The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team finished its regular season home slate on a positive note, defeating Michigan 11-9 on Saturday. In front of 2,109 fans in attendance, it was a successful senior day for the 11 players taking part in its last home game on the banks. With the victory, the graduating senior class will finish their careers with at least 37 wins, the most of any class in program history.
Redshirt sophomore Adam Charalambides produced a career high 6 goals and added 1 assist to lead the way. He also tied his career best of 43 goals in a season, which is fifth best in program history and currently second most in the Big Ten in 2019. Sophomore Ryan Gallagher scored 2 goals and had 3 assists, while junior Kieran Mullins distributed 3 assists as well. Mullins leads the team with 35 assists this season, which is second best in the Big Ten and his 5.18 points per game average is second in the conference as well.
Head coach Brian Brecht expressed his pleasure with his team after the victory, saying “I thought our guys were really focused. We’ve been getting better over the last month. I’m very proud of the team’s effort and how hard they played to get the win today. It was great to get a win for our 11 seniors and all that they’ve done for our program. It’s been a great class who have been very successful and have been a part of a lot of big time lacrosse here at Rutgers. The most wins as a class in a four-year period in school history, I’m very proud of them for that. A lot of those seniors were excellent today – Max Edelmann, Kyle Pless, Garrett Michaeli, Alex Schoen was outstanding today. And it’s always special to win for our alumni, especially with so many of them coming back today and always supporting us, their presence is always felt and appreciated.”
Senior goalie Max Edelmann, who leads the Big Ten in saves per game, stopped 11 shots in his final regular season home game. After the game, Edelmann said, “Getting this win in front of all our family, alumni and fans was great. We fought back and dug in, and I’m proud of our effort today. Being part of all this, it’s really special to me. These guys on the team are my best friends, so winning with them on a day like this is incredible.”
On senior day, Rutgers also honored alumni Mike Schambach, who tragically passed away over the summer by the entire team wearing his name on the back of their jerseys.
Rutgers, who were voted no. 20 in Monday’s coaches poll, will end the regular season on the road against the top ranked team in the nation, Penn State (11-1; 4-0). The game is Saturday, April 27th at 2:30 p.m. ET and will shown live on BTN. The Scarlet Knights are now 7-6 overall and 2-2 on the season. They are essentially guaranteed of no worse than the fourth seed in the Big Ten Tournament, as they own the tiebreaker over Ohio State head to head and any three place tie involving Johns Hopkins appear to put them in as well. Rutgers is hosting the Big Ten Tournament at HighPoint.com Stadium on May 2nd through 4th.
In regard to its NCAA Tournament chances, there is a lot of work to be done. A win over PSU and advancing to the Big Ten Championship game could push RU through. They an RPI ranking of 22nd as of Monday, April 22nd. Of course, they could earn an automatic bid to the NCAA’s by winning the Big Ten Tournament as well. For a program that has come excruciatingly close to making the NCAA Tournament the previous three seasons, hope is still alive after this past weekend’s triumph over the Wolverines.