No. 14 Rutgers defeats George Mason, ties No. 15 Georgetown
With its first two games away from home in the books, the Rutgers women’s soccer team comes back home still not having allowed a goal this season.
The No. 14 Scarlet Knights (6-0-1) kicked off their weekend by blanking George Mason, 2-0, Friday night at George Mason Stadium — the team’s sixth straight shutout win to start the season.
Junior goalkeeper Casey Murphy recorded four saves to earn the shutout and for the scoring, freshman midfielder Alexa Ferreira and senior forward Colby Ciarrocca both found the back of the net. For Ferreira, it was the first goal of her collegiate career.
“It felt amazing to have scored my first goal at Rutgers,” Ferreira said. “I think that once that goal came everyone's energy boosted and we started to play with more edge.”
That edge couldn’t have come at a better time. Locked in a 0-0 draw heading into the second half, Rutgers couldn’t get anything to work — even after three corner kicks in the game’s first nine minutes. Meanwhile, getting outpaced in shots and shots on goal, it looked like George Mason (0-6-0) had a chance to steal a win.
But then, three minutes into the second half, Ferreira happened. Assisted by fellow freshman and forward Amirah Ali after a George Mason turnover, Ferreira took a rip from 15 yards out that eluded the goalkeeper and gave the Knights a 1-0 advantage.
Ferreira added to her memorable day in the 80th minute by setting up Ciarrocca who drilled the back of the net for her fourth goal on the season, making it 2-0 Rutgers.
“Our team play is getting better every game,” Ferreira said. “We are moving the ball better and trusting each other more. We played against a good team and came out with the win.”
The Knights then traveled to Washington, D.C to take on No. 15 Georgetown in a 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament Second Round rematch.
The scoreless affair did extend the Knights’ shutout streak to seven games to open the season while Murphy finished two saves shy of her career high with six on the day. She couldn’t have done it without her defense.
“As a defense, we're locked and loaded going into every game,” Murphy said. “What has made us successful thus far is remaining plugged in and focused for the full 90-plus minutes. Our coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for preparing us to the best of their ability to be prepared to shutout the opponent and be dangerous in the attack.”
Although Georgetown out-shot Rutgers 14-4, the defense kept the team in the game time and time again, thwarting any chances the Hoyas (5-2-1) might have had. The tie also ended a personal four-game losing streak to Georgetown for the Knights.
Rutgers now has a full week to prepare for its first Big Ten game of the season as it takes on Maryland this Sunday afternoon at Yurcak Field.
“Every team going forward is going to be as tough and organized as Georgetown was,” Murphy said. “This game was great preparation for us moving into Big Ten play. Although we got the draw, we have to put this game in the past and move on to preparing for Maryland next Sunday.”
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