We’re breaking down each and every NCAA D1 team one by one to get prepped for the rapidly approaching season. Welcome back to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We move another spot down the list and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, located in Piscataway, NJ, are up for Preview!
Rutgers went 6-9 in 2012, playing 5 Top 20 teams, and losing each of those games (Duke, Notre Dame, Villanova, Princeton, and Syracuse). Rutgers also dropped games to UMBC, Army, St. John’s, and Georgetown. Rutgers defeated Air Force, Wagner, Lafayette, Marist, Providence, and Michigan. All six of their wins came by 4 goals or less, and 3 were by 1 goal.
2013 sees Rutgers play a similar schedule, as they face Manhattan, Air Force, Wagner, Stony Brook, UMBC, Holy Cross, Army, their Big East opponents, Princeton, and Duke. It’s a similar slate of games, so how will second year Head Coach, Brian Brecht, and the Scarlet Knights perform?
In my last preview, I asked if any other team in D1 lacrosse used three goalies, like Robert Morris did in 2012, and exactly ONE Preview later, I got my answer. Rutgers played three different guys in net last year, and each started at least three games. Of the three, Rudy Butler and Steven Lusby both return, and they are joined by two freshman on the roster. Maybe this year we’ll see four guys split time?
Whoever ends up playing in goal will definitely have some support on defense. Nick Contino, Chris Zybrick, and Andrew Parilla all return with plenty of experience from last year. Contino can also be a threat to put a couple points on the board. Rutgers has 14 OTHER poles on the roster from which to find 2 or 3 more guys.
Will Mangan is gone, but Nick DePaolera and Scott Klimchak both return. Brian Goss, Clancy Duncan, and Anthony Terranova will add to Rutgers’ offensive production, and hopefully a couple of their younger, bigger midfielders can step up and play immediately. The Scarlet Knights definitely have a couple of holes to fill from graduation on O. Joseph Nardella returns to take face offs, after winning just under 53% last year.
It can take time for any Head Coach to change a D1 program, and start racking up serious wins. Rutgers did well in 2012 to go 6-9, but I don’t see anything that puts them over that mark this year. Their defense should be improved, but I have concerns about their depth on offense. They can still win close games and surprise some folks here and there, but I wouldn’t pick them to go better than .500 just yet.
Or should I?
Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mercer, Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s, Navy, UNC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UPenn, Penn State, Princeton, Providence, and Quinnipiac!