chance to upset Loyola.
Hopefully the attendance will reach a few thousand and make for a great home environment, where Rutgers has thrived in the recent past and helped to lead to some big wins the previous three seasons. Head coach Brian Brecht said in our season preview that “obviously home games are exciting for our fans and the great home atmosphere we have makes it exciting for our players.” Rutgers will need all the help they can get on Saturday against the top ranked team in the country. In a season where the program has NCAA aspirations once again, going up against the best so early on is a great test to see how this team stacks up. Tickets for Saturday’s game are just $10 and can be purchased here.