Junior gains larger role for next season
The Rutgers women’s soccer team’s season ended Saturday against West Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the Scarlet Knights’ failure to advance, Rutgers has to look forward to next year without this year’s senior class.
Offensively, Rutgers loses two forwards to graduation.
Forward Jonelle Filigno leaves the program after a historic career with the Knights. The Canadian national team member ranks first all-time with 17 game-winning goals in her career and fourth in points with 79 and goals with 33.
Filigno collected eight goals this season along with 19 points.
It will be difficult to match the production of a decorated offensive player like Filigno, but Rutgers has a good start.
Junior forward Stefanie Scholz worked her way into the starting lineup and gave the Knights another viable scoring threat to complement Filigno.
Scholz, who led Rutgers this year with 10 goals and 21 points, found herself in the starting lineup after a four-goal performance Sep. 15 against Princeton.
Her first start came Sep. 20 against Villanova, in which she scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute.
Those two moments were important, according to head coach Glenn Crooks.
“When you look back at the season, there were a couple of moments that stood out. Stef Scholz hit a last-minute goal to beat Villanova right before the end of regulation and that was a huge win,” Crooks said. “In the win over Princeton, Stef had four [goals] in that one over an in-state arch rival.”
The South Hackensack, N.J., native knows her role for year.
“I have to have the same attitude that [the seniors] had about bringing this program to where it should be, along with the elite programs in the country,” Scholz said.
Rutgers will also lose senior forward Maria Gerew on offense. While Gerew started only one game and logged 424 minutes, she played in 20 games this season and added one goal.
For updates on the Rutgers women’s soccer team, follow Tyler Karalewich on Twitter @TylerKaralewich. For general Rutgers sports updates, follow @TargumSports.