(Photo Courtesy of Rutgers Athletics)
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are headed back to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second consecutive season. They downed Harvard 19-9 on Sunday evening in a contest that pitted the veteran laden Rutgers squad against a the youthful Crimson of Harvard.
Ross Scott emerged as the go-to man for Rutgers in the contest, ending the day with eight goals. Seven of those scores came in the second half as he helped the Scarlet Knights pull away in the final two quarters, where they outscored the Crimson 12-4. That included a six-goal stretch in the fourth quarter which put the contest out of reach.
Twice during that run Scott put home a pair of consecutive scores. He also had a pair in the third frame as apart of a five-goal run that helped Rutgers pull ahead 13-7 heading into that final quarter of play.
Scott’s performance marked the second-most goals scored in an NCAA first round game and third-most goals scored in a single game in program history. He is also now tied for second-most goals (48) in a single season at Rutgers.
In addition to Scott, the Scarlet Knights saw Mitch Bartolo (3G/3A) tally six points. Brian Cameron (3G) and Nick Teresky (3A) were also impactful on the offensive end.
In cage, Colin Kirst made 17 saves to anchor a Rutgers defensive effort that held Harvard to just four goals in the second half. Jonathan Dugenio went 16-for-24 (66%) at the faceoff dot.
Harvard fell behind 3-0 and trailed 6-1 with 13:43 remaining in the first half. But after a nearly eight minute stretch of scoreless lacrosse, Sam King converted a wild score off a Joe Dowling feed. It proved to be just the spark the Crimson needed as they went on to head into the locker room on a 4-1 run and having cut the Rutgers lead to two goals, 7-5.
Kyle Mullin made a huge stop on one end and Andrew O’Berry put home a score on the other, finishing off an Austin Madronic feed to make it an 8-6 game. While Harvard was able to cut the Rutgers lead to 13-8 off a pair of Madronic scores in the fourth quarter, but the Crimson would never get within two scores ever again.
Owen Gaffney (2G/1A) and Austin Madronic (2G/1A) had identical stat lines while Andrew Perry scored twice. Kyle Mullin made 13 saves in cage.
Rutgers will face Penn next week in Hempstead in the NCAA Quarterfinals.