It’s going to be a weekend chuck full of Big Ten title bids. The Rutgers Women’s Lacrosse team became the latest RU program to stamp its ticket to the Big Ten championship after a dominating 13-5 victory over Northwestern on Friday night.
The Scarlet Knights will face Maryland on Sunday in Piscataway.
They join the Rutgers Men’s Lacrosse team in battling Maryland for the Big Ten title this weekend. The men play on Saturday night.
According to ScarletKnights.com, “The win marked one the program’s biggest in its 46-year history, as it defeated Northwestern for the first time in 17 chances and delivered its first-ever win over a top-5 ranked opponent. The victory helped RU set a program record for wins in a season at 15 and advanced Rutgers to its first Big Ten Conference title appearance since it joined the league in 2014-15. Sunday will be just the program’s second appearance in a conference championship, as it faced Penn State in the 1998 ECAC title game.”
Leading the way was Cassidy Spilis, who netted five goals, all of them consecutively in the second quarter and into the third quarter, as Rutgers built an 8-3 lead. Rutgers leading scorer has 64 goals on the season, as Spilis passed Heather Jones who had the single season record from 1993.
10:15 Q4 | Spilis knocks it away to set up a goal for TT! We're up 13-5! pic.twitter.com/gJH9PYvm2c— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) May 7, 2022
Early in the contest Marin Hartshorn and Stephanie Kelly netted goals to keep the game tied at 2-2, before Taralyn Naslonski put Rutgers in front for good with an unassisted goal with 2:55 to go in the opening period.
Naslonski would score three goals in the game giving her 57 goals on the season.
Sophia Cardello recorded 12 saves to get the victory in front of the net for Rutgers.
1358 Q4 | GOAL! Marin extends our lead to 12-4 here in the fourth! pic.twitter.com/t30cHvxLbk— Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (@rutgers_wlax) May 7, 2022
“These girls played their hearts out,” said head coach Melissa Lehman. “They had this game circled for so long and left their hearts out on the field. I’m so proud of the fight and grit they had tonight.”
Not only will Rutgers be looking to clinch a Big Ten Title and an automatic bid to the NCAA’s, but they will look to avenge a 16-6 loss against Maryland down in College Park from March 20. It figures to be an incredible match-up.