The No. 16 Rutgers women’s lacrosse team saw its historic season come to an end on Sunday in a 20-8 loss to No. 6 Stony Brook in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Scarlet Knights trailed 3-2 early on before the Seawolves went on a 7-0 scoring run that changed the game. Rutgers responded with two consecutive goals before Stony Brook answered with another five straight scores of its own. RU battled the entire way but could never get closer than a nine goal deficit.
“Stony Brook is a really strong team and they pushed the pace,” said head coach Melissa Lehman. “Their fast break is deadly. Kudos to them on their victory.”
Stony Brook forced 12 Rutgers turnovers and held a +7 turnover margin in the game. They also held a 29-21 advantage in shots and 16-8 advantage in ground balls.
The Scarlet Knights were led by senior captain TT Naslonski, who scored a team high four points with two goals and two assists. She finished the NCAA Tournament with a team high eleven points with six goals and five assists. Naslonski entered this postseason in seventh place all-time in points in program history.
Another senior captain, Hannah Hollingsworth, also scored twice and finished the NCAA Tournament six goals as well as an assist.
Sophomore Cassidy Spilis, a First Team All-Big Ten selection, scored twice in Sunday’s loss and had three goals total in the NCAA’s.
Cassidy Spilis converts this play in traffic for our second consecutive goal.— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) May 16, 2021
Stony Brook 16, RU 7 pic.twitter.com/lZ0JzpQFLw
Senior Marin Hartshorn scored once and finished the NCAA Tournament with two goals and an assist. Junior Jenna Byrne had one assist in the loss to Stony Brook and finished with two goals and two assists on the weekend.
Despite Sunday’s loss, Rutgers finished the season having accomplished two major feats for the first time in program history. They defeated six ranked foes and won an NCAA Tournament game, making this team one that will be remembered forever.
“This team just believed in each other and care so much about one another,” Lehman said. “The seniors love this group and they came every day to lead by example. They never gave up and we always fought. At the end of the day, we just want to walk off this field proud and play Rutgers lacrosse.”
The future of this program looks very bright.
Final from Long Island, as we lose to No. 6 Stony Brook, 20-8.— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) May 16, 2021
Our historic season comes to an end as we finish with our second ever appearance at the #NCAAWLAX Tournament and our first ever #NCAA postseason victory.#BxB | #GoRU pic.twitter.com/wfgTh1o8YJ