RU dominates pair of home matchups
One week ago, the Rutgers women’s soccer team was reeling from an 0-1-1 performance at the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic. Now the Scarlet Knights have firmly put those issues behind it after a dominating performance this weekend.
The Knights looked like a different team, defeating Bryant, 4-0, on Friday and following with a 5-1 victory yesterday against in-state rival Princeton.
Sunday would be all about junior forward Stephanie Scholz, as she scored four of five Scarlet Knight goals in the 5-1 rout of Princeton.
Already down 3-0 and outshot by the Knights (6-1-1), 14-4, Princeton finally got on the board when junior Lauren Lazo put a shot past senior goalkeeper Jessica Janosz. Janosz had eight saves in the game.
Scholz scored her fourth goal of the game off a ball that broke through the Princeton (2-1-1) back line, allowing her to get a shot past goalkeeper Darcy Hargadon.
Rutgers capped its offense for the game when senior forward Jonelle Filigno found Tiernan, who drew out the keeper before putting the ball home to give the Knights the 5-1 lead. It was Filigno’s second assist of the game and third of the season.
The Tigers fared better in the first half, as the Tigers outshot the Knights, 11-10, in the period. The only difference between the two teams was three second-half Scholz goals.
In the first game, Rutgers faced Bryant and its three-game winning streak.
The Knights had other ideas as it played very aggressive defense.
“I think overall it was still a good win even though we probably could have played better, but we’re working on moving the ball faster, which played into the game a bit,” said sophomore forward Rachel Cole, who had three goals in the contest.
Already possessing a 3-0 lead before the second half, Rutgers still attacked on offense with shots on net that tested Bulldogs goalkeeper Kaylan Conrad. She was called upon to replace junior Lauren Viverito between the pipes.
Freshman midfielder Madison Tiernan capped an impressive performance when she scored her fourth goal of the season to give the Knights a 4-0 lead. Tiernan also added an assist and constantly pressed the issue against the Bulldogs.
“These are the kind of games where we build as a team, can pick up some points and build our confidence,” Tiernan said. “You try to just play the same way every game and I was trying to just get everyone involved including myself.”
Tiernan and Cole led the first half for Rutgers after Filigno gave the Knights a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute of play.
Cole was brought off the bench and sparked the Knights offensively after going cold for a long stretch after Filigno’s goal.
“Rachel did well,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “She is an excellent attacking player and we’ve been encouraging her to play diligently on both sides of the ball. When Rachel scores and sets things up on the attack, it’s not a surprise.”
Rutgers scored two goals in less than five minutes, which began with Cole’s strike from about 30 yards away to give the Knights a 2-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Cole tried to score again from long distance, but this time the shot deflected off of the crossbar right to Scholz, who would put the ball into the back of a wide open net to put Rutgers up, 3-0, just before the half.
The Knights next welcome Villanova to Yurcak Field on Friday, with Rutgers looking to remain unbeaten at home.
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