Rutgers advances after a 12-5 victory. The 9-3 Rutgers Scarlet Knights moved to the next round of the NCAA D1 Lacrosse Championships with a dominating 12-5 defeat of the 10-2 Lehigh Mountain Hawks. A tight game for three quarters was broke open by a strong Rutgers 5 goal final stanza.
Lehigh struck first with 1:02 played with Justin Tiernan (2g), putting a Kevin Gersback (1a) feed behind Colin Kirst. Adam Charalambides (3g,1a) got it even at 1-1. Neither team could score for 7:27 until David Sprock (1g,1a) gave the Knights the go-ahead goal. Scott Cole (1g) closed the quarter with the assist going to Cole Kirst (1g,1) and Lehigh got it even at 2-2.
The second stanza was all about defense with only three goals being potted. All by Rutgers which were supplied by Charalambides setting up Kieran Mullins (3g,2a). A pair from Charalambides with his 39th and 40th to end the tight first half with the Knights riding a 5-2 score. Brennan Kamish (1g) made it four in a row before Lehigh stopped the run in the person of Cole Kirst hitting for his 26th to cut to a 6-3 game.
Cole Danninger (1g) ended another quarter with only three tallies with Rutgers looking for history to be made and holding a four-goal advantage at 7-3. The final 15:00 would see more goals than the last two quarters combined and the Knights would seize control of this one. Sprock set up Mullins for his 27th with 9:56 on the clock and :23 later, Ryan Niggemann (1g) countered.
A goal flurry unfolded with Connor Kirst (3g) six seconds later and Kirst again, this time it took seven seconds and we stood at a 10-4 Rutgers lead with 9:20 remaining. The cavalcade of quick goals continued with Dustin Tiernan getting his19th at 8:39. Things settled down and neither squad could get a marker for seven minutes until Connor Kirst nabbed a man-advantage score followed by another from Mullins to close it out.
Bet You Didn’t Know
The victory marks the first Rutgers NCAA playoff victory in 31 years. Connor and Colin Kirst’s late father, Kyle, was the winning goaltender in that game! Colin Kirst denied Lehigh scorers 17 times and Lehigh’s net protector, James Spence said, “oh yeah?’ And also stopped 17 despite the outcome. Lehigh’s Mile Sisselberger picked up an assist while scooping 11 ground balls. He posts an impressive 15 of 19 from the “X”. Shots revealed a 42-35 Rutgers edge while shots on goal went the Knights way, 29-22. Turnovers were about even with Lehigh committing 14 to 12. The ground also went the way of Lehigh, 31-30. Rutgers advances after a 12-5 victory.