RU earns split while out West
The Rutgers women's soccer team departed from New Jersey on Thursday wary of the opportunities presented by its pair of weekend matchups.
And the Scarlet Knights did not disappoint, winning in the second overtime Friday and coming just short in Sunday's action in a 1-0 loss to No. 6 UCLA.
"Great team effort," said head coach Glenn Crooks. "This is a team that fights for each other, they play hard for each other and overall it was a good weekend. The victory on Friday was a character builder, to win in overtime against a very good Loyola Marymount it."
Although UCLA's 20 shots certainly garner attention on the stat sheet, Crooks acknowledged that many occurred as a result of counterattacks late in the contest, when the Knights tried rallying for the game-tying score.
It may appear that Rutgers was outmatched on paper, but Crooks knows the Knights continually make strides for Big East play by simply experiencing tight games so early in the season.
For freshmen like forwards Cassie Inacio, Stefanie Scholz and Amy Pietrangelo, and defender Logan White — all of whom logged at least 50 minutes against UCLA — gaining big-game experience is crucial early on in their careers.
"We have a lot of young players on the field on occasions who haven't experienced this level of the game before," Crooks said. "This stretch has been very good for the whole team and especially for the youngsters. They'll be battle-tested heading into Big East play, that's for well."