PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Sophomore Kory Kelly (Princeton, N.J.) tallied his third hat trick of the season, but No. 5 Princeton used a big second half run en route to defeating the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team, 13-6, at Yurcak Field on Tuesday evening.
Kelly has registered a team-high 15 goals on the year and has five games in which he has scored at least two goals. The sophomore’s effort wasn’t enough though as the Tigers used an 8-2 second half spurt to claim their second straight victory.
Rutgers, which has played three straight ranked opponents, falls to 2-6 on the year. The Tigers improve to 6-1.
“We turned the ball over an awful lot in the second half,” said head coach Jim Stagnitta. “It was a one-goal game at the half and we came out and gave them the ball three of the first five possessions. This was a snapshot of our season, six goals on 42 shots. We dominated aspects of the game, but when they had the ball, they were able to do things.”
After Princeton sprinted out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals from Rich Sgalardi, Rutgers was able to tie the game with back-to-back strikes from Gerhard Buehning (Essex Fells, N.J.) and Mike Dugan (Summit, N.J.). The Tigers reclaimed their two-goal advantage with two scores in the final four minutes of the opening quarter.
Kelly netted his first goal of the day off a pass from Justin Pennington (Flemington, N.J.) to cut the Princeton advantage to 4-3 at the 6:08 mark of the second quarter. The teams traded goals to end the half and the Tigers held a 5-4 edge at the intermission.
Although being outshot for the entire game, Princeton took advantage of its opportunities. The Tigers netted eight goals in the second half on only 11 shots. A Kelly goal in the third quarter would cut the Princeton lead to 7-5, but back-to-back Tigers strikes would build the Princeton advantage to 9-5 entering the final quarter.
Pennington netted his seventh goal of the season three minutes into the fourth, but RU would get no closer than three goals the remainder of the game. The Tigers ended the game on a 4-0 run to seal the win.
Junior goalkeeper Billy Olin (Horseheads, N.Y.), the current ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week, left the game early in the second period with an injury.
Rutgers outshot Princeton 42-23 and sophomore Chris Mattes (Westfield, N.J.) won 16 of 23 face-off’s.
Rutgers will return to ECAC play on Saturday, March 28 as the Scarlet Knights travel to St. John’s. Game time is set for 12 noon.