RU clinches No. 3 seed in conference
On a day when the upperclassmen were honored, the Senior Day matchup for the Rutgers women’s soccer team held more significance.
A win for the Scarlet Knights meant they would clinch at least a fourth-place finish and host an AAC Tournament quarterfinal match.
Rutgers did just that, clinching the No. 3 seed yesterday as it defeated Temple, 2-0, at Yurcak Field. The win also gave the Knights (12-4-2, 5-3-1) their 10th victory of the year at home, a program record.
Junior forward Stefanie Scholz juked out a Temple (6-11-1, 1-8) defender and put a shot into the upper right corner on a counter attack in the 80th minute. The goal was Scholz’s 10th on the year and her 20th point, and put Rutgers up, 2-0.
“I wasn’t really thinking when I got that goal. I was just doing what I could to score,” Scholz said. “It played into our overall offensive approach for the game to strike when we can and use the width of the field.”
Senior forward Jonelle Filigno looked to give the Knights some breathing room to start the second half, but received an offsides call after shooting what would have been Rutgers’ second goal.
The Knights’ offense highlighted the match, as they outshot the Owls, 21-6.
Senior forward Jonelle Filigno led Rutgers with five shots in the first half, two of which were on target.
In the seventh minute, Filigno received a cross that she took from six yards out for a shot off the post for the first scoring chance in the match.
“I may be disappointed with myself for not converting any of my five chances for the game, but as a team we did well,” Filigno said. “We were able to convert on our chances in or around the box. We’ve definitely had a great attacking mentality this season so far.”
In the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Knights spent several minutes in their attacking third and earned a corner kick in the 36th minute.
Freshman midfielder Jennifer Andresen took the corner kick and found sophomore defender Erica Skroski for her third goal of the season to put the Knights up, 1-0. Andresen’s assist was her third on the season.
“We can still be making better decisions when we are closer to the goal,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “But I was satisfied with the way we played. I was happy that Stefanie was able to come into her own a little bit and beat her defender, which is what we’ve been trying to get her to do all year.”
Having to defend only six shots, senior goalkeeper Jessica Janosz collected her seventh shutout of the year, tying her for the AAC lead.
With a historic 10-1 record for the regular season, Rutgers’ strong play at home gives them an advantage entering postseason play.
“There are no guarantees playing at home for the quarterfinals,” Crooks said. “We had a hiccup last Thursday, but we played well today. I always like our chances at home.”
For updates on the Rutgers women’s soccer team, follow Tyler Karalewich on Twitter @TylerKaralewich. For general Rutgers sports updates, follow @TargumSports.