The Scarlet Knights finally returned home after playing three consecutive road games and four of five overall away from the friendly confines of Shi Stadium. The tough stretch included games against top 20 teams Army, Loyola, and Princeton, as well as a difficult road match against Stony Brook, who sits just outside the top 20.
On a beautiful, warm, sunny spring day in Piscataway, the Knights welcomed the Leopards of Lafayette. Yes, that Lafayette, from Easton, PA. The name that inspires so much angst among RU hoops fans. The college that almost single-handedly crushed the Rutgers men’s basketball team’s NCAA tourney chances looked to do damage to the men’s lacrosse resume.
In a nice tribute, B1G+ broadcasters Dom Savino and Rick Mercurio, the former Scarlet Knight and a member of the Long Island Lacrosse Hall of Fame, paid tribute to legendary Rutgers coach Tom Hayes.
A poignant tribute to Tom Hayes from his longtime friend Rick Mercurio on the B1G+ broadcast. pic.twitter.com/quvwEfWHLF— Rutgers Men's LAX (@RUmlax) March 15, 2022
The Knights won the opening face-off and scored on their first possession. A Ross Scott pass off the stick of Ryan Gallagher was scooped up by Ronan Jacoby and rocketed in from 10 yards out to put the Knights up 1-nil.
The Leopards would tie the score on a put back off a Colin Kirst save by Maplewood, NJ native Kalman Kraham. Macklin Fitzpatrick then put the Leopards up 2-1, as he was able to dodge unimpeded in front of the net and fire one past Kirst.
Ross Scott tied the game at 2-all with his 21st goal of the season off a beautiful feed from Nick Teresky and then notched his 2nd goal a couple minutes later. The Leopards’s Fitzpatrick then added his 2nd after losing his defender behind the net, wrapping around and firing one past Kirst. Scott followed with his third, notching the 1st quarter hat trick off a beautiful feed from Cameron, putting the Knights back in front, 4-3.
Mitch Bartolo got the scoring going nearly two minutes into the 2nd and then two minutes later, Tommy Coyne added his 1st of goal of the season. Kraham notched his 2nd for the Leopards to bring them within two goals, trailing 6-4. Lafayette had a man-up advantage as Brennan Kammish broke his stick and had to drop it per the rules for the remainder of the possession.
At the 9-minute mark, Ross Scott was once again wide open in front of the net, taking a nice feed from Civetti. 30 seconds later, Brian Cameron notched his 1st goal of the match off an assist by Bobby Russo. At the 6-minute mark, Bartolo was left wide open on the left flank and fired a low laser from 10 yards out past Leopards goalie Ben Howard for a 9-5 advantage.
Lafayette scored their second goal of the quarter to stop the bleeding, now trailing 9-5. Cameron and Jacoby would wrap up the first half scoring, the teams heading to their locker rooms with the Knights firmly in control, 11-5.
Jacoby opened the scoring, tallying another hat trick with his 3rd goal. Michael Sanguinetii, Dante Kulas, Jack Aimone, Civetti, and Justin Kim added goals. With three ticks left, Jacoby scored his 4th of the day on a man-up situation and the rout was officially on with RU leading 18-5 and out-scoring the Leopards 7-nil in the quarter.
A little over 3 minutes into the quarter, Kulas tallied his 2nd of the day. Lafayette finally went on their own run, scoring two consecutive goals with Kraham tallying his own hat trick. Aimone fired a laser in from 15 yards out to notch RU’s 20th goal of the game.
Lafayette would add two more goals and Rutgers three. Erik Henig netted his 1st goal of the season for the Knights and freshman Christian Maisel, making his college debut from Long Island, NY, capped off the scoring with his 1st college goal and the Knight’s 22nd. Final score: 22-10 Rutgers. Rutgers moves to 7-1 on the season while Lafayette drops to 4-5.
This was an excellent rebound game after a tough loss at Princeton last Friday night and allowed Rutgers to play with their lineups and positioning. One noticeable difference was Ross Scott out from behind the X (the goal) on multiple occasions on offense and Nick Teresky running point. Scott had a monster game with 4 goals, 3 assists and 7 total points. After being shut down by Princeton, which B1G teams will try and emulate, the coaching staff found a way to get Scott open in space to take advantage of his explosive offense.
Rutgers’s firepower against an inferior opponent was on full display with Jacoby adding 4 goals and 12 different players scoring.
Rutgers had similar shots on goal as compared to Princeton but Lafayette goalie Ben Howard had no answer and was not able to single-handedly keep the Leopards in the game like we have seen in past games with many other goalies against RU this season.
Colin Kirst was spelled midway through the 3d quarter, allowing backups Toby Burgdorf and Stephen Russo to eat up minutes.
Rutgers was better at the face-off circle, winning 19 of 35. Jonathan Dugenio had an excellent day after struggling the past few weeks, winning 14 of 19. Michael Ott was 0-4 and Sam Stephan 0-2. Prized freshman Luke Romanek won 5 of 10 and added 2 ground balls.
- Senior captain Ryan Gallagher reached 100 career points with an assist on the game’s first goal.
- Bryant Boswell had three caused turnovers, his most as a Scarlet Knight.
- Eric Civetti had his first career assist and a career-high two points.
- Jack Aimone had his first career assist and a career-high three points.
- Andrew Kim, Jake Norgard, James Ringer and Jonathan Taub made their season debuts.
- Christian Maisel made his collegiate debut.
Another road trip for the road-tested Knights, as they travel to Hempstead, Long Island to take on Hofstra this Saturday at 1pm. The common opponents for both squads are LIU and St. Johns, with both teams defeating St. Johns but Hofstra losing to LIU with RU winning. This will be the final non-conference matchup before B1G play starts a week from Sunday against Ohio State.