The Scarlet Knights faced off against their regional rivals, the Red Storm, on a cold but dry Tuesday afternoon. The field was surprisingly clear of snow for those of like announcer Rick Mercurio and myself who are a little further north and had to shovel for the first time this season.
Like their big win against Loyola this past Saturday, the Knights started fast once again, racing out to a 6-2 lead in the 1st quarter. Attacker Ross Scott kicked off the scoring at the 13:17 mark. Sophomore Logan Peters notched his first goal of the season a minute later for a quick 2-0 RU lead.
Johnnies star attacker Brian Kelly got St. John’s on the board but Rutgers quickly squashed that momentum by adding goals from Jack Aimone and Eric Civetti to push the lead out to 4-1. The Red Storm’s Brian Kelly would add his 2nd goal but Rutgers was able to score two goals with 33 seconds left in the quarter, the first by Aimone and the second by Scott, to push their lead back out to 4, 6-2.
The 2nd quarter saw the Knights struggle to find any offense early on, allowing St. John’s to creep back into the match. Two goals by Connor Kalmus early in the quarter and another by Luke Mangan on a man-up situation at the 3:49 mark pulled the Red Storm within one, trailing 6-5.
20 seconds later, Scott would end the Knight’s nearly 12-minute scoring drought, finding the back of the net once again and notching another hat trick. Ontario native Dante Kulas would add another goal with only a minute remaining to put Rutgers back up 8-5 at the half.
The Knights dominated at the face-off circle in the first half with DuGenio winning 10 of the 14 draws.
2nd Half Action
Similar to the Loyola game, the 3rd quarter was all Rutgers, with the Knights outscoring the Red Storm 7-0. Kulas scored his 2nd of the match 25 seconds into the quarter on a man-up situation and the floodgates were officially open. Scott would add two more, Aimone another, and Brian Cameron two as well to put the game out of reach, 14-5. With one second left in the quater, Nick Teresky would sneak one in off a ricochet to increase the lead to 10.
In the final quarter, Rutgers was able to sub in players liberally and get the bench some much needed playing time. Highly touted freshman Shane Murphy, an All-American in high school from Long Beach, NY, would score his first 3 collegiate goals. Melbourne native Mitch Baker, who’s father was in attendance, would score his first goal of the season. The Knights would ultimately cruise to a 20-6 victory, improving to 4-1 on the season while St. John’s drops to 0-4.
- RU won 19 of 27 face-offs, including a very strong 14 of 19 by DuGenio and 4 of 5 by Joe Neuman.
- The Knights won the ground ball battle, 38-31
- St. John’s was only 2 of 6 on extra man opportunities
(Courtesy Rutgers Athletics)
- Scott had a season-high seven points. He leads the team with 20 points this spring.
- Murphy earned his first three career goals, ending the contest with his first hat trick as a Scarlet Knight.
- Cameron had a career-high six points.
- Aimone had a career-high four goals. He is third on the team with 12.
- Jack Stahancyk recorded six ground balls, a new career-high.
- The team had a season-low 10 turnovers.
The Utes. Yes, Utah has a lacrosse program and they are pretty darn talented. The match will take place at SHI Stadium on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. ET. Rutgers then closes out its homestand against #6 Princeton on Saturday, March 11 at 1 p.m. ET.