In what was a wild game on Saturday in Piscataway, the no. 20 Rutgers men’s lacrosse team survived a second half comeback from in-state rival Princeton to win 9-8 and claim the Meistrell Cup for the 31st time in the series history.
After leading 9-3 at the half, Rutgers was held scoreless in the second frame and received a heroic effort from senior goalie Max Edelmann, who produced a career high 18 saves. His biggest save of the game came with just six seconds remaining from 15 yards out to preserve the victory. Edelmann had this to say after the win:
“That was the highlight of my career, being able to get the cup back to Rutgers and take it away from Princeton. Making the save at the end of the game, that’s a moment you like as a goalie. It’s really fun for the game. Our defense played great today. We stuck to our fundamentals. We had a gameplan going in and we stuck to it. They gave me the opportunity to make some saves. We knew Princeton is talented and they weren’t going to give up. But we stuck to our game plan, our communication was big for us, and that helped us at the end of the game.”
Offensively, Tommy Coyne (2 goals, 1 assist), Kieran Mullins (1 goal, 2 assists) and Adam Charalambides (2 goals) led the way for the Scarlet Knights. Garrett Michaeli had a team high 5 ground balls and 4 forced turnovers in addition to 1 goal.
Princeton was led by Chris Brown (3 goals), Charlie Durban (2 goals, 1 assist) and Michael Sowers (2 goals, 1 assist). Backup goalie Erik Peters came in just over 20 minutes into the game and allowed only 2 goals and made 5 saves in holding Rutgers scoreless in the second half.
Rutgers Head coach Brian Brecht said this following the game:
“I thought we had a great week of practice. In a rivalry game, against an in-state team that we’ve played 97 times, there was a lot of passion and energy. Our defense did an excellent job. Max Edelmann was a leader back there in goal, and he did a great job making saves and starting our transition. Garrett Bullett did a great job with his matchup on Michael Sowers, I was really impressed with him. Garrett Michaeli in the middle of the field, running in transition and picking up some big ground balls. Kyle Pless and Mark Christiano were great defensively as well. I thought defensively we were great for all sixty minutes. The energy was there and we played hard. I’m happy for our players to get this win. This is a great win for all alumni to win this rivalry game. It was great to see so many come back and watch from the sidelines today and be here for this victory.”
No. 20 Rutgers is now 4-2 on the season and takes on Lehigh (3-3), who just beat Army, this Tuesday at home at 7 p.m. ET. They’ll then travel next Saturday to take on no. 14/15 Syracuse (3-2) at 1 p.m. ET in a big non-conference showdown.