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Shane Knobloch succeeded in 2024 despite being at the top of opposing scouting reports.

NCAA Rewind: Lack of Offensive Punch Doomed Rutgers in 2024

June 17, 2024
Patrick Stevens
Rich Barnes

Before USA Lacrosse Magazine looks ahead to what’s to come in 2025 — look out for our NCAA Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings later this summer — our team of staff and contributors decided it was worth taking a last look at the 2024 college lacrosse season.

To do that, we’re taking a journey through 30 of the top teams in men’s and women’s lacrosse to see what went right, what went wrong and how we should feel about the season.


USA Lacrosse preseason/final ranking: 15/unranked
2024 record: 7-7 (1-4 Big Ten)

What went right: Goalie Cardin Stoller (.541 save percentage) came off a redshirt year to win the Big Ten’s freshman of the year award. The Scarlet Knights’ knowns on offense — midfielder Shane Knobloch (29 goals, 11 assists) and attackman Ross Scott (20 goals, 25 assists) — had fine years, even though they were again at the top of every scouting report. 

Attackman Colin Kurdyla (20 goals, 10 assists) showed promise as a future offensive centerpiece as a freshman. Transfers Cole Brams (Utah) and Matt Soutar (Monmouth) helped Rutgers remain competitive on faceoffs.

What went wrong: For the second year in a row, the Scarlet Knights just didn’t have enough offensive punch. Rutgers has slipped from 14.47 goals per game when it reached the NCAA semifinals in 2022 to 12.36 in 2023 and 10.43 this spring. 

Its shooting percentage has dipped from .307 to .270 to .260 in that span. And it didn’t muster more than 10 goals in any of its final eight games as it tumbled from a 5-1 start back to .500 and a Big Ten quarterfinal exit.

Season highlight: Rutgers had a narrow path to success against high-end opponents, and it followed it better in a 9-7 triumph at Michigan on April 7 than at any other time. The Scarlet Knights’ stars were stars — Scott and Knobloch both had four-point nights — and Stoller made 19 saves in front of a defense that had one of its best days. Most importantly, a Rutgers team not suited to erase big deficits never played from behind.

Verdict: Each of Rutgers’ losses came by at least five goals, so there isn’t a way to spin this season as one where a few bad breaks turned a tournament team into one that finished at .500. And with Knobloch and Scott out of eligibility, pretty much all of the significant contributors from the final four team of two years ago are gone. 

It should be curious to see how the Scarlet Knights regroup heading into 2025.