Rutgers men’s lacrosse ascended last week with its historic upset over No. 9 Johns Hopkins in dominant fashion.
But for head coach Brian Brecht and his Scarlet Knights to prove their ascension belongs on the main stage, the battle continues Sunday when Michigan comes to High Point Solutions Stadium with postseason implications.
Rutgers (8-2, 5-0) sits in the driver’s seat in conference play but the Wolverines are coiled and ready to strike.
“It’s a team that beat us last year, so certainly there’s a sense of urgency in practice this week and attention to detail to understand our opponent,” Brecht said. “… You’re only as good as your last game. The Hopkins game was a great win and the guys have earned that and I’m excited for them and excited for our alumni.”
The Johns Hopkins victory came with a calculated attack in the crease, and one that will continue with one of the top attack units in the game.
Adam Charalambides, a freshman of the year candidate, and Scott Bieda both reeled in awards after the victory over Hopkins and sophomore Jules Heningburg rounds out the unit with 36 points of his own through 10 games.
“Players make plays,” Brecht said. “The execution across the board offensively, defensively, allowed us to win a game like we did on Saturday. … That attack unit has been outstanding for us all year.
“They complement each other well. They each have their own skillsets and abilities and experiences and it’s good to see the chemistry and the meshing of the skill sets to be the prolific unit that they’ve been so far.”
Excitement is on the rise for the Brecht era at Rutgers, and the Scarlet Knights hope for equally strong home crowds tomorrow against Michigan and April 22 for the Friendship Cup against Penn State.
“I think you saw that with 3,600 fans that were here for the Hopkins game [last week], the stadium was an exciting atmosphere,” Brecht said. “We had a lot of youth and high-school players and parents of those players on our campus. When you start to see what you want for that next phase of your life with the academics and Big Ten lacrosse here at Rutgers there’s no need for anyone in the state to go elsewhere.”