Just a few weeks after the program’s first NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals appearance in 31 years, Rutgers men’s lacrosse is reloading. Inside Lacrosse’s Ty Xanders reported on Thursday afternoon that Penn midfielder Mitch Bartolo will use his final season of eligibility to play on the banks. In addition, a pair of Division III All-Americans in Wesleyan star Ronan Jacoby and Salisbury’s Brad Apgar will become Scarlet Knights for their final season as well.
Bartolo is a 6’6” midfielder from Norwalk, Connecticut who was a significant contributor on Penn’s 2019 team that made a successful postseason run. He started 13 of 16 games and was sixth on the roster with 17 goals and 24 points total for a team that went 12-4. The Quakers defeated national finalist Yale twice, including a win in the Ivy League Tournament Championship game before losing to them in overtime in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals. Bartolo had three goals and an assist in the season ending loss to the Bulldogs.
In 2020, Bartolo scored a goal and added an assist in a win over no. 10 Duke before the season was cancelled due to Covid-19.
The Ivy League did not play this past season during the pandemic, but Bartolo was a team captain. They played one game in which they defeated DIII Cabrini 23-9 and he had one assist, one forced turnover and one ground ball.
Inside Lacrosse named Bartolo one of the top five grad transfers available this offseason. Although he has played sparingly over the past two seasons due to COVID-19 cancellations, Bartolo will bring big game experience and much needed ability to produce on the offensive end.
It was also reported by Inside Lacrosse that Rutgers is adding Ronan Jacoby who led Division III power Wesleyan with 27 points behind 22 goals and 5 assists in a five-game 2021 season. He is a grad transfer as well and will have an opportunity to make a big impact next season.
College Crosse reported the addition of Apgar, who was key for Salisbury’s defense on their way to the Division III title game this past season. Apgar should make an immediate impact on the back line next season.
Rutgers was one of the best offensive teams in the country last season. However, they need to replace its top three scorers from last season in Adam Charalambides, Connor Kirst and Kieran Mullins. The trio combined for 109 of the teams 186 goals last season (58.6%). Adding Bartolo and Jacoby will help give the Scarlet Knights more scoring options to go along with key returnees David Sprock, Shane Knobloch and Ross Scott. Head coach Brian Brecht will also focus on developing the younger players on the roster as the program attempts to make back to back NCAA Tournament appearances since 2003 and 2004.
UPDATE: Rutgers added two more transfers to next season’s roster.