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No. 12 Rutgers defeats No. 16 Michigan in overtime thriller



Photo credit Ariel Fox/Rutgers Athletics

No. 12 Rutgers men’s lacrosse came through in the clutch with a much needed 13-12 overtime victory against No. 16 Michigan on Friday night at SHI Stadium. On the first possession of overtime, Shane Knobloch delivered the game winning goal to secure RU’s first Big Ten victory. It snapped a two game losing streak and was the program’s third ranked win this season. It was the 16th straight home win and 8th straight triumph over Michigan. In addition, it was also the third straight 13-12 win over the Wolverines.

Rutgers held a commanding 9-4 lead in the third quarter and then 12-9 in the fourth quarter before Michigan tied the game with 4:11 remaining in regulation. Jonathan Dugenio won the crucial faceoff at the start of overtime to gain possession. After a timeout, Knobloch ended it to secure the victory.

“The Big Ten is a very competitive conference, top to bottom,” head coach Brian Brecht said. “We didn’t start off conference play good enough on the road. There’s a lot of opportunities in this league. We needed to dig in a bit and the guys competed well. They were challenged in practice this week and they rose to the occasion. They stayed in the moment. I’m very proud of them. We have some great seniors and some unbelievable captains.”

Knobloch finished with three goals and an assist while Brian Cameron scored four times in his return to the starting lineup. Justin Kim and Jack Aimone each had a pair of goals. Ross Scott and Noah Daniels each scored once. Rutgers held a 47-32 shot advantage and 27-23 edge in shots on goal.

“I came up off the pick from Justin Kim, got my hands free, and got my shot off,” Knobloch said. “This is a huge one for us, and an even bigger one for us next week so we take it one game at a time. We learned a lot about controlling the game, having to bounce back and control the ball offensively.”

“It felt great, after being out for most of three games to come back and feel healthy and get a great win for our program,” Brian Cameron said. “We changed our energy around and found the fun in the game again. We had great energy all week and that carried into the game.”

On defense, Bobby Russo held Michigan’s leading scorer Josh Zawada scoreless while goalkeeper Kyle Mullin made 11 saves. Rutgers forced 15 turnovers and were a perfect 19 of 19 on clears. Brad Apgar had a team high four caused turnovers and Ethan Rall led RU with seven ground balls.

“The defense was locked in and focused, other than a stretch in the last five minutes of the third quarter,” Brecht said. “But give them credit, they buckled in, they chewed glass, and they bit nails and got a great win at home on a Friday night on national television.”

Rutgers is now 8-3 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play. Next up is Senior Day against No. 5 Maryland on Sunday, April 16. The matchup is at 7:00 p.m. ET and will air live on BTN.

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  1. Biochemist01

    April 8, 2023 at 3:04 am

    That was a big, and necessary, home win to get a B1G win. Michigan keeps getting better and better. Well done by the team.

  2. pj43

    April 8, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    Watching the game, I had a bad feeling after the team gave up a 10-4 lead with visions of a repeat of the women’s collapse against Johns Hopkins last week. Pulling out the OT win could be the catalyst for the team getting back on track. A big difference being 1-2 vs. 0-3. The conference keeps getting better from top to bottom and with MD & PSU ahead, we’ll see what this team is made up of going into the BT Tournament.

  3. Biochemist01

    April 10, 2023 at 11:39 pm

    This was a very good, and necessary, win. Michigan is greatly improved and has excellent wins over Maryland and Harvard plus a win over a very good Delaware team this season.

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