Welcome to episode no. 96 of the On The Banks podcast, which is our Rutgers lacrosse NCAA Tournament Special. It’s the first time ever that both the men’s and women’s programs have made the big dance in the same season. The women’s team will face Drexel on Friday, May 14 at 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and the men’s team takes on No. 8 seed Lehigh on Saturday, May 15 at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
In honor of the historic weekend ahead and the special season’s that each program has had so far, we were fortunate to speak with two key figures from both teams.
Our first two guests for this episode are Rutgers women’s head coach Melissa Lehman and senior All-Big Ten player TT Naslonski. It has already been a historic season for the Scarlet Knights after defeating Johns Hopkins, Penn State and Maryland for the first time ever. With a program record six Big Ten victories, five against ranked foes, RU qualified for its first NCAA Tournament since 1999 and second ever all-time.
Lehman is in her second season at Rutgers and has elevated the program in a major way in a short period of time. She discussed what the experience has been like so far, went in-depth about the team and spoke about the challenge ahead with Drexel.
Naslonski spoke about her love for Rutgers and her deep family connections to the school, the progress the team has made under Lehman and the career she has had so far that has placed her among the program’s all-time points leaders.
We will then transition to the men’s teams to speak to head coach Brian Brecht and All-Big Ten player Adam Charalambides. The Scarlet Knights are ranked 9th nationally after finishing the regular season in second place in the Big Ten to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.
Coach Brecht joins the podcast once again to discuss his most successful season on the banks during his decade long tenure. The Big Ten Coach of the Year spoke about the progress this team has made this season, the quality of the Big Ten, the impact of the senior class, the offensive firepower of this team and the challenge ahead against Lehigh.
Charalambides added great perspective on how far the program has come over his seven year career at Rutgers, how the loss against Johns Hopkins in the Big Ten semifinals can help this team in the NCAA Tournament, his relationship with Kieran Mullins and the entire senior class, as well as the opportunity ahead on Saturday.
Thanks to all of our guests from Rutgers men’s and women’s lacrosse for taking the time to speak with us ahead of NCAA Tournament play this coming weekend. We will have plenty of additional coverage leading up to both games. Best of luck to both teams this weekend and thanks for listening to this special episode.
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