PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 20, 2014) – Riding a four-game win streak, the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team heads to No. 5/5 Denver to take on the Pioneers in Denver, Colo., on Saturday, March 22 at 3 pm. ET. The Scarlet Knights are 6-2, their best start to a season since the 2004 team also started 6-2.
Record: 6-2, 1-0 BIG EAST
Ranking: RV/RV (USILA Coaches/IL Media)
Head Coach: Brian Brecht (Springfield, ‘95)
Career Record: 79-71 (10th season)
Record at RU: 14-22 (Third season)
Goals: Scott Klimchak - 24
Assists: Scott Bieda - 9
Points: Scott Klimchak - 27
GBs: Joseph Nardella - 61
Saves: Kris Alleyne – 89
Record: 6-2, 0-0 BIG EAST
Ranking: 5/5 (USILA Coaches/IL Media)
Head Coach: Bill Tierney (Cortland State, ‘73)
Career Record: 328-115 (30th season)
Record at Denver: 66-22 (Fifth season)
Goals: Zach Miller - 20
Assists: Jeremy Noble - 12
Points: Zach Miller - 28
GBs: Jeremy Noble - 24
Saves: Jamie Faus – 45
SCOUTING THE DENVER PIONEERS
Denver comes into the contest ranked No. 5 in both major polls. The Pioneers are on a three-game winning streak, highlighted by victories over No. 8 Notre Dame (10-7) on March 9 and No. 7 Penn State (15-11) on March 10. Their only losses came at then-No. 1 Duke (Feb. 15) and No. 20 Penn (March 1).
Offensively, freshman Zach Miller leads DU with 20 goals and 28 points. M Jeremy Noble has totaled a team-high 12 assists, 24 ground balls and nine caused turnovers. Noble and sophomore A Wesley Berg were each named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List on Feb. 17 and both were 2013 USILA All-Americans. The squad ranks 13th in the nation in scoring offense (12.13).
Defensively, goalkeepers Ryan LaPlante and Jamie Faus split time. LaPlante has started six of the eight games, but Faus holds an 8.05 goals against average and a .577 save percentage.
Bill Tierney is in his fifth season at the head coach.
Rutgers holds a 1-0 record all-time vs. the Pioneers. The only meeting between the two schools came in 1999, when the Scarlet Knights picked up a 17-4 victory.
Rutgers junior FO Joe Nardella (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Denver junior M Sean Cannizzaro each attended Cazenovia HS. RU sophomore D Bryan Phillips (Somers Point, N.J.) and DU GK Joey Gigantiello each attended St. Augustine Prep.
TEAM SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
- The 105 goals for RU in the first eight games of the season are the most for the squad through the first eight games of the season since the 1998 team posted 115.
- RU has started the season 6-2, its best start since the 2004 team also started 6-2. The 2004 squad finished the year 8-6.
- As a team, RU scooped 41 ground balls, its most since recording 44 at St. John’s (March 16, 2013).
- The 20 goals for the Scarlet Knights were the most since a 20-10 win over Wagner on Feb. 19 last season.
- The 15-goal victory for RU was its largest margin since downing Wagner on the road, 24-4, on Feb. 21, 2010.
- The 46 shots for Rutgers were the most since the squad tallied 54 at St. John’s on March 16, 2013.
- RU has scored 10 or more goals in each of its first three games this season. The last time the Scarlet Knights started the season with three-straight 10 or more goal performances was in 2011, when the squad did it in each of the first four games.
- RU held Stony Brook’s Brody Eastwood to just one goal. He came in averaging 4.33/game, which ranked second in the nation.
- The win marked the first for Rutgers over a ranked opponent since downing No. 11 Notre Dame, 10-8, on March 27, 2010.
- The Scarlet Knights won an overtime game for the first time since winning 8-7 at Providence on March 31, 2012.
- Rutgers beat Army for the first time since a 10-9 win on March 5, 2007.
- RU scored nine goals, the most scored against Army this season. The previous most was six by Lafayette and UMass.
- Coming in, Army ranked first in the nation in scoring defense, allowing an average of 5.00 goals per game.
- The 55 shots for the Scarlet Knights were the most since the squad recorded 55 at Wagner on Feb. 21, 2010.
- The four goals allowed by the Scarlet Knights were the fewest since letting up just one in an 11-1 victory at St. Joseph’s on March 5, 2011.
- Rutgers won its BIG EAST opener for the first time since it downed Notre Dame, 10-8, on March 27, 2010.
- Rutgers collected a season-high 42 ground balls, its most since scooping 44 at St. John’s on March 16, 2013.
- Junior Joe Nardella put together the fifth-best 1.000 percent face-off performance in NCAA Division I history and the best all-time in the BIG EAST.
RU DEFEATS RICHMOND, 10-7
Behind a dominant 18-of-18 performance at the faceoff “X” by junior FO Joe Nardella (Cazenovia, N.Y.), the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team defeated Richmond, 10-7, at High Point Solutions Stadium on March 17. Redshirt senior A Scott Klimchak (Clark, N.J.) added four goals and one assist to pace RU on the offensive end.
KLIMCHAK IS BACK
Redshirt senior A Scott Klimchak (Clark, N.J.) has scored three or more goals in six of the eight games this season, tying his career-high with five goals in the opener vs. Manhattan (Feb. 8). He ranked 16th in the nation (through March 16) in goals/game and is currently eighth on RU’s career goals list with 110. Klimchak’s 23-game point scoring streak, dating back to April 14, 2012, with 57-11-68 GAP in the span, ended vs. Monmouth on March 8.
RU Career Goals List
5. Ryan O’Shea (1992-95) 128
6. Jack Daut (1955-57) 113
7. Ed Trabulsy (1984-87) 112
8. Scott Klimchak (2010-14) 110
Junior FO Joe Nardella (Cazenovia, N.Y.) has won an impressive 92-of-105 face-offs (.876 percent) this season. Most recently vs. Richmond, he won 18-of-18 face-offs, the fifth-best 1.000 percent performance in NCAA DI history. His .876 win percentage leads the nation. He also collected a career-high 17 ground balls vs. Manhattan (Feb. 8), the most for a DI player this season. He averages 10.17 ground balls per game, second in the BIG EAST.
TRASOLINI ON A TEAR
Freshman A Christian Trasolini (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) has made an impact this season, sitting second on the team with 13 goals and 20 points. Against Providence on March 15, he posted a career-high six points on three goals and three assists, earning BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition.
SAVE-ING THE DAY
Sophomore GK Kris Alleyne (New City, N.Y.) has 89 saves in eight games this season with a .593 save percentage. He totaled 21 saves at Virginia (Feb. 22), the most for a DI player this season. It marked the fourth time in his career he had 20 or more saves in a game and the first time this season. He ranks 11th in the nation in save percentage (through March 16).
In his first career start, freshman A Connor Murphy (Clifton, Va.) scored four goals and added three assists vs. Monmouth (March 8). His seven points were the most for a Scarlet Knight since Scott Klimchak posted seven against Wagner on Feb. 18, 2011. He earned the Rutgers men’s lacrosse Player of the Week for his performance and was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on March 10. He followed that up with four points (2g, 2a) at Providence (March 15). He has 19 points this season, third on the team.
CONTINO CAUSING CHAOS
Senior D Nick Contino (Branchburg, N.J.) has been impressive defensively this season, leading the squad with 10 CTs. At Stony Brook (March 1), he shut down the Seawolves’ Brody Eastwood, who was previously ranked No. 2 in the country with 4.33 goals per game. At No. 20 Army (March 4), he helped hold Tewaaraton Award Watch List member John Glesener to just one goal. At Providence, he caused a season-high three turnovers.
Junior M Rich Rambo (Abington, Pa.) had a career-day at Stony Brook (March 1), tallying personal-bests in goals (3), points (4) and ground balls (4). He was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on March 3 for his efforts. He earned Rutgers Player of the Game honors for his performance against the Seawolves.
Ten Rutgers freshmen have seen action this season, including eight starts by freshman A Christian Trasolini (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), two by D Chris Groel (Los Angeles, Calif.) and one by A Connor Murphy (Clifton, Va.). Trasolini is second on the team in goals (13) and points (20), while Murphy is third with 11 goals and 19 points.
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