Rutgers women’s lacrosse defeated Johns Hopkins 13-10 on the road on Sunday, marking the first win for the program in the series history. It was also head coach Melissa Lehman’s first Big Ten victory since taking over last season.
What made this win so impressive was that the Scarlet Knights came from behind after trailing 8-5 at halftime. Behind four second half goals from sophomore Cassidy Spilis, RU outscored JHU 8-2 after the break. Rutgers also held a 8-3 advantage in draw controls in the second half and limited the Blue Jays to just 6 shots after they had 24 in the first half.
“I’m so proud of our effort and the team’s belief to stay in the game,” Lehman said. “We knew this was going to be a 60 minute game and it showed. At halftime, our message was to win the 50/50 balls and it was a key for our success today. I was proud of our defensive performance and our team never doubted they had an opportunity to win.”
Spilis finished with 7 goals and 1 assist in the victory, scoring on all of her shot attempts and also leading the team with 4 draw controls and 2 forced turnovers. Fellow sophomore Ashley Campo scored 3 goals, as did junior captain Marin Hartshorn. Sophomore Jenna Byrne added 1 goal and 2 assists, while classmate Alonna Gliksman made eight saves in net to earn the win.
In five previous meetings against Johns Hopkins, the closest margin of defeat was five goals in a 16-11 loss in 2018. Rutgers was picked to finish last out of seven teams in the Big Ten coaches preseason poll, while JHU was picked 5th. The upset victory on Sunday is a great sign that Lehman has this program on the way up.
The Scarlet Knights have a big opportunity this coming weekend as they host Ohio State for two matches on Friday, February 26 and Sunday, February 28. The Buckeyes were picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten but upset Michigan this past weekend. It should be a great two game series for two teams exceeding early season expectations.