Rutgers' Bobby Russo battles for the ball against Army. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Shannon)

Rutgers men's lacrosse upset by Army

West Point, N.Y. - The shores of the Hudson saw a knightly battle as the No. 7/8 Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's lacrosse team traveled to West Point to face the Army Black Knights. After 60 minutes of hard fought action, the Scarlet Knights came up on the short end of an upset as they fell to Army 14-13.

Rutgers drew first blood when, with only 58 seconds having elapsed in the game, David Sprock scored to stake the Scarlet Knights an early 1-0 lead.  The lead would not last too long, however, as Army would score the equalizer 44 seconds later to start a streak of four unanswered goals.  Rutgers ended Army's unanswered, goal streak near the end of the first period, when Dante Kulas found the back of the net with 2:07 left in the opening frame to halve the Black Knight lead.

Army extended its lead to 5-2 just over a minute into the second period, but Ross Scott scored the first of his five goals on the the afternoon soon after, cutting the Black Knight lead to 5-3.  Scott's goal was the first of four straight goals for the Scarlet Knights.  Jack Aimone scored back to back goals to tie the score at five with 10:11 left in the second period, and Scott capped the scoring streak with his second goal of the day to give the Scarlet Knights a 6-5 lead with 9:20 left in the half.  The streakiness of the game would continue, however, as Army closed out the half on another 4-0 scoring run of their own, to go into the intermission up 9-6.

Rutgers men's lacrosse upset at Army West Point

Rutgers' Jack Aimone brings the ball downfield against Army. (Photo courtesy Christopher Shannon)

It was not until about halfway through the third quarter that Army extended their lead after scoring a man up goal to make the score 10-6.  Rutgers, however, closed out the period with two goals, the first from Brian Cameron, and the second from Scott, to cut the Black Knight lead to 10-8.

The fourth quarter was when things started to get real exciting.  First, Army scored 1:43 into the final frame to re-extend their lead to 11-8.  Rutgers answered the Army score about a minute and a half later when Cameron tallied his second goal of the afternoon to cut the Black Knight lead back to two.  Army followed up the Rutgers goal with another goal on their ensuing possession to take back the three point lead, at 12-9.

On their next possession, however, the Scarlet Knights put the pressure on the Black Knights.  17 seconds after Army scored their twelfth goal, Noah Daniels picked up a ground ball off a faceoff and raced towards the Army goal, finding the back of the net to make the score 12-10, in favor of the Black Knights.  From there, Scott and Cameron scored two more unanswered, Rutgers goals to knot the game up at 12.

Army answered back, scoring six seconds after Rutgers tied the game, to retake the lead, 13-12.  The Black Knights held that lead until Scott found paydirt for the fifth time on the afternoon with 5:34 left in the game, to tie the game at 13.  However, Army's Paul Johnson would score, with 3:54 left in the game to give the Black Knights the 14-13 lead.

Rutgers had one more good opportunity following an Army turnover, but Scott's shot with ten seconds remaining hit off the post and Army's A.J. Pilate out hustled Rutgers players to be the closest person to the ball as it went out of bounds, gaining possession for the Black Knights and allowing them to close out the 14-13 upset.

Scott, Cameron, and Aimone led the Scarlet Knights' offense.  Scott led Rutgers scorers with his five goals, while Cameron had three goals, and Aimone had two goals along with two assists.  Netminder Kyle Mullin made 11 saves between the pipes for the Scarlet Knights.

What's Next For The Scarlet Knights

Rutgers returns to the friendly confines of SHI Stadium on Saturday to begin a four-game homestand by staying in the Patriot League, and hosting No. 11/12 Loyola (MD).

Christopher Shannon