No. 19 Rutgers unable to fend off No. 10 Northwestern in close road matchup
Due to a slow start, the Rutgers field hockey team found itself behind early, and was unable to recover despite a late push. Even worse, it may have lost a star player for an unknown amount of time.
The No. 19 Scarlet Knights (7-4, 2-1) rallied against No. 10 Northwestern (8-4, 3-1) on Friday, but fell just short, losing 3-2.
While Rutgers did suffer the loss, it also potentially lost one of its star players. Sophomore midfielder Katie Larmour went down with what is speculated to be a knee injury, and will receive word on the details and severity in the coming days. But if Larmour is out for an extended amount of time, then the team will have suffered a heavy blow.
“We’re waiting on some test results, so we’ll probably know by Monday or Tuesday," said head coach Meredith Civico. “Fingers crossed, because she’s such a dynamic player for us. When somebody goes down it’s a bit rattling, so it took us a bit to regain our composure after.”
The Wildcats controlled the first half, outshooting Rutgers 7-1. They took the lead into the intermission thanks to a Puck Pentenga goal off of a penalty corner in the 22nd minute.
“Northwestern definitely got us on our heels in the first half,” Civico said. "We struggled to connect on our passing and were playing a bit too defensive. The first 10 minutes of the game we struggled (to) find any attacking momentum.”
Northwestern doubled its lead in the second half as Saar de Breij scored in the 51st minute. Junior Linde van Schaik finally put Rutgers on the board five minutes later with her sixth goal of the season.
“I thought the second half was much better,” Civico said. “We were a lot more fluid, we were able to execute on two attack penalty corners and we were able to pull the game within on.”
The Wildcats responded with another goal, as Elena Curley slotted one home in the 62nd minute to make it 3-1. The Knights refused to give up, trimming the deficit back to one two minutes later on freshman Kerrie Burns’s first goal of her collegiate career.
“It was pretty amazing,” Burns said. “And it’s not very often that a centerback gets a goal, especially off a deflection. It was a good feeling, especially with all the girls around me.”
But that was all they could muster, and despite pulling goalkeeper Gianna Glatz in the final minutes, they were unable to tie the game before the final whistle blew.
Overall, Northwestern outshot Rutgers 14-7, including having a 9-3 edge in shots on goal.
“If we put in the same amount of energy in the first half that we did in the second half, it would have been a completely different game,” said freshman midfielder Daphne Groothuis.
Gianna Glatz made six saves in the loss, bringing her season total to 40. Her 1.86 goals-against average this season is good enough for fourth in the Big Ten.
The Knights will play Michigan and Stanford, both of whom are ranked, in Ann Arbor this weekend.
“We’ve got to come out with the mentality that we’re playing to win, and when we do that we can compete with anyone,” Civico said. “The first ten minutes for us are crucial in any game, because we need to set to set ourselves up and get that attacking momentum going. Overall we're disappointed with the performance and result, but I'm confident this group will bounce back as we prepare for another big weekend."
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