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Expectations remain high for Rutgers men’s lacrosse



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

On Monday, Inside Lacrosse released their preseason media poll and Rutgers was ranked No. 9. The Scarlet Knights return many key contributors from last season’s Final Four team that finished 15-4 and were ranked No. 4 in the final 2022 poll for Inside Lacrosse. However, this team will have plenty to prove  as expectations remain high for the program.

Previously, USA Lacrosse Magazine ranked Rutgers No. 10 in their preseason poll. They finished No. 5 in the publication’s Final 2022 poll. Head coach Brian Brecht’s team also had three players named preseason All-Americans by USA Lacrosse Magazine. They include Ethan Rall as a First Team selection. Shane Knobloch as a Second Team selection and Ross Scott on the Third Team.

Rall was a First Team All-American after a standout season at long stick midfield as well as being named a Scholar All-American. He set a program single season record with 31 caused turnovers.

Knobloch was named an Honorable Mention All-American last season after scoring 32 goals and dishing out 17 assists for 48 points. He led Rutgers with a hat trick in the program’s first ever NCAA Quarterfinal win over No. 3 Penn.

Scott was named a Third Team All-American last season after tying the program’s single season scoring record with 50 goals. He added 25 assists which resulted in the second highest single season point total (75) in program history.

The Scarlet Knights will have four captains lead the team this season: Rall, Scott, David Sprock and Bobby Russo. All are fifth year players for the program with the exception of Scott who is a fourth year senior.

Overall, Rutgers has double digit returnees who were regular contributors during last season’s historic run to the program’s first ever Final Four.

Brecht and the coaching staff have added 20 new players to the roster. This includes nine transfers that bring plenty of experience to Rutgers. With All-American goalie Colin Kirst moved on now to the professional ranks, Rutgers has three newcomers competing for the starting job.

Transfers Kyle Mullin from Harvard and Anthony Palma from Stony Brook bring plenty of experience to the program. Mullin started 30 games over four years for the Crimson and was named a Transfer to Watch by Inside Lacrosse. Palma started 26 games for the Seawolves. In addition, the program brought in freshman Cardin Stoller, an Under Armour All-American in high school.

Chatham, NJ native Ryan Decker was a captain at Colgate and the transfer looks to make an immediate impact along the rope unit that lost Brennan Kamish, Tommy Coyne and Zachary Franckowiak. Another transfer likely to play a large role on defense is LaJhon Jones who led Bryant in caused turnovers.

Two notable freshmen who will look to break into the Rutgers midfield are Shane Murphy and Ryan Palmer

Returning players who could play much larger roles this season include Dante Kulas, brothers Andrew and Justin Kim, And Brad Apgar. Key players like Brian Cameron, Jonathan Dugenio and Eric Civetti provide stability for the program and will be important once again.

Rutgers has already had preseason scrimmages with Boston University and NJIT. They’ll have one more this coming Saturday against Villanova. The 2023 season will begin on February 4 against Marist at home. You can purchase season and single-game tickets here.

More preseason coverage to come including an episode of The Scarlet Faithful podcast next week with head coach Brian Brecht.

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  1. Biochemist01

    January 26, 2023 at 1:31 am

    Very excited about what the team can do this season. Last season was historic. Can they reach that level again? They are the best team in the B1G other than Maryland. OSU is good too, but JHU, Michigan, and PSU may struggle a bit. Looking at the schedule I prognosticate going 5-1 in conference and 10-3 overall.

  2. pj43

    January 26, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    Another Rutgers sports program putting it firmly in the top echelon of the Big Ten standings.

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