July 17, 2018 | ° F

Knights remain winless in Big East with loss to Villanova

The search for either a Big East win or a goal on the road for the Rutgers men's soccer team continues after the Scarlet Knights fell, 1-0, on the road yesterday at Villanova.

"It was another hard fought loss," said head coach Dan Donigan. "We continue to make crucial mistakes that cost us games. The guys are fighting — they're fighting like hell — but they just got to be smarter about the energy and their positions."

The Wildcats (7-4-2, 3-0-1) took the lead less than 20 minutes into the match when forward Dylan Renna received a through ball and came in on goal unmarked. Renna fired a shot inside the 18-yard box past Rutgers goalkeeper Adam Klink.

"It was a crucial mistake by our backline … not much [Klink] could have done about it," Donigan said. "Our defenders do a great job for the majority of the game, but then they have that mental lapse that leads to the goal that gets [Villanova] the win."

The Knights (3-7-1, 0-4) peppered 'Nova goalie Chris Bresnahan with a total of six shots on net, but the netminder was up to the task, turning all six shots away.

Klink also turned in a strong performance in net, making a total of five saves.

Forward Sam Archer and defenseman Chris Edwards both went down with injuries against the Wildcats and neither returned to the field, Donigan said.

Now 0-4 in Big East play with five games remaining, the Knights' chances of making the postseason diminish by the game.

"We are starting to run out of games to earn the points we need to make this postseason tournament," Donigan said. "Obviously we are still not eliminated, but at the same time it's not good enough just to work hard. You've got to work intelligently."

Rutgers gets right back at it on Saturday, when they visit Pittsburgh. The Panthers are 5-4-2 on the year and are also winless in the Big East.

A.J. Jankowski

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