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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #37 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers finished below .500 for the first time since 2015.

Rich Graesle / Rutgers Athletics

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review!

#37 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Conference: Big Ten
2019 Record: 7-8 (2-3 in Big Ten)
Postseason: Lost to Penn State in Big Ten Semifinals
Head coach: Brian Brecht (8th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Adam Charalambides (47)
Assists: Kieran Mullins (37)
Points: Adam Charalambides (61)
Faceoffs: Connor Harryman (77-of-153; 50.3%)
Ground balls: Garrett Michaeli (48)
Caused turnovers: Kyle Pless (24)
Goals against average: Max Edelmann (11.62 GAA)
Save percentage: Max Edelmann (55.8%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: G Max Edelmann (11.62 GAA, 55.8% SV %, 25 GBs, 5 CTs), D Kyle Pless (24 CTs, 35 GBs, 25% FOs, 1 G, 1 A), LSM Garrett Michaeli (20 CTs, 48 GBs, 1 G, 3 As), M Casey Rose (11 Gs, 1 A, 11 GBs, 1 CT), SSDM Mark Christiano (2 CTs, 13 GBs, 3 As), FOGO Connor Harryman (50.3% FOs, 41 GBs, 1 CT), FOGO Alex Schoen (45.5% FOs, 34 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 21 of 276 points (7.6%)
Senior starts lost: 43 of 150 (28.7%)

Season Summary

For the last few seasons, Rutgers has been the team that fell just short of reaching the NCAA Tournament. They’ve usually been one of the first teams outside the postseason picture and haven’t taken that next step forward.

You could argue that 2019 was a small step in the opposite direction, finishing with a 7-8 record and only one top 20 victory after recording four in each of the last two seasons.

The Scarlet Knights began the season with two wins over Lafayette and St. John’s, the latter of which saw Rutgers score the final seven goals after trailing by three in the final quarter. Both games saw Ben Pounds in goal as usual starter Max Edelmann dealt with an injury. He played like his normal self, stopping 17 shots on goal in his first game against Army West Point, but Rutgers lost by one. The Scarlet Knights were then outdueled by Pat Spencer, Jacob Stover, and Loyola the following week.

After a low-scoring victory over Fairfield, Rutgers had their most thrilling victory of the season with a 9-8 win over in-state rival Princeton to capture the Meistrell Cup. Edelmann won the game with 18 saves, including a big stop with six seconds left to secure the game. Next came Lehigh and Syracuse, two ranked teams that would have been great victories on their resume. They carried leads in the fourth quarter in both games, but the Mountain Hawks and Orange went on runs to end the game and take the win. The Scarlet Knights finished nonconference play with a win over Hofstra.

Big Ten play began with a road game in Columbus, Ohio against Ohio State. The Buckeyes were coming off an overtime victory against Notre Dame and were the only undefeated team left in the country. Rutgers took a big lead in the opening quarter and never looked back, upsetting the Buckeyes for their first win over a ranked team on the year.

The Scarlet Knights hoped that would carry over for the remainder of the season with Johns Hopkins and Maryland on deck. A slow start proved costly against the Blue Jays, as comeback efforts weren’t enough in a two-goal defeat. Against the Terrapins, Rutgers led by three at halftime and had another one-goal lead in the fourth quarter. But Maryland found the back of the net five straight times en route to a three-goal victory.After beating Michigan, Rutgers found themselves with yet another fourth quarter one-goal lead against Penn State, but the Nittany Lions found a way to come back and steal the game. The two teams met a few days later in the Big Ten Tournament, which saw Penn State win big.

One of the bigger storylines surrounding Rutgers was the long-awaited return of Adam Charalambides, who missed the previous two seasons due to injuries. He led the team with 47 goals and 61 points, one point more than teammate Kieran Mullins. The third starter was usually either Ryan Gallagher and Tommy Coyne. Both of them also played and started at midfield, typically dependent on who was where. David Sprock and Casey Rose also started up top, with Owen Mead, Mark Schachte, and Michael Sanguinetti other role players on offense.

Senior Kyle Pless anchored a close defense that also included Garrett Bullett and Jack Thompson, with Jack Stahanczyk starting the early part of the season instead of Thompson. Garrett Michaeli was key as a long stick midfielder and was joined by Ethan Rall at the position. Mark Christiano, Robert Marron, Zack Franckowiak, and Cole Daninger as a good quartet of short stick midfielders. Seniors Connor Harryman and Alex Schoen split the majority of the faceoffs, with Harryman battling injuries throughout the year. Michael Ott took 68 draws as well.

Looking Ahead

Rutgers loses the winningest senior class in program history, but they do return a lot of talent.

The Scarlet Knights return their top six point scorers (Charalambides, Mullins, Gallagher, Coyne, Mead, and Sprock) and 13 players with starting experience. The senior class only scored 21 points, which was eighth fewest in Division I. Rutgers will also be one of nine D1 teams that return a pair of 60-plus point scorers in Charalambides and Mullins. Also look for Joe Peterson and Brennan Kamish to take steps forward as quality depth players.

The team’s biggest holes to fill will be on the defensive side of the ball. Pless departs at close defense, Michaeli departs at LSM, and Christiano leaves at SSDM. All three have good replacements at that position in Stahanczyk, Rall, and a bevy of shorties. Ben Pounds is a early candidate to take over for Edelmann in goal, while the same goes for Ott at the faceoff X.

Even though the team finished below .500, the Scarlet Knights were still a very competitive team for 60 minutes. They’re still looking to take that next step as a program, and there’s hope that it can happen in the next year or two.


How many wins will Rutgers get in 2020?

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