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No. 13 Men’s Lacrosse Powers Past No. 5 Loyola, 10-6

The Knights notch a crucial early-season resume builder

Shane Knobloch and Rutgers play a lacrosse match against Loyola, Maryland | Saturday February 25th, 2023, SHI Stadium Piscataway, NJ
Rutgers Athletics

On a cold, cloudy Saturday afternoon at SHI Stadium, Rutgers and Loyola squared off in an early season top 20 matchup that one could argue is a crucial win come tournament selection time. The Knights looked to rebound from a tough 14-13 loss at West Point last Saturday against now No. 19 Army. Loyola entered the match 2-0 and in the national discussion as a potential Final Four contender after defeating then No. 1 Maryland and No. 9 Hopkins with relative ease. The Greyhounds looked to make it 3-0 this season against Big Ten foes.

1st Quarter

Unlike last week against Army where Rutgers dug themselves into a hole early, the Knights started strong against a very stout Loyola defense. Emerging Rutgers sophomore star Dante Kulas would open up the scoring at the 8:10 mark of the first quarter, firing a low shot past star Greyhounds goalie Luke Staudt. Kulas would follow that up with a second goal a little over a minute later, placing the ball in a nearly identical spot down left and low past Staudt. At the 5:07 mark, Shane Knobloch would put Rutgers up 3-0.

The Greyhounds would enter the scoring column at 4:24 of the quarter on a goal by Evan James. Then on a man-up situation for Loyola, Rutgers turned the ball over near midfield with keeper Kyle Mullin out of position and Luke Murphy was able to make the Knights pay with a shot from 35 yards out into an empty net with 1:44 remaining. The errant clear was a glaring early mistake by Rutgers in what would turn out to be an otherwise stellar game for Knights goalie Mullin and the Scarlet defense.

2nd Quarter

The goals were few and far between as the defenses settled in. The teams went nearly seven scoreless minutes before Adam Poitras would knot the score up 3-all for the Greyhounds at the 8:13 mark. Almost five more scoreless minutes would follow before Knobloch scored his 2nd unassisted goal of the game, putting Rutgers back up, 4-3.

Not to be outdone, the Greyhounds’s Matthew Minicus would even the score up and the teams would play out the remaining 1:25 and head to their locker rooms tied up, 4-4.

The stats reflected the tie score as Loyola had one more shot on goal (13-12) and Rutgers had one more save (9-8), The Greyhounds won the face-off battle, 6-4, as Rutgers’s Jonathan DuGenio returned from an upper body injury after sitting out the prior two games.

3rd Quarter

It took Rutgers seven seconds to regain the lead as DuGenio would win the opening face-off, race down the field, and find Dante Kulas, who found the back of the net for a hat trick. Ross Scott would notch his 11th of the season less than a minute later and Knobloch would join Kulas in the hat trick club at the 11:42 mark. Brian Cameron added his 10th goal of the season at the 6:12 mark. Jack Aimone then followed with his 8th of the season. The five consecutive goals pushed the Knights’s lead out to a comfortable 9-4 advantage.

A costly turnover by RU with 36 seconds remaining in the quarter led to the Greyhounds’s 5th goal with only six ticks remaining on the clock and the game was suddenly back in reach for Loyola, trailing 9-5.

4th Quarter

Henry Haberman pulled the Hounds within 3 at the 11:39 mark, 9-6, and suddenly the game had all the makings of another nail-biter.

After a nearly 9-minute scoring drought, Cameron would add his second of the match at the 9:43 mark to put the Knights back up, 10-6. Both teams would then hunker down on defense as each goalie closed up shop and the defensive battle would end in a hard-earned, excellent rebound game for the Knights. Final Score: RU 10 LU 6.

Rutgers improves to 3-1 on the season while Loyola drops to 2-1.


(some stats courtesy of Rutgers Athletics)

  • Knobloch’s seven-point performance marks a career-high for the midfielder. The junior also recorded his first multi-goal game of the spring and matched his career high with four assists
  • Goalie Kyle Mullin had 16 saves
  • Longstick All-American Ethan Rall had two more caused turnovers and moved into a tie for second all-time with Jacob Fradkin (2009-12). The senior now has 67 caused turnovers in his career.
  • This is the Scarlet Knights’s third top-five victory since 2019

Next Up

The Johnnies. Rutgers continues its home-stand against St. John’s on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. ET. The Scarlet Knights are then set to face Utah on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. ET at SHI Stadium.