No. 8 women’s lacrosse faced off Sunday in Florida against the No. 19 Jacksonville Dolphins in the first ever meeting between the two programs. The Knights were held scoreless in the first period and found themselves down 2-0 in the 2nd quarter before junior middie Ashley Moynahan put the Knights on the board at the 11:15 mark. Senior All-American Cassidy Spilis would knot the score up 2-2 less than a minute later off an assist from freshman Lily Dixon. The Dolphins would add a third goal but Knights All-American Ashley Campo found the back of the net with seven ticks left until halftime, tying the match up 3-3.
10:39-Q2 | GOAL! Cassidy nets her first and we're tied, 2-2! pic.twitter.com/83YFN011is— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) February 12, 2023
The Dolphins would regain the lead early in the 3rd but the Knights countered again, with freshman Ava Kane scoring at 11:00 mark. Spilis would give Rutgers its first lead of the match less than a minute later, 5-4. With less than a minute remaining in the 3rd quarter, a goal by Sarah Elms of Jacksonville tied the match back up, 5-5. Then an unassisted goal by Mackenzie Boyle on a woman-up situation with 15 seconds left put the Dolphins back in front, 6-5, heading into the final frame.
The beginning of the 4th quarter would be no kinder for the Knights as Boyle scored once again at the 12:28 mark, pushing the Dolphins lead to two goals. Moynahan would notch her 2nd goal at the 11:48 mark to bring the Knights within a goal, 7-6.
With a little under nine minutes remaining, graduate senior Marin Hartshorn would find the back of the net to tie the match up once again at 7-all. With 7:20 remaining, junior Kate Carolonza, who’s twin sister Sara is also on the team, put Rutgers back on top. At 4:19, she would tally another goal and the comeback was complete. Rutgers would prevail 9-7 in a true seesaw affair and escape the Sunshine State with a hard fought season-opening victory.
7:20 Q4 | GOAL! Kate Carolonza gives us our first lead of the quarter as we're back up, 8-7! Timeout, Jacksonville. pic.twitter.com/enOUFlbkbZ— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) February 12, 2023
- RU had the advantage on ground balls, 23-15, and draws, 13-7.
- RU had 9 free shots to JU’s 3
The free shot rule defined for those interested: Penalty awarded from a hash mark on the 8-meter line when a major foul is committed within the 8-meter arc. All players, except the goalie, must move outside the arc. When the umpire blows the whistle, the player can take a shot on goal or pass while the defense moves in.
- Senior All American Meghan Ball registered an impressive stat line on defense with 10 draw controls, five ground balls and four caused turnovers (courtesy Rutgers Athletics)
- The win over No. 19 Jacksonville marked the 13th win over a ranked opponent under head coach Melissa Lehman in only her 4th year helming the program (courtesy Rutgers Athletics)
- Rutgers lacrosse has two sets of twins - the Carolonza sisters on the women’s squad and Kim brothers on the men’s squad (a neat tidbit I had to add).
Rutgers faces Monmouth on Wednesday, February 15 in West Long Branch, New Jersey at 2pm E.T.