Stingy Defense Allows Rutgers to Trip No. 20 Penn
from press release
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Led by a stingy defensive effort and three points from junior midfielder Katrina Martinelli (Moorestown, N.J.), Rutgers women's lacrosse edged No. 20 Penn, 6-5, Wednesday afternoon at the RU Turf Field.
"This was a great win for our program," said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. "I think our defense did a good job keeping their composure. Penn is a big, fast team. Our defense did a good job adjusting and dropping back when they had to. We will take a little time to celebrate this win and then we will get our minds back in check for Saturday."
As Rutgers (4-1) held a two-goal lead with 12 minutes remaining, Penn (0-3) continued to pressure the Scarlet Knights, closing within one twice. After a Quaker goal at the 1:03 mark, the RU defense came up strong, as Jenny Vlahos (Manhasset, N.Y.) caused a turnover and captured the ground ball to seal the RU win.
Penn started the scoring with a free position shot just two minutes into the game. Rutgers answered, as Martinelli converted her own eight-meter attempt to knot the contest at 1-1.
Martinelli came up with a momentum-swinging goal just before the half, dodging past a defender and burying a shot just four seconds before halftime, giving RU the 2-1 advantage heading into the break.
UPenn fought back, scoring the next two goals to take a 3-2 lead before Rutgers spurted off three-straight scores. Junior attack Megan Clements (Pennington, N.J.) started the run with a free position goal. Martinelli dished off to a cutting Halley Barnes (Garnet Valley, Pa.) for the second and Chrissy Schreiber (East Meadow, N.Y.) connected on a FPS to give RU a 5-3 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Senior captain Lily Kalata (Nesconset, N.Y.) stopped five shots in the win.
The Scarlet Knights head to Newark, Del., to face Delaware on Saturday, March 9. Game time is set for 3 p.m.