The no. 4 Rutgers men’s lacrosse is set for its biggest game in years as they prepare to take on no. 3 Maryland this Saturday on the road. The banner season for the program continued on Thursday as three players were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. All three starters in attack were included for the award given annually to the top male and female player in college lacrosse across all three divisions.
Both teams are 3-0 and the play of the heralded trio up front will go a long way to deciding the matchup. They have led Rutgers to back to back 22 goal games, the highest scoring output in a game for the program since 2010.
Charalambides has a team-high 12 goals along with 19 points. Kirst has 11 goals and 16 points. Mullins leads the team with 9 assists and has 14 points total.
It is the seventh straight season that Rutgers has had at least one player named to the watch list, including Charalambides and Mullins previously.
As for Saturday’s big game, the players are in full preparation mode.
“The key is to focus on us,” said Charalambides, who is the current Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week. “We took a lot of lessons from the Michigan game at that film. We want to focus on our strengths and executing the game plan to the best of our abilities. The focus remains on the process and getting better each week, but you hope to put your best product out there when you are playing against tough competition such as Maryland.”
“We are really excited to get on the field against Maryland this weekend,” Connor Kirst said. “We have to keep being unselfish on offense and sharing the ball, keeping the ball moving well. We know we’ll have to bring it in all facets and play a full game on Saturday.”
Kirst scored three goals and had two assists in an upset win over then no. 4 Maryland last season when he starred at Villanova.
Head coach Brian Brecht spoke about the leadership these three players have brought to the team on our podcast before the season began.
Newcomer Shane Knobloch has also been a big contributor, notching consecutive hat tricks and has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week all three times the honor has been awarded this season.
Of course, Rutgers will need a strong defensive effort to beat the Terps. Colin Kirst has been outstanding in goal and is coming off a 19 save performance in the win over Michigan last weekend. The defense is allowing just 11 goals per game and is led by Garrett Bullett, Jaryd Jean-Felix and Bobby Russo.
The showdown between top 5 foes will air live at 3:00 p.m. ET on BTN on Saturday, March 13.