Manhattan vs. Rutgers
February 18, 2009
The Game Story:
RIVERDALE, N.Y. – Sophomore Kory Kelly (Princeton, N.J.) tallied a team-high three goals and freshman Mike Diehl (Flemington, N.J.) scored twice and added an assist as the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team picked up its first win of the 2009 season with an 11-7 victory over Manhattan at Gaelic Park Wednesday afternoon.

Rutgers (1-1) used a six-goal effort in the third quarter to improve to 9-0 all-time against Manhattan (0-1). Junior midfielder Justin Pennington (Flemington, N.J.) scored his third goal of the season and dished out two assists, all in the decisive third quarter.

“I thought that we did a good job of persevering and playing through tough weather conditions and we’re happy to come away with a road win,” said head coach Jim Stagnitta. “We regrouped and came together to play a strong second half. Offensively we executed despite the conditions and we were able to accomplish what we set out to do.”

Rutgers sprinted out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter behind a goal and an assist from Diehl. Seniors Mike Dugan (Summit, N.J) and Chris O’Dougherty (Kinnelon, N.J.) also notched goals for the Scarlet Knights during the run. Manhattan matched RU’s dominance in the first quarter though with three goals of its own in the second. Joe Variano and Angelo Marrano tallied goals just 34 seconds apart and the Jaspers tied the game entering intermission on a Sal Perrotto score with just over a minute remaining in the half.

Perrotto scored his second straight goal to start the second half and give the Jaspers their first lead of the game at 4-3. Diehl would halt the 4-0 Manhattan run as he tallied his second score of the game and the first of six RU goals in the third quarter. Kelly posted two goals, including a man-up strike, during the 6-2 RU run that gave the Scarlet Knights a 9-6 advantage at the end of the third quarter. Brendan Porter (Maplewood, N.J.) and Jeff Rommel (Syracuse, N.Y.) each scored their first goals of the season in the quarter.

Justin Jensen scored for Manhattan two minutes into the fourth quarter to cut the RU lead to two (9-7), but the Scarlet Knights would seal the victory with back-to-back goals from Brian Shemesh (Hillsborough, N.J.) and Kelly.

Scarlet Knights goalie Billy Olin (Horseheads, N.Y.) recorded eight saves in his first start of the season, while John Geagan tallied five saves for the Jaspers.

Rutgers will continue its four-game road swing next at No. 9/11 UMBC on Feb. 21. The Scarlet Knights topped the Retrievers last season, 13-4, at RU Turf Field. UMBC is one of three teams on RU’s schedule that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2008. Game time is set for 1 p.m.