The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team opened its 2019 campaign in resounding fashion on Friday evening. After jumping out to an early lead of 4-0, the game was back and forth for a bit as both teams traded three goals apiece. However, the Scarlet Knights defense clamped down and the offense opened up, resulting in 13 unanswered goals to produce a 20-3 season opening victory over LIU-Brooklyn.
Sophomore Taralyn Naslonski led the way with 7 goals on just 8 shots and added 3 assists. Nicknamed TT, she scored twice in the first 68 seconds of the game to set the tone from the start. Also starring for the Scarlet Knights was freshman Marin Hartshorn, who scored 4 goals and added 2 assists in her collegiate debut. She also won 9 draw controls in the game. Samantha Budd and Dakota Pastore each scored twice, while Abbey Brooks had 1 goal and 3 assists. Rutgers had nine different players score overall in the game.
“It’s great to get a start like that,” said head coach Laura Brand Sias. “There’s always some question marks at the beginning of the season. We did some great things on the draw, which was nice to see. TT did a great job getting the ball in the back of the net, and a ton of our goals were assisted, which is something we wanted to work on early this year. We’ll need to add some pressure on the defensive side of the ball, tighten up our fouls on the ride. Overall, it was a great start.”
Senior goalkeeper Devon Kearns made 3 saves in the first half and her backup Kameron Halsall played the second half and made 1 save.
Rutgers outshot the Blackbirds 34-11, including overwhelming 32-7 advantage with shots on goal. The Scarlet Knights held +6 turnover margin, +7 on ground balls and +11 on draw controls.
The Scarlet Knights are back in action against Temple on Tuesday, February 12th at 3 p.m. at home.