The most successful season in program history for No. 11 Rutgers women’s lacrosse (16-5) ended in a 11-7 loss against No. 7 Stony Brook (16-2) on Sunday at LaValle Stadium on the Seawolves campus. The second round loss was a game of runs that saw the Scarlet Knights fall short, resulting in a failed rematch bid against the same team that knocked them out of last season’s NCAA Tournament.
Stony Brook took a 3-0 lead just over four minutes into the game a year after scoring 11 first quarter goals in the second round meeting last year. It was a concerning start but this time, Rutgers battled back to score four consecutive goals to hold a one goal advantage heading into the second quarter.
The Seawolves then responded with four straight goals of their own before RU scored once before the break to head into halftime trailing 7-5. To begin the second half, the Scarlet Knights scored twice in the first three minutes of action to tie it at 7-7 and complete a 3-0 run to get back into the game.
12:02 Q3 | TIE GAME! TT finds Spilis and we're knotted at 7-7. pic.twitter.com/7plY29tlON— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) May 15, 2022
However, the Stony Brook defense held Rutgers scoreless over the final 27 minutes of the game while scoring four unanswered goals to complete the 11-7 victory.
Credit the goalkeeper for Stony Brook, Charlie Campbell, who made 12 saves including six in the pivotal third quarter when it was a one goal game. Seven saves made by Campbell came against Rutgers All-American Cassidy Spilis, who scored twice in the game but couldn’t capitalize on many chances due to the tremendous net keeping by the grad transfer from Virginia.
TT Naslonski finished her storied career with a team high 5 points behind 2 goals and 3 assists. She completed a single season record of 90 points and is the program’s all-time leader with 266 career points. In four NCAA Tournament games in her career, Naslonski produced 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points.
12:42 Q3 | GOAL! TT gets us started in the second half with her second of the day. Stony Brook 7, Rutgers 6. pic.twitter.com/5FoGAsZ2XG— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) May 15, 2022
Spilis finished the season with a program record 69 goals after scoring twice in the loss. Marin Hartshorn scored two goals and added one assist while Ashley Campo had one goal.
Defensively, Meghan Ball had another standout performance with nine draw controls, three caused turnovers and three ground balls. Goalkeeper Sophia Cardello made seven saves in defeat.
“One loss does not define your season,” said Big Ten Coach of the Year Melissa Lehman. “I think it’s important to put it all in perspective and as the head coach of this program, I could not be prouder. We made an impact on the history book in so many ways and this team believed they could achieve so much.”
Rutgers finishes the 2022 season with a program record 16 victories, six wins over ranked opponents tying a program record set last season, the highest ranked win in program history, a first ever trip to the Big Ten Tournament Championship game, a second consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament and second consecutive year with an NCAA Tournament victory. The most accomplished team in program history raised the bar in Lehman’s third season on the banks. It’s clear that Rutgers women’s lacrosse is on the rise and this campaign will be remembered for the program taking a significant step forward.
Not the result we wanted, but we absolutely left it all out on the field. We finish our best season in program history with a team-record 16 wins and our second consecutive @NCAALAX Tournament appearance.— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) May 15, 2022
Proud is an understatement. We’ll be back.#BxB | #GoRU pic.twitter.com/EL725UR8qH