August 14, 2018 | ° F

In-state rival highlights weekend matchups

Photo by Noah Whittenberg |

Senior forward Jonelle Filigno said Rutgers can learn from its 6-0 loss last weekend to Virginia. Filigno has three goals this season.

As the Rutgers women’s soccer team prepares for both Bryant and Princeton this weekend at Yurcak Field, the goal has been to stay positive and focus on the details to register wins, which it has not done in its last two contests.

“I think we’re very positive about watching ourselves on film,” said freshman midfielder Madison Tiernan. “We’re excited for this weekend knowing that we need to get two wins under our belt, especially with the end of the season approaching.”

Tiernan and senior forward Jonelle Filigno are both players to watch offensively for the Scarlet Knights (4-1-1) this weekend.

Both matches provide an opportunity to improve from Rutgers’ performance in the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic, where the team went 0-1-1 and only scored one goal.

The Knights learned after its game with No. 2 Virginia it still has work to do to compete with elite teams, and look to incorporate some of the lessons into the game plan going forward.

“I think that there are a lot of negatives that we can turn into positives from last weekend,” Filigno said. “There is a standard that we need to push ourselves to.”

If the Knights want to get back on track, they have to past Bryant (3-3) first. It will be the first time both programs will faceoff.

Bryant currently holds a three-game winning streak and is outshooting its opponents, 45-25.

To stop the Bulldogs from extending their winning streak, Rutgers will have to slow down sophomore Suzanna Sanders, who has three of the team’s six goals scored during its current winning streak.

The Knights will then turn their attention Sunday to in-state rival Princeton (2-0), which got a late start to its regular season. 

Although Princeton has only played two games, things have gone well with shutouts of both opponents last weekend.

Defensively the Knights will have to focus their attention on forwards Tyler Lussi and Lauren Lazo. The pair have scored all five goals this season for the Tigers, including three for Lussi and two for Lazo.

While the Rutgers defense wants to slow down a couple of hot streaks, it will have senior goaltender Jessica Janosz to help in the process.

Janosz has allowed just more than one goal per contest and recently had the second-longest scoreless streak in school history snapped.

With Janosz between the pipes, the plan for the defense to get tougher for this weekend and the rest of the season is to focus on the details.

“We watched a lot of film this week, and the goals that were scored were on us,” said senior back Tricia DiPaolo. “We’ve spoken about how to correct that and today we’re going to work a bit defensively to fix it.”

The Knights have put last weekend’s performance in the rearview mirror and are excited for a chance at two victories to continue their impressive start.

“The mood has been good, we talked about the loss to Virginia and the tie with William and Mary, which weren’t results we wanted for either game,” Filigno said. “After that weekend we decided to just put that in the past and focus on the next game because there is no point in focusing on the past.”

For updates on the Rutgers women’s soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

By Jim Mooney

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