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No. 6 Seed Rutgers advances to NCAA Quarterfinals with dominant 19-9 win over Harvard

The Scarlet Knights will face No. 3 seed Penn after advancing for a second consecutive season.

No. 5 Ross Scott led the way with an unbelievable eight goal performance.
Rutgers Athletics

On a warm spring afternoon in front of 5,212 boisterous fans in the stands, along the fences, and on the grassy knoll at Yurcak Field, the No. 6 Rutgers Scarlet Knights matched up against the Harvard Crimson in the first round of the 2022 NCCA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament. It was the youth of Harvard, with 24 first-year players, versus the senior/transfer laden roster of Rutgers.

The 19-9 win marked the first time they’ve earned an NCAA Tournament first round victory in back-to-back seasons in program history.

1st Quarter Action

The Knights opened the scoring in the third minute, cashing in on a turnover at midfield by the Crimson. Rutgers moved quickly in transition and Shane Knobloch found himself all alone on the left wing and fired one in from ten yards out to give Rutgers the early lead.

Down a man, Rutgers added a second goal on a beautiful feed from Nick Teresky to Brian Cameron in front of the net for an easy, undefended goal. Knobloch then added his second of the match, dodging right, spinning left, and rocketing one in from deep for a 3-0 Rutgers lead.

Freshman Owen Gaffney put Harvard in the scoring column at the 8:23 mark. Mitch Bartolo countered to put the Knights back up 4-1.

2nd Quarter Action

Bartolo notched his second of the match at the 13:48 mark. Blink and you may have missed Ross Scott’s first of the match ten seconds later to put the Knights up 6-1.

Sam King and Andrew Perry scored quick consecutive goals for the Crimson to pull within three, 6-3. Perry’s goal was an unimpeded wraparound from behind the net off a pick that was just too easy. Harvard then added a third consecutive goal.

Cameron stemmed the tide, taking a pass in traffic in front of the net from Ryan Gallagher and sent it home to push the lead back out to 7-4. Harvard countered and the teams would head to halftime with Rutgers up 7-5.

3rd Quarter Action

Gallagher opened the scoring in the first minute to put the Knights up 8-5. The Crimson and Knights then traded goals, with Scott notching his second on a beautiful change-of-direction move from the X. Scott scored again a minute later on a lightning-quick shot off a beautiful pass from Ronan Jacoby to push the lead back out to four.

Harvard had a golden opportunity to score a goal in transition off a turnover but Colin Kirst was able to stop the shot from point blank range from the unimpeded Crimson attacker. Rutgers would make Harvard pay as Scott found Jacoby on the left wing and he fired one in to push Rutgers’s lead back out to five, 11-6.

The Ross Scott show would continue, as he notched his fourth goal to put the Knights up six. Cameron follow with his third goal for a seven point lead. Harvard would end the Rutgers 5-0 run on a goal by senior Austin Madronic, now trailing 13-7.

4th Quarter Action

Madronic notched his second consecutive goal at the 11:48 mark to pull the Crimson within five. A little over a minute later, Bartolo was left alone out top and notched a hat trick for a 14-8 Rutgers lead. The Knights would cause a turnover and Scott would add goal No. 5 in transition at the 9:29 mark. Scott would follow that up with goal No. 6 at the 5:36 mark and grow the lead to eight. Sam Stephan, the backup face-off specialist, would win the draw and take it himself, pushing the lead out to nine. Scott would then add goals No. 7 and No. 8 (not a misprint) and call it a day.

My Thoughts

  • Start the petition now for all future home games at Yurcak Field. Today’s attendance of 5,212 was the third most all time at an NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament game outside of championship weekend and it felt like a party with people handing beers over the fences and spirited chants all game long from the Rutgers and Harvard faithful.
  • Ross Scott x 8. What more can you say about the junior who continues to electrify fans, tallying eight goals in a historic performance that was one shot shy of tying the all-time tourney record for goals in a game.
  • Bartolo and Cameron notched hat tricks and Knobloch added two goals
  • Rutgers won the face-off battle with Dugenio winning 16 of 24, Stephan 5 of 7, and Michael Ott 1 for 1.
  • Colin Kirst brought his A-game today, stopping point blank shot after point blank shot and finishing with 17 saves
  • Rutgers outscored Harvard 6-2 in the 3rd quarter and 6-2 in the 4th, dominating the second half.
  • On to the quarterfinals and another Ivy opponent in Penn next Saturday.

Next Up

The Quarterfinals will take place on Saturday, May 21st at 12pm in Hempstead, NY between No. 6 seed Rutgers (14-3) vs. No. 3 seed Penn (11-4). The Quaker’s advanced on Saturday with an 11-10 OT win over Richmond.

Rutgers played Hofstra in Hempstead March 19th and scored 22 goals so the Knights are certainly comfortable out on the Island and should bring plenty of fans decked out in Scarlet.