Sophomore adds value as attacker
With goals in two of her last three games, sophomore Jenny Vlahos added a new scoring dynamic to her game.
As the only player on the team listed as both a midfielder and defender, her contributions have spanned the length of the field along with the stat sheet.
“I’ve just gotten a lot more confident in myself,” Vlahos said. “I’ve become a lot closer with the team. Each game I mesh a lot better with the team both defensively and at attack.”
Vlahos currently leads the Scarlet Knights with 29 draw controls to help on the defensive end, where the team ranks first in the nation in goals allowed.
She also snagged 15 groundballs to go along with nine caused turnovers.
Almost each time Vlahos has turned the ball over this season, she has caused one of her own to give the ball back to her offense.
While Vlahos is primarily a defender, her scoring contributions have made her one of the more valuable players on the field for Rutgers.
She provided much needed offense in last Friday’s 9-6 loss to No. 7 Notre Dame — a game in which the Knights put up their lowest scoring output this season.
She entered the game on attack after Rutgers’ leading scorer, junior Katrina Martinelli, was substituted out after acquiring a yellow card.
In the previous outing March 19 against Princeton, she found the back of the net against the rival Tigers.
It was a high-scoring affair that resulted in a 12-10 victory for the Knights, and Vlahos broke a 9-9 tie late in the second period to secure the victory.
She went on to win the final three draw controls of the game as Rutgers was able to sweat out the close win.
“I just go into each game knowing that I take the draws, so I’m under a lot of pressure,” Vlahos said. “But I just have so much confidence in everyone around me on the draw.”
Her highlights on defense this season have come at opportune times.
In a 6-5 upset over No. 20 Penn on March 6, she secured the final groundball of the game and cleared the ball from her own zone.
The confidence and chemistry Vlahos has developed is a result of more time on the field, whether on offense of defense.
Vlahos has started every game this season, playing a larger role on the team than in her freshman campaign.
In 2012, she saw time in seven games and recorded one goal to go along with one caused turnover. She secured a single draw control.