Rutgers comes up short in final weekend of play
The team did not go quietly.
Ending its 2015 season with back-to-back matchups against Big Ten foe Indiana and No. 9 Louisville, the Rutgers field hockey team returns to the Banks 0-2 after being shutout through two hard fought road battles out west.
The Scarlet Knights (7-11, 0-8) first fell on the wrong side of the scoreboard against the Hoosiers (9-9, 5-3) on Friday, taking a 2-0 loss. Then, venturing to the bluegrass state to take on former Big East rival at Louisville (13-5, 0-5), Rutgers took the Cardinals to town but couldn’t execute offensively and ultimately took a 1-0 defeat.
Despite the disparaging scores, the Knights walk away from this weekend and their season with a resiliently positive outlook.
“Overall I’m really pleased with how the team finished the season as far as the field hockey,” said head coach Meredith Civico. “We had an unlucky result on Friday against Indiana. I truly felt that we were the better team and we played really good hockey. Unfortunately, the score didn’t reflect that and we couldn’t quite finish our opportunities and ultimately lost the game.”
The fourth-year head coach noted that upset at Indiana did nothing to stifle the team’s momentum.
“Today’s game was an awesome game, it was a great fight. The team really put everything out there and went for it,” Civico said after the matchup with Louisville on Sunday. “We created a lot of chances and it really came down to the wire. We pulled the goalkeeper with two and a half minutes left and had a couple good chances right at the end in the closing seconds. It was a really good game and it was a good way to end the season.”
In Friday’s victory, the Hoosiers took their first all-time win against Rutgers. Though the Knights held a 16-10 edge in shots, Indiana standout freshman goalkeeper Noelle Rother put up a stellar performance against a relentless and hungry Rutgers offense.
Less than two days later, the Knights rose to the occasion in playing the No. 9 team in the country in the Cardinals. Senior defender Carley Hawkins recorded her first career defensive save and Rutgers defense held strong through four of five penalty corners.
The Knights remain positive about their season finale, satisfied that they left it all on the field this weekend.
“I’m just really proud of the team and how we decided to end this season,” said junior midfielder Alyssa Bull. “Obviously, we didn’t get the outcomes throughout the season that we wanted. But just to be able to play really well as a team and work together and play really good field hockey these last two games was really great.”
The team is focusing on the quality of hockey played this weekend rather than the numbers on scoreboard, with pride and confidence in their game and each other.
“I think we’re ending on a really high note and I think these last two games, the scores didn’t necessarily reflect the hockey that was played. Today we had a really great game and it was probably some of the best hockey we’ve played all season.”
Over the weekend, Rutgers faced its reoccurring struggle of putting up gritty fights against top teams and falling just short.
The Knights are proud of the performance they put up as a team, with a ubiquitous consensus that they have still finished their fall campaign strong.
“It’s definitely a statement that we showed them who we are and what we’re made of. Regardless of making the tournament or not, making post-season competition, we still played our hearts out and we still played for Rutgers so that was a big deal for us,” said junior defender Sophia Walia. “I think that it was a high note ending in terms of that we did finish playing our game and we did finish with our heads held high.”
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