Spring is not officially here, but many of the seasons sports have begun at the collegiate level. Rutgers has high hopes for many of their spring squads and the Scarlet Knights are off to a fast start early on in their season.
Rutgers Men's Lacrosse (2-0), Ranked No. 14
Rutgers Men's Lacrosse have won their first two games of the 2024 season. The Scarlet Knights opened the season with a hard-fought 14-12 win over Lehigh at SHI Stadium in Piscataway. Shane Knobloch and Jack Aimone each recorded a hat trick while Dante Kulas, Ross Scott, and John Sidorski all had two goals. Kulas and Scott each had three assists, while Sidorski had two. Making his debut in the cage, Cardin Stoller made 10 saves. Tanner Germain and Ryan Splaine added a goal each. Rutgers has now won 12 straight season openers.
Over the weekend, Rutgers hit the road for the first time this season and defeated Stony Brook, 16-12. Eight players scored goals for the Scarlet Knights. Aimone tied his career high with four scores. Scott had himself a game, recording three goals and three assists. Taynr Krummenacher also contributed a hat trick, while Knobloch added two. Sidorski, Nick Teresky, Colin Kurdyla, and Cole Brams rounded out the scoring for Rutgers who improved to 2-0 on the season.
The Scarlet Knights face two early season tests against ranked opponents in their next two games. Rutgers hosts N0. 6 Army on Saturday before a trip to Baltimore to take on No. 12 Loyola.
Rutgers Women's Lacrosse (1-0)
Rutgers women's lacrosse dominated Manhattan at SHI Stadium to open the season on Saturday. The final score was 20-10 in favor of the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers got off to a fast start, grabbing a 8-1 lead in the first 15 minutes of action. Cassidy Spilis led the Scarlet Knights with six goals and an assist. Kate Carolonza, Victoria Goldrick, Kimberly Greenblatt, and Ava Kane all tallied multiple goals.
Sophia Cardello made nine saves in goal for Rutgers. Rutgers' defense was exceptional, forcing Manhattan into 20 turnovers. Jessica Beneducci caused three of those turnovers and Ashley Moynahan scooped up five ground balls.
The Scarlet Knights hit the road for their next game, a matchup in Washington D.C. against Georgetown on Saturday.
Rutgers Softball (4-1)
The Rutgers softball team began their season in Houston, Texas and came away winners in four of the five games played in the Houston Invitational. Rutgers outscored their opponents 23-6 on opening day including a 9-1 win over Colgate, followed by a 14-5 victory over Indiana State.
Mattie Boyd struck out 11 batters and allowed only one hit and an unearned run in the season opener against Colgate. LA Matthews, Payton Lincavage, and Kayla Bock each had two hits. Katie Wingert drilled her first home run of the season. Bock drove in three runs.
In the night cap, Kyleigh Sand went 3-for-5 with five runs scored and three RBI. LA Matthews kept her hot bat going with a 3-for-4 game and three RBI. Maddie Lawson added two hits, three runs, and two RBI. Wingert blasted another home run. Morgan Smith got the win after splitting time in the circle with Georgia Ingle who recorded a three-inning save.
Wingert added three more home runs and five more RBI on day two of the Houston Invitational in helping lead Rutgers softball to a 4-0 start with a 10-2 victory over the host Houston Cougars and a 7-4 win against Colgate. Smith also homered in the win over Houston while 10 different Scarlet Knights recorded a hit. Boyd pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits.
In the second game against Colgate, Rutgers overcame a four-run deficit. Wingert continued a monster two days with a 3-for-3 performance that included two home runs and three RBI. Smith got the win inside the circle tossing a complete game with six strikeouts to up her mark to 2-0 while going 3-for-3 at the plate with her first home run of the season. Sand and Matthews added two hits each.
After winning the first four, Rutgers dropped the final game of the Houston Invitational, losing 6-3 to Houston. Ingle took the loss, making her first career start. Houston put four runs on the board in the first inning, with the big blow being a three-run home run. Bock led the Scarlet Knights in the loss, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.
Wingert totaled five home runs going over the fence in four of five contests. She ended the invitational hitting .444, going 8-for-18 with a double, five home runs, 10 RBI, a sac fly and 1.333 slugging percentage. She moved into a tie for second all-time in home runs at Rutgers with 34 career dingers. She also moved up to fifth all-time in RBI with 115.
Five Scarlet Knights finished the weekend hitting over .400 led by Kyleigh Sand and LA Matthews batting at a .474 clip.
Next Up For Rutgers Softball: The Rutgers softball team returns to action next week at the Panther Invitational. RU will play five games with the field including No. 9/10 Duke, Army West Point and host FIU.