PISCATAWAY, N.J. – No. 9 Rutgers (7-3, 0-1 Big Ten) men’s lacrosse got four goals from Jules Heningburg, but were edged by No. 6 Johns Hopkins (7-2, 1-0) as the Blue Jays scored the final goal of the game with 14 seconds remaining in a 13-12 victory in the Big Ten opener for both teams. JHU won their sixth straight game, snapping Rutgers’ three-game winning streak.
Heningburg led the RU offense with five points, while Kieran Mullins added four (one goal and three assists). Christian Mazzone and Tommy Coyne each scored two goals. Max Edelmann made 10 saves in between the pipes.
Joe Francisco was 15-of-26 on faceoffs, winning 58 percent of his draws while matched up against Hopkins’ Hunter Moreland, who entered the game among the nation’s leaders at 65.8 percent. Garrett Michaeli and Christian Scarpello topped team with four ground balls.
“I thought we played hard all night long,” head coach Brian Brecht said. “I thought we prepared well. Our coaching staff did a great job getting the guys ready to play a top-10 game. It’s a sixty-minute game. It’s a game of runs. I thought we couldn’t capitalize on a bit of a run we were starting ourselves to pull away. You have to every minute of that sixty-minute game. Hopkins probably made one or two more plays than we do, and that’s the difference.”
Rutgers held a 9-6 lead late in the third quarter, but Hopkins answered with the next four goals. RU evened the game at 10-10 with Heningburg’s fourth score, then fell behind 12-10. Michaeli ran the entire field to score in transition, then Coyne buried one to tie the game with 3:05 to play.
With 1:06 remaining, Hopkins called timeout with possession. The shot clocked was turned on, and with it winding down, Kyle Marr scored with 14 seconds remaining to make the score 13-12. RU won the game’s final possession, but did not have enough time to get a clean look at an equalizer.
“In a one-goal game, every turnover is magnified,” Brecht said. “We had goals in transition, we had a goal off an extra-man situation, we had goals off of six on six situations. I thought we scored and played well in all different situations. We probably needed to make just one more play at the end. We didn’t do that.”
For the game, JHU outshout Rutgers 42-29. The home team won the ground ball battle 31-29.
“They’re a good team. They play good team defense,” Heningburg said. “We just have to learn from this one. We’re a team that learns from our mistakes. We have to go back and look at the film and learn from this one and then put it behind us. At the end of the day, you have to keep moving forward.”
With the loss, RU is 19-2 in its last 21 home games. Both of those losses came to top-10 teams, while they defeated nine ranked teams in that span.
“We have to move forward,” Mullins said. “This one came down to the wire, it was a great game from both teams. We’ll see what we can improve on going forward. When you go out on the field, you’re either going to win or lose. Someone has to lose. You need to deal with that, see what mistakes you made, and learn from it. You have to move on. There’s a lot of great teams in the Big Ten, so you have to prepare and get ready for the next one.”