RU splits conference matches
After losing its first two conference games, the Rutgers women’s soccer team needed a big weekend to get a leg up in the Big East standings.
No. 21 Marquette prevented the Scarlet Knights from making that move, defeating the Knights, 2-0, Sunday to push Rutgers (8-3) to 1-3 in the conference.
“We had a good idea as to how they were going to come out and that is with numbers getting forward,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t keep the ball.”
The Golden Eagles (7-2-1, 3-0) outshot the Knights, 19-9, as Rutgers failed to consistently provide offense in either half, even though it has a history of finding the back of the net in the second period.
Marquette scored two goals, both in the first half. Marquette forward Meghan Kelly went unassisted and scored her second goal of the season to put the Golden Eagles up, 2-0, to cap the scoring for the contest along with the Knight’s chances of surmounting a comeback
Marquette forward Taylor Madigan took a pass from forward Cara Jacobson four minutes earlier and drilled a shot behind junior goalkeeper Jessica Janosz, who started for senior keeper Emmy Simpkins as she continues to recover from her head injury suffered Sept. 16 against Georgetown.
Rutgers’ shots, mostly in the second half, were non-threatening. The lack of attempts is something junior forward Jonelle Filigno cannot quite figure out.
“I don’t know what it is,” Filigno said. “I can’t pinpoint it. It seems like we have a little more urgency when we go down a goal or when we are in the second half. It is always different in the second half.”
Junior defender Tori Leigh believes the lack of opportunities by the offense has an effect on the whole team.
“It is a lot of pressure all over the field,” Leigh said. “It’s a lot of pressure on all of us, even the forwards. Everyone can score goals, we just have to have the mentality to do it.”
The Knights seems to embrace taking more shots in the second half, and Fridays’ 1-0 victory against South Florida is a perfect example of their play.
Rutgers took seven shots against the Bulls (7-3, 0-3) in the second period, and a Filigno header off of the crossbar was the closest the Knights came to scoring.
South Florida controlled possession, forcing the Knights into their third overtime game of the season.
And with Rutgers relying on late-goal heroics to finish off its game, Filigno provided just that.
The Mississauga, Canada, native drilled a penalty shot in the last minute of double overtime, giving the Knights their first Big East victory of the season.
Freshman forward Rachel Cole was tripped in the box, which resulted in a goal off of a penalty shot from Filligno.
‘It is always good to get the game winner,” Filigno said. “There were so many girls that caused that to happen, so it was a great team effort, and we are just happy that we finished it off in the end.”
Rutgers had 13 shots in the first half against the Wildcats, and was more aggressive with its approach to score goals.
While Crooks recognizes the added pressure it puts on his defense, he believes there are more things for the Knights to work on as they embark on a four-game road swing beginning Friday against St. Johns, namely converting on the opportunities the Knights give themselves.
“If we are inside the box and undefended, we need to shoot,” Crooks said. “We had players in position to do better in certain situations just in terms of finishing or just getting a attempt on goal.”
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