March 27, 2010

Rutgers Upsets Notre Dame in Big East Debut

from press release

Rutgers goalie Billy Olin sprawls to make one of his 11 saves Saturday in the Scarlet Knights' 10-8 upset of No. 13 Notre Dame.

© TD Paulius/Midwest Lacrosse Photography

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team opened the inaugural BIG EAST season in exciting fashion by upsetting No. 13 Notre Dame with an 10-8 victory at Arlotta Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The victory over a ranked opponent is the first for the Scarlet Knights since winning at No. 14 Hobart by a 5-4 score on March 21, 2009. RU has claimed 12 victories over ranked opponents during head coach Jim Stagnitta’s tenure.
 
The Scarlet Knights (5-2) are now winners of four of their last five contests. Notre Dame (5-3) still leads the all-time series by a 3-2 lead. The only other time Rutgers defeated Notre Dame was on March 21, 1998 when it won by a 13-12 score.
 
“I thought we really dominated play through most of the game today,” said Stagnitta. “As the game went on, I felt our guys started getting more and more confident. We certainly had a lot of opportunities and shot really well in that second quarter.
 
“It got a little harry in the fourth quarter. They (officials) called back one of our goals that probably would have put the nail in the coffin but our guys showed great character and hung in there. We played terrific defense today and it was a great way to open the BIG EAST season with win on the road against a team like Notre Dame.”
 
Senior midfielder Justin Pennington (Flemington, N.J.) was one of six Scarlet Knights to score against the Irish and had a game-high three goals. The hat trick is Pennington’s second of the season and seventh of his career. The Tewaaraton Watch List selection has tallied multiple points in all seven games this season and has notched a point in 16 straight games dating back to last season.
 
Senior co-captain Gerhard Buehning (Essex Fells, N.J.) and senior attackman Adam Goldberg (Fayetteville, N.Y.) each netted two goals. Freshman attackman Duncan Clancy (Princeton, N.J.), sophomore midfielder Michael Diehl (Flemington, N.J.) andjunior attackman Kory Kelly (Princeton, N.J.) each scored a goal.
 
Rutgers has scored 10-plus goals in four games this season.
 
Senior goalie Billy Olin (Horseheads, N.Y.) started his first game of the season and snatched 11 saves and two ground balls to secure the victory. With Olin’s 11 saves, it pushes his career total to 357 to put him in 10th place on the RU career saves list.
 
“Billy made some really big saves today,” said Stagnitta. “Rudy (Butler) is going to be a great goalie but sometimes as a freshman the pressure catches up to you. Billy has always been right there and today we needed a spark and he provided that. He gave great effort and had a great game today.”
 
The Irish got on the scoreboard first when midfielder Zach Brenneman scored the only goal of the first period at the 4:11 mark.
 
Pennington knotted the score at 1-1 a minute and half into the second quarter to put the score at a 1-1 mark.
 
After Notre Dame took the lead off a goal from midfielder Grant Krebbs, the Scarlet Knights went on a 4-0 run.
 
Buehning ignited RU’s second quarter scoring scurry by firing his 11th goal of the season at the 10:44 mark. Buehning has tallied a goal or assist in 16 straight games.
 
Three minutes later, Goldberg scored off an assist from senior midfielder Hunter Burnard (Binghamton, N.Y.) to give Rutgers a 3-2 advantage. The Scarlet Knights held onto to the lead the rest of the way.
 
With six minutes remaining in the first half, Pennington and Goldberg each scored their second goal over the next minute to catapult RU’s lead to 5-2.
 
Notre Dame midfielder David Earl sneaked a goal in with 45 seconds left on the clock as Rutgers went into halftime with a 5-3 lead.
 
Deihl and Kelly each scored in the third quarter and Earl posted his second goal to allow Rutgers to head into the final quarter with a 7-4 advantage.
 
Krebbs scored his second goal of the day off an assist from sophomore attackman Nicholas Beattie just 17 seconds in into the fourth period to cut RU’s lead to 7-5. 
 
Pennington capped off his hat trick at the 14:12 mark to push Rutgers’ advantage to 8-5.
 
The Irish continued to stay in contention as Beattie scored off an assist from senior attackman Neal Hicks to trim the Scarlet Knights’ advantage to 8-6.
 
With 11:37 remaining in the BIG EAST showdown, Kelly dished the ball to Buehning and the senior co-captain zipped it in the back of the net to put RU ahead 9-6.   
 
Rutgers went up 10-6 when Clancy scored his third goal of his rookie campaign at the 9:13 mark.
 
Notre Dame was able to get two more points on the scoreboard but it wasn’t enough as Rutgers captured the BIG EAST opener victory.
 
Next up, Rutgers will host its first BIG EAST home game when it welcomes St. John’s to Yurcak Field on April 3 at 3 p.m.


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