PISCATAWAY, NJ - The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team exploded for five goals in the final six minutes, but Northwestern scored the game-winning tally with 57 seconds remaining to squeak past the Scarlet Knights, 14-13, in the season opener on Saturday at the RU Stadium Complex.
Rutgers found itself down 8-1 midway through the opening half and entered halftime trailing, 9-3. The Scarlet Knights rebounded in the second frame, outscoring Northwestern, 10-5, in the half, including five straight goals with just over six minutes left in the game.
Freshman Katie Batiuk (Jackson, NJ) and senior Cristina Curiale (Summit, NJ) had two goals a piece with sophomore Emily Widrick (Carthage, NY) adding another during the run. Batiuk capped the run, taking a Lisa Savage (Cortlandt Manor, NY) pass and putting past NU goalie Ashley Gersuk with 2:08 remaining to tie the game at 13-13. The Wildcats, who had been held scoreless for more than eight minutes, finally responded with the game-winner as Lindsey Munday netted the deciding score with 57 seconds on the clock.
Sophomore Jackie Greenbaum (Ellicott City, MD) recorded her first career start in goal for the Scarlet Knights on Saturday. Her time in net would be short-lived, however, as Northwestern scored eight of the game’s first nine goals. Junior Lyndsey Feldman (Ft. Myers, FL), a preseason All-BIG EAST selection, finished the final 42:36 of the game in goal, registering three saves.
Gersuk played the entire game for Northwestern, making five stops on 18 shots.
Curiale finished the game with a team-best four goals, while Batiuk, a high school All-American last season out of Jackson Memorial High School, scored three goals and added an assist in her Scarlet Knight debut.
Senior Cali Wojdyla (Liverpool, NY) sparked a three-goal RU run to open the second half, scoring an unassisted goal 4:31 into the second period. Batiuk and junior Lindsay Rising (Malvern, PA) added a goal a piece during the spurt to pull Rutgers within three goals at 9-6 early in the second half.
RU out-shot Northwestern, 26-25, while the Wildcats held a 10-7 advantage in groundballs.
Rutgers returns to action on Tuesday, March 2, when the Scarlet Knights travel to Hofstra to take on the Pride at 4 p.m.