The Rutgers men’s lacrosse program is looking to improve the roster after posting a 2-4 record during the shortened 2020 season. They took a big step forward this week as Ty Xanders of Inside Lacrosse reported that Connor Kirst, a senior midfielder from Villanova, is transferring to Rutgers for his last year of eligibility.
Former @NovaLacrosse All-American midfielder Connor Kirst, who entered the portal yesterday, will join @RUmlax as a grad student in 2021. The N.J. native heads to Rutgers with his brother, Colin, a former @LehighLacrosse goalie (via @tyxanders): https://t.co/V1QLPi36S2— Inside Lacrosse (@Inside_Lacrosse) May 27, 2020
The 6’2 box-to-box midfielder returns to his home state, as he played his high school career at perennial powerhouse Delbarton. This news comes as a surprise after Kirst announced in early May that he would return to Villanova for senior year, but quickly chose the Knights on the same day as entering the transfer portal per the report.
Kirst is a huge addition for head coach Brian Brecht, as the midfielder is coming off of a 2019 season where he was named the Big East Midfielder of the Year and contributed a career high 50 points. Before the coronavirus pandemic ended all winter and spring sports for the 2020 season, Kirst continued his impressive form by scoring 17 goals and adding seven assists in just seven games.
In addition to adding Connor, the Knights will also add his younger brother Colin, per Inside Lacrosse’s report. He is a post graduate goalie transferring from Lehigh. These brothers become second generation Knights, as their father Kyle was a goalie on the Banks from 1988-1990.
Connor Kirst is the biggest name in a group of six transfers that Brecht has added this off-season in order to improve off of a 7-8 record in 2019. Signing an All-American midfielder with a high scoring output is a great start towards making improvement next season.
To listen to our podcast with coach Brecht from earlier this month, click here.