#6 Men’s Lacrosse takes on #3 Penn in NCAA Quarterfinals
PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers men’s lacrosse returns to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second straight season. The No. 6 seed Scarlet Knights takes on the No. 3 seed Penn on Saturday. The game will take place in Hempstead, NY, hosted by Hofstra University. The game will take place at noon with a national television broadcast on ESPNU.
Anish Shroff, Quint Kessenich and Paul Carcaterra will be on the call for ESPNU. Brett Hawn and Alex Carmanaty have the radio call.
Last weekend, Rutgers beat No. 14 Harvard, 19-9, in front of 5,212 fans at Yurcak Field. The home crowd was 2,012 fans larger than any other venue in the round and was the third highest attendance for any game in the first round since the current format was implemented in 2003. The offensive outburst has scored the most goals for RU in an NCAA Tournament game.
Rutgers trailed by eight goals per Ross Scott, who was named National Offensive Player of the Week by USA Lacrosse Magazine. Scott’s eight goals were one shy of the NCAA Tournament single game record and a career high. Total goals scored the most goals in a match since Kieran Mullins scored eight against Michigan in 2018. Tied for the third-most single-game goals in program history. Scott has scored 17 goals combined in his last four games.
Scott now has 48 goals this season. On RU’s single-season list, he tied for the second-most single-season goals in program history, tying RU Hall of Famer Greg Rinaldi’s 1990 season. With two more goals, he will tie Tom Sweeney (1978) for the most single-season goals in program history. He now has 70 points on the season, tied with Tom Sweeney (1978) and John Valestra (1964) for 7and the most in a single season.
Goalie Colin Kirst excelled with 17 saves and only nine goals against. In three career starts in the NCAA Tournament, Kirst has an 8.67 goals-against average and 16.67 saves per game. He now has 203 saves during the season, the fourth in a single season in program history. He needs 25 to equal John Schmunk (1990) in third position.
Rutgers has a total of seven All-Americans, according to USA Lacrosse Magazine. MSL Ethan Rall (first team) and Brennan Kamish (Second team) led the way and was joined by Colin Kirst, Jaryd Jean-Felix, Shane Knobloch, Ronan Jacoby and Ross Scott.
With a Victory
A win for the Scarlet Knights would score:
- Rutgers’ first appearance in the Final Four
- The second overall Rutgers program to qualify for the Final Four this season (women’s soccer)
- Rutgers’ first men’s program to make a Final Four since 1994 (men’s soccer)
- Rutgers winning back-to-back NCAA Tournament games for the first time.
- A loss to No. 3 Penn would tie for the program’s highest-ranked win in program history (No. 3 Ohio State in 2017 and No. 3 UMass in 2003).
- The sixth-ranked win in a season would mark the highest-ranked wins in a campaign (records dating back to 2003).
- A third top-10 win would mark three top-10 wins in consecutive seasons.
- Rutgers would have 33 ranked wins since 2003 (24 under head coach Brian Brechtall since 2015) and go 11-6 against ranked opponents over the past two years.
Penn is 11-4 overall this season after passing Richmond with a first-round overtime win, rallying from a deficit in the final minute of regulation time to persevere. The team is on a seven-game winning streak after starting 4-4, 1-3 in Ivy League play, finishing as the conference tournament champion.
The Quakers are led by Tewaaraton Award finalist and first-team All-American Sam Handley. Ivy League Player of the Year, Handley leads Penn with 70 points, scoring 36 goals and providing 34 assists. Additionally, Piper Bond (SSDM), BJ Farrare (LSM), and Brendan Lavelle (Defense) earned honorable mention All-Americans.
Rutgers are 28-6 against Penn in a series that dates back to 1925 but hasn’t been played since 1986.
Mitch Bartolo spent four years at Penn, where he was team captain. He played 27 games (19 starts), where he scored 20 goals and added nine assists. In his last full season (second year in 2019), started 13 of 16 games with 17 goals (sixth on the team) to guide the team to the NCAA Quarterfinals
by Brian Cameron his younger brother, Sean, is a freshman midfielder at Princeton and will play Game 2 on Saturday at Hofstra against Yale.
Colin Kirst younger brother, CJ, is a forward at Cornell. The Big Red will play the Columbus Regional against Delaware on Sunday, with the winner of that game scheduled to face the winner of Rutgers-Penn.
Rutgers features 27 seniors who have earned their undergraduate or master’s degrees, with the team missing the varsity main start, which took place on the same day as RU’s first-round competition.
Eight of these seniors have pledged to return next season: Ethan Rall, Defender Bobby RussoMidfielder David SprockDefender Brad ApgarAttacker Eric Civetti, Midfielder Andrew KimMidfielder Justin Kimand Defender Jack Stahanczyk.
Other seniors could still use additional eligibility, but have yet to make a final decision.
Back to Hofstra
This will be the second straight season that Rutgers will play in an NCAA quarterfinal game at Hofstra. Last season, RU pushed No. 1 seed UNC into overtime before falling 12-11. Colin Kirst made 16 saves, while Ross Scott scored two goals, just his second two-goal game of last season, a solid finish for him and the first hint of a breakout campaign to come this season.
Also, earlier this season, the Scarlet Knights played Hofstra in a non-conference contest at Stuart Stadium.. Rutgers won that match 22-10 in a contest they were leading 10-0 after 20 minutes in a dominating performance.
Rutgers NCAA Tournament History
Rutgers makes his 11and all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and does so for the second consecutive season. The Scarlet Knights have previously reached the NCAA Tournament in 1972, 1974, 1975, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 2003, 2004 and 2021. The NCAA playoff system for men’s lacrosse was implemented in 1971. Last season, Rutgers earned a 12-5 first-round win over Lehigh for the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1990. The team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, where they pushed the UNC No. 1 into overtime. This season, RU returns to the NCAA Quarterfinals, marking its first time in consecutive seasons with an NCAA Tournament win.
1972: No. 8 Rutgers lose to No. 1 Maryland in the quarterfinals, 9-3 (8-Team Field)
1974: No. 8 Rutgers lost to No. 1 Maryland in the quarterfinals, 12-6 (8-Team Field)
1975: No. 8 Rutgers lost to No. 1 Cornell in the quarterfinals, 18-5 (8-Team Field)
1984: No. 7 Rutgers lost to No. 2 Syracuse in the quarterfinals, 8-7 (OT) (8-Team Field)
1986: No. 7 Rutgers WINS, hosting CW Post in first round, 13-8 (10-Team Field)
No. 7 Rutgers lost to No. 2 Syracuse in the quarterfinals, 17-5
1990: Unranked Rutgers wins No. 6 Virginia, 7-6 in first round (12-team field)
Rutgers lost to No. 3 Loyola, 19-10 in the quarterfinals
1991: Unranked Rutgers lost to No. 7 Maryland, 13-7 in the first round (12-team field)
2003: 7 Rutgers lost, hosting Georgetown, 9-6 in first round (16-team field)
2004: Unranked Rutgers lost to No. 6 Princeton, 12-4 in the first round (16-team field)
2021: Unranked Rutgers win over No. 8 Lehigh, 12-5 in first round (18-team field)
Rutgers lost to No. 1 UNC in the quarterfinals, 12-11 in the quarterfinals (OT)
2022: No. 6-seeded Rutgers wins Harvard, 19-9 in first round (18-team field)
“I grew up 10 minutes away and played a lot of high school games at that stadium. I know we’re going to have a lot of people from my town there, it should be a great environment.” – Nick Teresky (Native of Wantagh, NY)
“Saturday it’s going to be packed, it’s going to be loud. It’s going to be a lot of fans. We had a great turnout last week, now we hope to bring that to Hofstra and get as much support as possible. Even still , we just have to focus on ourselves and what Rutgers lacrosse does well to be successful.” Ethan Rall (native of Islip, NY)
“There’s Thunder Road!”
— Rutgers Men’s LAX (@RUmlax) May 18, 2022