RU continues offensive slump in
It has always been difficult for the Rutgers women’s soccer team to find the back of the net in Big East play.
With only two goals in conference competition, the Scarlet Knights’ struggles remained in their 1-0 double-overtime loss yesterday at Syracuse.
Orange midfielder Alyscha Mottershead took a pass from forward Jenna Rickan and put the ball past senior goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins in the 102nd minute to give Syracuse its third straight Big East victory.
“I was happy with the way we started, and we competed well,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “Overall the demeanor of the team and the spirit and the atmosphere have all been really strong.”
The Knights (8-6) again took less shots than their opponent, this time a 16-8 mark as the team moved to 1-5 in conference play and failed to get a shot off in either overtime periods.
Freshman forward Rachel Cole led Rutgers with three shot attempts, including two on goal, and junior forward Jonelle Filigno provided the Knights with their best chance at finding the back of the net.
Filigno took a shot in the third minute, but Syracuse (7-4-2, 4-1-1) goalkeeper Brittany Anghel deflected it.
While Syracuse entered the game second in the Big East’s American Division, Rutgers’ bigger opportunity came Friday, when it traveled to Queens to face St. John’s.
St. John’s was last in the league in allowing 2.45 goals per contest, but it did not matter as the Knights still went scoreless in their 1-0 loss.
St. John’s forward Deanna Murino scored in the 18th minute when she struck the top of the net behind senior goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins.
The game marked Simpkins’ return from a two-game absence because of a head injury she sustained Sept. 16 against Georgetown.
“She looked good,” Crooks said. “I think Friday she was not as sharp as [yesterday], but she was very good.”
But with no goals in their past three matches, the Knights have more to worry about than who is between the pipes.
Rutgers’ last goal came Sept. 21 against South Florida, when Filigno converted a penalty kick in the 108th minute to help the Knights escape with a victory.
St. John’s could have been the matchup that helped the Knights get back on track —specifically on the offensive side —but instead served as a roadblock.
The Red Storm entered Friday’s match with a 6-0 loss to Louisville hanging over their heads, and Rutgers was could not take advantage.
“At home, I do believe they were inspired,” Crooks said. “I don’t know if it was from their 6-0 defeat or the fact that they were home, [but] they had a lot of desire in that match.”
Now Rutgers’ task is to break a three-game losing streak, which needs to be addressed if the Knights want to make it to the Big East Tournament.
“We have to be stronger in all aspects,” Crooks said. “We did well today, the way we competed. I was happy with our mentality today, [but]we were just not able to get the result.
For updates on the Rutgers women’s soccer team, follow Bradly Derechailo on Twitter @BradlyDtargum.