PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Freshman Brooke Cantwell (Moorestown, N.J.) scored four goals and tallied an assist and sophomore Katy Lawrence (Plyesville, Md.) had four scores to lead Rutgers to a 19-6 win over Villanova in women's lacrosse action on a cold Wednesday night at Rutgers Stadium Complex. The win moved the Scarlet Knights to 2-0 on the year, the best start since the 1999 campaign.
Nine players in total accounted for either a goal or an assist in the contest. Sophomore Nina Frankoski (Maplewood, N.J.) added three goals and two assists. Senior Katie Batiuk (Jackson, N.J.) had two goals and one assist. Michelle Poole, Jamie Farewell and Jackie Lerner each had a goal. Poole and Farewell also recorded an assist each. Freshman Michelle Flanagan (Medford, N.J.) had two assists for Rutgers.
"We were trying to carry our momentum over from last week's game into tonight," head coach Laura Brand said after the game. "Our chemistry on attack is outstanding and has been this whole year. We do need to work on defense, slowing the ball down in transition."
The Scarlet Knights jumped out of the gate and took control early, pulling to a 3-0 lead less than five minutes into the game and a 5-1 advantage eight minutes in. Batiuk went into the upper corner on a free position with 25:25 on the clock to make it 3-0. After Villanova scored, Batiuk and Cantwell each recorded their respective second goals of the game for a 5-1 lead with 21 minutes to go in the half.
Christina Bahrs converted a free position for 'Nova only to see Rutgers respond with three unanswered goals. The first of the trio came when Batiuk took at shot and Wildcats goalkeeper Jessica Brozena blocked it. Lawrence hustled to scoop up the loose ball and put it into the lower corner before Brozena could recover.
The same scenario occurred with the Wildcats getting their third goal to cut the lead to 8-3 only to have Rutgers answer with three more. Sophomore Michelle Poole, this week's BIG EAST honor roll member, notched her first goal of the game to start the run off an assist from freshman Meghan Flanagan. Batiuk capped the spurt with a hat trick with 3:20 left in the half on a drive from the right into the crease.
Villanova scored two late first half goals to make it 11-5 at the break.
Rutgers erupted for four goals to start the second and build a comfortable cushion. Frankoski showed off some stellar feet work in taking a pass from Poole and depositing it between the pipes. The second-year player tallied two goals during the 4-0 run with Lawrence and Batiuk getting into the action.
A Villanova goal from Bahurs, her second of the game, made it 15-6 before Rutgers closed out the contest with four more strikes. The 19 goals are the most by an RU team since April 15, 2003 in a 21-2 win over Manhattan.
The Scarlet Knights will return to action on Saturday, March 3 entertaining the University of Delaware at 1 p.m. at RU Turf Field.