Rutgers scores record number of goals in emphatic win over Siena to close non-conference play
In the Rutgers field hockey team's 42-year history, no team ever scored 13 goals in a single game — until Sunday.
The Scarlet Knights (5-2) protected their perfect home field record in a 13-0 pummeling of Siena (1-5) that extended their winning streak to four games.
After getting on the board within the first four minutes of the contest, the Knights built up a 6-0 lead at halftime and netted seven more in the second half. Rutgers saw goals from nine different players, allowing the Saints just one shot on goal and outshooting them 48-4.
“We wanted to come out here and make a statement — just wanted to basically take it to 'em, not let anything soften and that’s what we did,” said senior midfielder Elyse Broderick.
Senior forward Rachel Yaney highlighted the Knights' offensive surge with a hat trick on the day, while sophomore Linde van Schaik and freshman Katie Larmour each notched two goals a piece. Overall, at least one member of each class year found the back of the net and contributed to the scoring frenzy.
Sunday’s game was Rutgers’ last showing at home before opening up conference play on a road trip next weekend. After going 0-8 in conference competition last season, their latest victory was a crucial confidence booster for the Knights before their heavy Big Ten schedule heads underway.
On top of a clean slate at home and a program record, Rutgers also leads the Big Ten in assists per game and ranks second in both points and assists. Such accolades can serve as reassuring solaces throughout the coming weeks when the team takes on its eight conference rivals, five of which are top-20 programs.
“We really want to go off this momentum … This was crucial for our team just taking the next step towards going into Big Ten,” said senior defender Devon Freshnock. “We didn’t let up and I think that shows a lot about our team chemistry and energy on the field.”
Leading up to the matchup with Siena, the Rutgers coaching staff made offense a large focus in practice and the Knights executed — they took advantage of every scoring opportunity, from break aways to attacking penalty corners.
Despite the lopsided scoreboard, Siena remained gritty through to the final minutes of the game. Rutgers was able to both maintain and further its lead by remaining unsatisfied.
“I thought the team did a really nice job of managing the entire game … We really talked a lot about staying focused as a team regardless of what the score was,” said head coach Meredith Civico. “They didn’t get comfortable, they stayed really focused, they executed our game plan really well, they didn’t get caught up in anything else that was going on.”
Among the many contributors to the team's offensive power was standout freshman Nikki Santore. The Voorhees, New Jersey, native now has six goals on the season, the most by any freshman since 2006.
The rookie forward, along with her 19 teammates, use a team-focused dynamic as the fuel to their fire, which they hope can remain burning throughout the coming weeks.
“We came I knowing that we were the stronger team,” Santore said. “I think we really took advantage of finishing and playing like a team — that was our goal when we walked in and I think we did a great job of that.”