No. 23 Rutgers prepares for Ivy League vistors over weekend
This weekend, the Rutgers field hockey team will look to improve upon its 3-0 start, when it hosts a pair of Ivy League opponents in Cornell and No. 6 Princeton.
The first game, taking place at 3 p.m. on Friday, will pit the No. 23 Scarlet Knights up against the Big Red, who are 0-2 to start the season, suffering losses to Bucknell and Lock Haven. In the all-time series, Rutgers leads Cornell 7-3.
The Big Red have second team All-Ivy goalkeeper Maddie Henry returning this year, but the Knights counter with a solid goalie of their own in sophomore Gianna Glatz.
So far this season, Glatz boasts a 0.76 goals-against average, which ranks second in the Big Ten and 11th nationally. Her save percentage of .818 is third in the conference.
After the game against Cornell on Friday, Rutgers will face its toughest test to date as it plays its in-state rivals the Tigers, who have started their season 2-1.
Before Princeton takes on the Knights on Sunday, it hosts No. 4 Duke at home. That means in the Tigers’ first four games, they will have squared off against four ranked teams, three of which are in the top 5 of the national rankings.
This will certainly be a battle-tested Princeton team that Rutgers will have to square off against on Sunday. The Tigers opened their season with a tough 1-0 loss to No. 2 North Carolina, took care of business against No. 14 Wake Forest by winning 4-0 and beat No. 5 Penn State 2-1 in double overtime.
In the series record against one another, the Knights post an abysmal 3-19-1 record against the Tigers all-time. Last season, Princeton took down Rutgers by a score of 2-1.
Sophomore midfielder Daphne Groothuis will look to keep her season rolling, as she leads the Knights in goals (3), assists (6) and points (12). Groothuis was recently named National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Offensive Player of the Week, as well as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, as she propelled Rutgers to a 3-0 start and into a top-25 spot nationally.
So far this season, the Knights are outscoring opponents 14-2, as well as posting two shutouts. Rutgers leads the nation in scoring margin (4.0) and goals per game (4.67).
This weekend will be a great opportunity for the Knights to take a step forward in the national rankings. A win over the Tigers would surely propel them in to the top 15, as that would give them two wins over ranked opponents to start the season.
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