Rutgers vs. Umbc
February 24, 2008
The Game Story:
PISCATAWAY, N.J. The Rutgers men's lacrosse team kicked off the 2008 season with a dominating 13-4 victory over No. 19 UMBC at the RU Turf Field Sunday afternoon. Junior Mike Dugan (Summit, N.J.) and freshman Kory Kelly (Princeton, N.J.) each tallied three goals to pace the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers (1-0), which has won its last six season openers, also got major contributions from sophomore Gerhard Buehning (Essex Falls, N.J.) who posted two goals and led the team with two assists.

UMBC, which lost its season opener to No. 13 Delaware, drops to 0-2 on the season after qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2007. The Retrievers were led by Ryan Smith, who tallied his fourth goal of the season.

The Scarlet Knights would take control early, as Buehning scored both of his goals during a 4-0 RU run to start the game. Christian Daly got UMBC on the board with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter, but Dugan's second goal of the first quarter would give RU a 5-1 edge at the end of the quarter.

Kelly's first goal of the game at the 8:51 mark in the second quarter would increase RU's advantage to 6-1. After a Retrievers tally, Dugan and sophomore Justin Pennington (Flemington, N.J.) each scored to send the Scarlet Knights into the intermission up 8-2.

A potent RU attack wouldn't let up in the second half as the Scarlet Knights scored the first two goals of the third quarter and five of the games next six goals to take their largest lead of the game at 13-3. A late goal by UMBC's Kyle Wimer would cut RU's final advantage to 13-4.

The Scarlet Knights now own an 8-4 all-time record against UMBC, including winning the last two contests between the squads.

Sophomore goalkeeper Billy Olen (Horseheads, N.Y.) looked impressive in goal as he made 17 saves on the afternoon, just one shy of his season-high in 2007.

Rutgers will return home next Saturday to take on Delaware at the RU Turf Field. The Blue Hens, who reached the NCAA Final Four last season, are off to a 2-0 start. Game time is set for 1 p.m.


Head Coach Jim Stagnitta:

On Starting The Season With A Win:

"I think it's important that we start the season well. I think we came off a pretty good stretch at the end of last year, although we're still pretty young. We didn't get out to a great start last year and I think a lot of that had to do with our youth, so it was important that we started this season the right way. We played pretty well in our scrimmage and the kids have been working extremely hard, so I think when you put in as much time as we have, if you can get some positive reinforcement by defeating a team that was in the tournament last year I think that's pretty good."

On How The Offense Played:

"We weren't sure how we were going to start offensively. We knew we would be pretty good defensively because we returned everyone, but we kind of found ourselves offensively in the scrimmages last week and in practice. We're not always that pretty, but we have athletes, and they keep pushing the ball and putting pressure on people. I think we caught them off guard early by putting so much pressure on them."

On Picking Up A Win Over A Ranked Opponent:

"Coming into this game our team was confident. They felt like they were going to win. I don't think at any point during the game they said 'wow,' because even though they are sophomores they played a lot last year, in big games, including four one-goal games down the stretch. It's nice to put a stamp on the work that they have put in, and obviously we don't know how this 13-game season will end, but it's a nice way to start and a nice win to build on."