Unranked RU grips for deep Hoyas lineup
The big guns came to play against the Rutgers women's soccer team last weekend, when the Scarlet Knights (5-4, 0-1) dropped both of their decisions to Seton Hall and then-No. 5 Boston College.
Highly touted players — forwards in particular — led the Pirates and Golden Eagles in back-to-back Knights losses, which saw Rutgers drop from the top 25 for the first time since the end of the 2008 season.
Seton Hall's Kaitlyn Ritter, the Big East's Rookie of the Week for Sept. 13, scored the only goal in Rutgers' 1-0 loss last Friday in South Orange, N.J.
Meanwhile Boston College's Victoria DiMartino and Kristie Mewis entered last Sunday's contest at Yurcak Field with a combined 12 goals and nine assists. The Golden Eagles' dynamic duo imposed their will and left Piscataway with an assist each and 13 shots.
"I've played against a lot of great players — I know [DiMartino's] one," said junior defender Julie Lancos. "I've heard her name growing up and she's a great player, there's no doubt about that. It's a good challenge."
Despite busting out the big guns, DiMartino and company did not leave the Knights in awe.
"All of [DiMartino's] shots came with her left foot, right?" said head coach Glenn Crooks. "She's a dominant left-footed player. I know the greatest players in the world — they have dominant sides and somehow work it out to get there. So we have to give her a lot of credit, knowing going in that her left foot is dominant and she still gets those shots off."
Rutgers plays its second straight ranked opponent on Friday, when No. 19 Georgetown visits Yurcak Field for a Big East showdown.
The Hoyas (7-2, 1-0) have plenty left in the barrel, with an offensive attack that features five players with three goals or more. Rutgers, by comparison, has only one three-goal scorer — redshirt freshman Jonelle Filigno.
"I tend not to look at statistics because they kind of scare you a little bit," said sophomore forward April Price. "That is a little bit of pressure, but we're up to it."
Price, a Mechanicsville, Va., native, grew up just 90 miles from Georgetown, which recruited her briefly.
Price earned her first start of the season last Sunday against Boston College and assisted on senior Kelsey Dumont's goal in the 90th minute.
"I thought it was average. I know I could have done things better," Price said. "We kind of gave up after [Boston College] scored two goals and I know that we can't do that and just play through it."
Rutgers needs some ratcheted up intensity against the Hoyas, who lost back-to-back games against No. 2 Stanford and No. 11 California-Santa Clara.
Intensity, in fact, is just what the Knights offered up at practice this week in preparation for Georgetown and Sunday's matchup at Villanova (5-4, 0-1).
"We need to come out with more tenacity. I guess that's the word of the week," Price said. "We need to have more courage with the ball I guess and … not overestimating our opponent, but just playing level with them. We made sure we came out with a lot of energy at every practice this week. We made a conscious effort to do that."
Villanova struggled out of the gates this season, but rebounded with three consecutive victories, including a result over then-No. 16 Wake Forest.
The Wildcats have their own pair of sharpshooters in sophomore Heidi Sabatura and junior Katie Ryan, owners of five goals apiece.
Villanova's scoring depth though drops off after the talented pair. Only three other Wildcats own goals on the season.
Meanwhile, Crooks remains focused on the play of his struggling Knights. Despite two tough decisions last week, the cupboard is not bare for the 2010 Rutgers squad.
"I'm not [disappointed with the effort], I'm disappointed with the results. Three of the four halves of soccer weren't bad," Crooks said. "And last weekend [at the Nike Invitational] was a real positive weekend, so I would say we've been moving in a positive direction. I just think the first half [against Boston College] set us back a little bit."