RU midfielder enters lineup after absence
Sophomore midfielder Amy Pietrangelo described the bus ride home Sunday from Syracuse as “quiet.”
After the Rutgers women’s soccer team’s third straight loss, it is hard to expect anything different on the trip back to New Jersey.
“I know the team takes it hard after every loss,” Pietrangelo said. “It was definitely a long bus ride home. No team likes losing.”
Head coach Glenn Crooks has tried everything to get the Scarlet Knights offense to generate goals.
He continued shuffling the starting 11, changing lineups to help jumpstart the offense early in games.
Crooks produced his 14th different lineup card Sunday in the Knights’ 1-0 double-overtime defeat at Syracuse.
One of his changes was in the midfield, as Crooks moved Pietrangelo back into the starting midfield after she missed nearly a month of action because of a knee injury she sustained in warm-ups before an Aug. 24 matchup against Bucknell.
Pietrangelo returned as a substitute in Rutgers’ 2-0 loss against Marquette and started both games this weekend while averaging 40.3 minutes in her last three games back from injury.
In 68 minutes against St. John’s on Friday, she attempted three shots, including one on goal. Her three attempts were a team high in the 1-0 loss to the Red Storm.
“I don’t think there is one thing we can point out to say, ‘If we were doing this better we would be scoring,’” she said. “Sometimes it’s the lack of mentality and desire on our part and sometimes it is the little details that we need to figure out to put it all together.”
Along with junior forward Jonelle Filigno and senior defender Shannon Woeller, Pietrangelo has experience on the international level, something Crooks said is invaluable for the team.
The Laval, Quebec, native earned six caps for the Canadian national team in her career. She believes her play on the international stage can only benefit her and the team.
“I think my experience playing at a high level and playing at that speed of play and intensity has definitely helped because I know what to expect,” Pietrangelo said. “I’m able to lead my teammates and help them get ready for what to expect, and in tough times like this, it allows me to push through and not give up on myself or the team.”
With all of her time on the international circuit, Pietrangelo has experienced it all, including scoring slumps the likes of which the Knights currently experience.
And with only five games remaining in the Big East season, she knows how crucial it is to solve the problem sooner rather than later. But she is proud of how the team has stuck together through the three-game slide.
“Right now we have no other choice — we need to win our next five games,” Pietrangelo said. “This week’s practice is going to be pretty intense and we are definitely not giving up. We need to score goals to win, and we are going to work on that this week. We just stick together and we believe we can pull through.”
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