No. 9/10 Rutgers men’s lacrosse opened the 2023 season with a dominant victory on a frigid Saturday afternoon at SHI Stadium. It was an impressive performance against Marist, who was picked to win the MAAC.
It was a strong start that saw the Scarlet Knights secure lead of 4-0 midway through the first period before the Red Foxes ended the opening frame with two goals. However, RU poured it on with an 8-0 second period that resulted in ten straight goals before Marist ended the run early in the third period. The largest lead of the game was 16-3 before the opener ended with a final score of 20-8.
Ten different Scarlet Knights scored and the offense was led by Dante Kulas, who scored five goals and also had three assists. Both were career highs in his first career start.
A trio of players each scored three goals including Preaseason All-American Ross Scott, Brian Cameron and Jack Aimone, who registered a career high in his first ever start. Three players had a goal and an assist in the victory: Shane Knobloch, Justin Kim, and Bobby Russo. The goal for Kim was assisted on by his brother Andrew.
Harvard transfer Kyle Mullin started in goal and finished with 10 saves to earn his first win as a Scarlet Knight. Stony Brook transfer Anthony Palma replaced him in the final eight minutes and registered two saves.
Jonathan Dugenio was 16 of 24 in faceoffs as Rutgers won overall 23-9. Yale transfer Joe Neuman was 4 of 4 in his Rutgers debut.
Rutgers held a 66-31 shot advantage and a 33-20 edge with shots on goal. In addition, they held a 44-26 advantage with ground balls and were 17 of 18 on clears. The Scarlet Knights led the nation in fewest turnovers last season and committed 13 on Saturday.
The win was the 150th in head coach Brian Brecht’s career and 85th at Rutgers.
Next up, RU will host RV Stony Brook on Saturday, February 11 at SHI Stadium. The game begins at 1 p.m.
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