Offseason Look In: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The leaves are turning colors, the air is cooling, so you know what that means…it is time for fall lacrosse. Freshmen have had time to adjust to their surroundings and coaches get to see which of their players have improved and how their team may look come the spring time. With the fall season underway here is a look at Rutgers as it prepares itself for the 2015 season.

Rutgers loses three of their top nine offensive threats to graduation including leading point scorer Scott Klimchak. Along with Klimchak they lose the team’s fourth and sixth leading scorer in Anthony Terranova and Nicholas Depaolera who had 36 and 20 points each. The good news though is that their next best point scorers are a sophomore and junior respectively in Scott Bieda and Christian Trasolini. They will both provide great threats from both attack and at the midfield.

On the defensive end, the team returns junior goaltender Kris Alleyne but they do lose senior defensemen Nick Contino, who was a second team All-Big East honoree last season and Andrew Parrilla. Both players started every game on defense. The good news is that the team adds Team USA member Jake Bernhardt to the coaching staff and he will help coach up the young defenseman that are expected to return and fight for playing time. Alleyne could also see competition from fellow classmate Jake Andersen as he started four games while playing in eight of them while Alleyne started 12 of 13 games.

The one strength on the Scarlet Knight roster is the return of senior faceoffman Joseph Nardella who won 63.2 percent of his faceoffs which ranked him fifth in the nation.

For the fall, the Scarlet Knights will have a nice warm up game against Keio University, a school from Tokyo, Japan before going on the road the following weekend for a scrimmage at UMass on October 11. Rutgers and UMass played each other in Baltimore, MD last year during a four-team scrummage at Johns Hopkins which also featured Fairfield.

Finally, Rutgers adds 14 freshman this season which includes six players who have received US Lacrosse All-America honors, including D Alex Bronzo (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), A Jules Heningburg (Maplewood, N.J.), GK Alex Larson (Scottsdale, Ariz.), D Michael Rexrode (Leesburg, Va.), M Chad Tolliver (Sandy Spring, Ga.) and A Connor Vercruysse (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.).

As Rutgers gets ready for their first season in the Big Ten this year, it will be interesting to see how the team replaces some key seniors and how quickly their youngest players can grow up as they get ready to face nationally ranked foes in Maryland, Johns Hopkins, Ohio State and Penn State.