Rutgers, which registered just four goals in the previous five contests this season, reached the five-goal mark for the first time since beating Monmouth, 5-1, on October 10 last year. The five goals were also the most in a league game since Rutgers shut out West Virginia, 8-0, on September 16, 2000.
Castellanos, who grew up in Philadelphia and played club ball nearby for FC Delco, starred in his homecoming with the best single-game effort of the season for the Scarlet Knights. He set up the game’s first goal, which came at the 22:41 mark from Guy Abrahamson (Livingston, NJ), and less than five minutes later (27:05), assisting on a goal by freshman Steve Loverso (Warwick, NY).
Leading 2-0, Castellanos drilled a blocked shot by Rory Fitzgerald (Middletown, NJ) into the Villanova goal at the 43:42 mark, giving Rutgers a 3-0 lead heading into halftime. After the break, just over 15 minutes into the second half, El Bialy broke his season-long scoring drought with a goal at the 60:21 mark. The senior forward broke in alone on Villanova goalkeeper Sean Teesdale, thanks to a perfectly-placed pass from Fitzgerald, who notched his second assist on the play. At the 69:30 mark, El Bialy scored again, set up by Castellanos’ third assist of the match.
"We finally played up to our capabilities," said head coach Bob Reasso, who remains unbeaten in his last six matches vs. Villanova. "We were disappointed with the Georgetown result, because we felt we were the better team, and we showed that today. Playing a noon, midweek game on the road wasn’t easy, but our team handled it very well."
Rutgers held a 24-11 edge in shots, a season-high. Senior Ricky Zinter (Penfield, NY) played the first 66:44 in goal, stopping three shots, while junior Scott Conway (Aston, PA) made his collegiate debut and stopped one shot over the final 23:16 of the match. Zinter has allowed just one goal in his last 336:44 of action, spanning four matches, for a 0.27 GAA. Senior back David Boutilier (Sparta, NJ), who missed the Georgetown match due to a red card violation, started and played 70 minutes as RU improved to 3-0-1 with him in the lineup.
Rutgers returns home on Sunday, when it hosts Notre Dame, ranked 10th nationally, at 2:00 p.m. at Yurcak Field.