RU Men’s Lacrosse Suffers Embarrassing Loss to in-state Rival Monmouth
For the second time in less than a week the Monmouth Hawks’ lacrosse program scored an historic upset over the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. Monmouth’s women’s team beat the Scarlet Knights just three days ago, and on the same field, its men’s team turned the trick with a hard-fought 10-9 victory.
Piscataway, NJ – For the second time in less than a week the Monmouth Hawks’ lacrosse program scored an historic upset over the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. Monmouth’s women’s team beat the Scarlet Knights just three days ago, and on the same field, its men’s team turned the trick with a hard-fought 10-9 victory. The win is the first in the history of the Monmouth program after it suffered a winless season in 2014 – its first in Division 1 lacrosse.
This was the second time these two schools have met in men’s lacrosse, and in what amounted to a 17-goal turnaround from last year’s contest, the Hawks erased the memory of the embarrassing 20-4 to the Scarlet Knights.
The Hawks’ bench was the team’s loudest cheering section for much of the game, but the loudest eruption came as the horn sounded as Monmouth survived RU’s last attack and Monmouth’s Ryan Horsch ran out the clock in the Rutgers’ end.
The team stormed the field in unrestrained jubilation as Monmouth’s players knew how big of a moment this was for the program.
Rutgers had just nearly lost to Wagner so focus shouldn’t have been an issue for the Knights, but it seemed to be especially in goal.
After opening the scoring just seconds into the contest, RU appeared headed to a blowout win as it raced out to a 3-1 lead when junior Scott Beida made a perfectly timed run to slip behind the defense to slot home a well-timed pass from Danny Plant.
However, in what turned out to be a theme for the day, the Hawks scored a late and soft goal with just 7 seconds to go in the first quarter to cut the Knights’ lead to 3-2.
The goal was a bounced shot by Zach Johanes that surprise-starter freshman goalkeeper Alex Larson could not stop. Johanes would go on to score what would become the game winner in the fourth quarter – his first two goals of the season.
The difference between these two teams today was in goal as Monmouth’s Garrett Conway had a career high 14 saves coming up with his biggest save of the day when he stopped Jeff George’s desperation attempt in the game’s waning seconds.
Monmouth’s offensive star was Bryce Wasserman who scored three goals for the Hawks on the day.
Rutgers appeared to right itself early in the second half when coach Bryan Brecht decided to sub veteran goalie Kris Alleyne to start the third quarter.
In an area where RU dominated winning 20 of 23 face-offs, the Scarlet Knights took the opening faceoff and just as they had in the first half, scored seconds into the second half when Christian Trasolini found the net for the second time the game and cut Monmouth’s surprise half-time 6-4 lead in half.
The Knights scored the game’s next two goals capped by Trasolini’s third of the day and Rutgers appeared to be set to pull away from the lowly Hawks.
However, the Hawks didn’t roll over and a man up after an RU penalty, Zack Schleicher knotted the game at 7 with just 11 seconds to go in the third quarter – another late goal after Rutgers had seized momentum.
The man advantage was a key to the game as Monmouth scored twice while killing off two RU advantages before Rutgers finally was able to capitalize on a man-up situation late in the fourth quarter.
That man advantage which was a non-releasable (major) penalty, gave Rutgers; who suddenly found itself down 10-8 with under five minutes in the contest, a glimmer of hope to answer the unexpected challenge from Monmouth.
However, the Knights remaining man advantage time was snuffed out by Larson who came up with the saves when he was needed most.
The Knights will have to recover quickly as they face #14 Army on Tuesday night at High Point Solutions Stadium. It will be interesting to see if they can recover from this crushing defeat.
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