The Knights of Rutgers faced off against the regional rival Sea Wolves of Stony Brook on a mild February Saturday afternoon at Shi Stadium in Piscataway. It was a chaotic day across the men’s college lacrosse landscape. Loyola handed No. 1 Maryland their first loss since 2021, Hopkins edged No. 3 Georgetown, Jacksonville took down No. 8 Duke and Vermont topped No. 14 Boston.
February college lacrosse is equivalent to November college basketball. Teams are trying to figure out rotations, games are filled with turnovers and errant passing, and the media polls are in constant flux as contenders emerge and pretenders slip away.
The Knights and Sea Wolves played a thriller last year in Stony Brook, with Rutgers prevailing by one goal. It was no surprise that Saturday’s game was a close, hard fought match. These are two teams that clearly do not like each other, as evidenced by the physical play and chippiness on Saturday.
Matt Anderson of Stony Brook would kick off the scoring two minutes into the match. Four minutes later, after some sloppy, turnover-prone play by both squads, attacker Ross Scott would find the back of the net for the Knights to knot the match up, 1-1. Maryland transfer Dylan Pallonetti would put the Sea Wolves up, 2-1, at the 5:28 mark. Rutgers would answer as David Sprock notched his first goal since 2021. Sprock missed all of 2022 due to injury and it was a nice moment seeing the explosive midfielder back in action.
David Sprock scores to tie it back up against Stony Brook 2-2! pic.twitter.com/2doQamA7cq— Rutgers Men's LAX (@RUmlax) February 11, 2023
Jack Aimone and Dante Kulas scored 30 seconds apart in the 10th minute to push the Knights’s lead out to 4-2. The Sea Wolves responded as Anderson netted his second goal. Rutgers would counterpunch as Aimone and Scott both notched their 2nd of the match, to push the Knight’s lead out to 6-3. In classic Rutgers fashion, the Knights would add a goal with four ticks left in the quarter on a beautiful fake and feed from Scott to Sprock. The teams would head to the locker rooms with Rutgers up 7-3.
The Knights dominated the first half in shots on goal, 19-4, but Sea Wolves keeper Jamison MacLachlan was a human force field, making one great save after another to keep Stony Brook close.
Teamwork makes the dream work! Goal from David Sprock assisted by Ross Scott increases the Rutgers lead 7-3! pic.twitter.com/dl43Gx0HS2— Rutgers Men's LAX (@RUmlax) February 11, 2023
Both squads settled in defensively with a nearly scoreless first eight minutes of play. Brian Cameron would notch his first of the match at the 7:17 mark and Shane Knobloch would add a goal at 5:39 to put the Knights up, 9-3. What seemed like a comfortable lead was not however. The Sea Wolves would counter with two goals to close the gap 9-5 in favor of Rutgers.
Cameron would net his 2nd goal at 13:40 but Stony Brook responded once again, adding goals from Pallonetti on a man-up situation, and the hat trick by Anderson at the 7:15 minute mark to close the gap to 10-7 in favor of Rutgers. The Knights smartly started to play keep away in an attempt to slow down Stony Brook’s momentum. With 1:52 remaining, Cameron would notch the hat trick and put the game effectively away. Final Score: RU 11 SBU 7.
Brian Cameron with the goal to extend the Rutgers lead 10-7! pic.twitter.com/JV4lgy0LXV— Rutgers Men's LAX (@RUmlax) February 11, 2023
“We knew Stony Brook would be a tough game. Last year they played us right down to the very end. And that’s what we got. It was nice to be able to put a couple in the back of the net myself, but overall, it’s just good as a team to get the win.”
Jack Aimone, Junior Midfielder (courtesy Rutgers Athletics)
- Hello, Neuman. Jonathan Dugenio won his first two face-offs but then left the game and had his helmet off on the sidelines for the remainder of the match. Yale transfer Joe Neuman stepped in and won 13 of 19 face-offs and scooped 6 ground balls.
- Rutgers had 34 shots on goal to Stony Brook’s 14 but Stony Brook goalie MacLachlin made 23 saves, including a few of the spectacular variety.
- SBU had 21 turnovers, RU 12
- All-American long-stick midfielder Ethan Rall did not play (undisclosed) but freshman Ryan Splaine stepped in, tallying one caused turnover and scooping four ground balls.
- Colgate transfer Ryan Decker tallied two caused turnovers and Brad Apgar notched three of his own.
Another tough match Saturday, February 18th at West Point to take on the Black Knights of Army. The game will stream on ESPN+ at noon.