Rutgers and Marist matched up for a midweek matinee on a beautiful February day, full of sunshine and a balmy 46 degrees. For the Red Foxes, today was their season debut while the 1-0 Knights come off an impressive 15-6 opening win over LIU.
Marist opened with a flurry, firing three shots on Kirst at point blank range in the 1st minute but not able to squeak one past the All-American. Senior James Lyons finally opened the scoring for the Red Foxes, sending one past Kirst to put the visitors up 1-nil.
Rutgers evened things up at 8:40 as Ross Scott slipped by his defender, dodged around the net and punched one in. Mitch Bartolo then gave the Knights their first lead at the 6:44 mark. Less than two minutes later, he added his second goal on a nice pass in transition from Bobby Russo.
Jamison Embury closed out the first quarter scoring, pulling Marist within a goal with 15 ticks left in the quarter. The shots were flying with both keepers making 7 saves apiece in a flurry of action. Rutgers 3 Marist 2 End of 1st.
Marist’s Vito Musso got past elite defender Bobby Russo and bounced one past Kirst to even the score at 3. Musso was Marist’s leading scorer in 2021, netting 14 goals in only 4 games. Less than a minute later, Ronan Jacoby fired one in on a bounce from 15 yards out to put RU up 4-3. Ross Scott then did his best Swiper the Fox impersonation, stealing Red Fox goalie Novellano’s pass out of the air and sending it home to put RU up 5-3.
Lyons then notched his 2nd goal of the game at 6:54 to bring Marist within a goal. At 3:52, Bartolo notched his 3rd goal off of a transition save by Kirst as Rutgers ran their Nascar offense to perfection.
Then at 2:19, Eric Civetti put in a wrap-around to put the Knights up 7-4. Embury closed out the scoring in the half with just 6 ticks left. Marist’s Novellano was a standout in goal, making 13 saves in the half. Rutgers 7 Marist 5 End of 2nd.
The Knights went back up 8-5 midway through the quarter as Ross Scott took a nifty pass from Ryan Gallagher and fired one in from 10 yards out, tallying his first career hat trick. Rutgers was able to kill off back to back penalties on the next couple of Red Fox possessions to maintain a 3-goal lead.
At 2:12, Michael Sanguinetti snuck one in to give RU a 9-5 lead. Then with less than a minute remaining in the quarter, Sanguinetti fired his second goal in to give the Knights what seemed like a 10-5 commanding lead. Brian Cameron, the UNC transfer, earned his first Rutgers point with the assist. Rutgers 10 Marist 5 End of 3rd.
Marist finally found pay dirt in the 2nd half as Musso scored his 2nd goal at 14:13 and followed that up with his 3rd goal for the hat trick at 9:21 to pull the Red Foxes within 3 goals at 10-7. UNC transfer Cameron then notched his 1st goal as a Knight on a beautiful transition dodge to put RU up 11-7.
The Red Foxes once again closed within 3 as Kellen Pulera took a pass and fired it in from 5 yards out. RU padded their lead back to 4 as Jacoby took the feed from Gallagher, dodged left and fired one in from 10 yards out as he was falling to the ground.
Marist pulled within 12-9 as Musso had a highlight-reel over the back shot for his 4th goal of the match. Pulera then pulled the Red Foxes within 2 with 3:23 left and for the first time all game, it felt like RU was in trouble. There was a flurry of action in the final two minutes as Novellano and Kirst traded point-blank saves. RU closed out the scoring and put Marist away as Shane Knobloch beat a double team and punched one in. Final Score: Rutgers 13 Marist 10.
My Final Thoughts
A much-improved Dugenio had a monster second game, going 21 of 28 on face-offs. Despite RU dominating the face-offs, Marist was able to hang around thanks to the stellar play of goalie Novellano.
Rutgers had way too many penalties - I believe 6 total. They have plenty to cleanup as the tougher part of the schedule approaches.
Cameron slid right into the attack unit with Scott and Bartolo. Jacoby moved over to midfield for this game.
“It was a great midweek, early season game. I’d like to see us keep getting better from each game and each opportunity and this was a good one for us to continue to grow from. Colin Kirst was great with 19 saves, he certainly helped us run in transition. Jonathan Dugenio was great facing off and getting us possessions. We took advantage of some looks on offense. Give Marist credit, they are probably one of the best teams in their conference and a NCAA Tournament caliber team.”
Head Coach Brian Brecht
- Rutgers outshot Marist 62-48
- Rutgers out-hustled Marist on ground balls, 48-28.
- Mitch Bartolo has had back-to-back hat tricks to open the season.
- Colin Kirst tied his career-high with 19 saves.
- Ethan Rall set a career-high with five caused turnovers.
- Jonathan Dugenio’s 21 face=off wins were his most as a Scarlet Knight.
Rutgers will play its third game in eight days to open the season as RU hits the road for the first time, traveling to Queens to face St. John’s at 12:30 pm on Saturday.