April 22, 2019 | 59° F

Knights go winless in two-game Fla. tilt

The final road trip of the regular season did not go as well as the Rutgers women’s soccer team hoped.

After losing to No. 21 Central Florida, 2-1, Friday night, the Scarlet Knights intended to rebound Sunday against South Florida.

They responded with a 2-2 tie with the Bulls.

“This weekend didn’t go quite the way we would have liked, but I’m happy with our effort all weekend,” said senior forward Jonelle Filigno. “While we would have liked to get the win on Sunday, I’m happy with the outcome considering everything the team went through this weekend.”

With the Knights (11-3-2, 4-2-1) up 1-0 at the half, USF (8-4-4, 3-3-1) attempted a comeback to keep its home unbeaten streak alive.

In the final 10 minutes of regulation, USF made a final rally in order to force overtime.

USF registered an equalizer in the 82nd minute when forward Sharla Passariello cleaned up a rebound in front of the net and put the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Alana Jimenez, who entered in the second half for starting goalkeeper Jessica Janosz.

The teams stayed deadlocked at 2-2 through the overtime periods and left the field with a draw and one point each in the standings.

The Knights took a 2-1 lead thanks in part to sophomore defender Brianna Reed, who performed an acrobatic flip throw-in from out of bounds into the box.

Freshman forward Madison Tiernan got a clean opportunity for a header off the throw, which she put in the back of the net to put Rutgers ahead.

In the 55th minute of play, Bulls forward Demi Stokes scored off a corner kick to tie the game, 1-1.

Rutgers needed little time to score against the Bulls, as Tieran lobbed it to junior forward Stefanie Scholz through the defense.

Scholz beat goalkeeper Christiane Endler to give the Knights a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute of the game.

Despite the draw, Filigno was happy with her team’s performance given the circumstances surrounding the game.

“Sunday was a hot day and a lot of the girls out there gave a lot on Friday night,” Filigno said. “We still were able to give everything we had in the second game and come away with a point.”

Friday night was Rutgers’ biggest weekend matchup as it faced a ranked Central Florida team with major postseason implications.

UCF (13-2-2, 6-0-1) was second in the AAC standings, ahead of the third-place Knights.

Rutgers played without Filigno, who missed the game because of a red card she received Oct. 13 against Southern Methodist.

But without its leading scorer, Rutgers took a 1-0 lead off an early first-half goal from sophomore defender Erica Skroski.

The second half was a different story, as UCF scored two goals in a three-minute span to completely flip the momentum.

Central Florida tied up the game off a free kick from 25 yards out off the foot of midfielder Jennifer Martin.

UCF used that momentum swing from the Martin goal and generated another scoring opportunity.

Midfielder Kayla Adamek secured a rebound in front of the net and went far post with the shot to give UCF a 2-1 lead with 24 minutes left in regulation. The Knights were unable to recover.

Filigno attempted to diagnose what happened to her team in the second half of the game with UCF.

“The feeling is that we come out with a lot of energy against these ranked teams, but in the end we can’t find a way to finish the job,” Filigno said. “We started playing more as individuals and not like a team. Friday was one of those games that we can learn a lot from.”

Head coach Glenn Crooks did not return comment.

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

By Jim Mooney

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