Rutgers goes 1-1 over Big Ten weekend
Hosting a pair of Big Ten opponents this weekend, the Rutgers field hockey team left the weekend going 1-1, beating Michigan State and falling to Ohio State in a shootout.
The first game, which took place on Friday, was a decisive 5-1 victory over the Spartans (4-7). The No. 9 Scarlet Knights (7-2, 1-2) dominated in shots (14-2), as well as corners (4-1).
Senior backfielder Linde van Schaik got things started for Rutgers when she scored 18 minutes into the game, assisted by sophomore midfielder Daphne Groothuis. Three minutes later, sophomore midfielder Gracey Butsack made it 2-0 when she scored her 1st goal of the season that was assisted by junior forward Alanna Gollotto.
"This feels so good,” Butsack said, according to scarletknights.com. “It was great to be able to contribute to help the team to a win. We played really well together, just simple hockey, connecting on short passes. We used each other well and that led to this result."
Taking a 2-0 lead into halftime, the Knights wasted no time opening up the scoring in the second half. Two minutes in, Gollotto added to her assist earlier in the game by scoring her 3rd goal of the season. Van Schaik earned the assist on the play.
Scoring certainly seemed to come in bunches in this game, as just 3 minutes after Gollotto’s goal, junior forward Austyn Cuneo netted a goal of her own carrying the ball down the side of the field before finding the back of the box.
After Michigan State finally got on the scoreboard to make it 4-1, Rutgers scored its 5th and final goal of the day with a shot from junior forward Nikki Santore. Groothuis tallied the assist on the goal.
Three former Eastern Regional Vikings scored in the game, as Gollotto, Cuneo and Santore all netted a goal.
"I'm really pleased with the team's overall performance. I thought we played some excellent hockey,” said head coach Meredith Civico, according to scarletknights.com. “We scored some really great goals. I really felt like it was a total team effort and everybody contributed to the win, which I thought was really good for the team and really good for our confidence going into Sunday's matchup."
But against the Buckeyes, the Knights lost a thrilling game falling just short, losing 4-3 after a shootout.
The first half of the game was extremely action packed, as there were 5 goals scored between the two teams during the 35 minutes. In the second half, the action slowed down as only 1 goal was scored and then the final goal in the shootout.
A mere minute and 47 seconds into the start of the game, Ohio State got on the board first with a goal from Kelsey Nolan. But, Rutgers was quick to answer, as 1 minute later senior midfielder Nikki Profita scored on an assist from Cuneo.
After another goal from the Buckeyes around the 12-minute mark, the Knights finished the half strong, scoring back-to-back goals to take a 3-2 lead into halftime.
To tie the game at 2 apiece, Profita scored her 2nd goal of the game, assisted by Butsack. Profita’s 2 goals in the game made this her first career multi-goal game.
At the 27-minute mark, Rutgers took the lead off of a corner. This time it was Groothuis, who scored her team-leading 6th goal of the season.
In a second half that was the direct opposite of the scoring outburst seen in the first half, a defensive struggle ensued. With just 8 minutes remaining in the game, Ohio State tied the game, forcing overtime.
Overtime consisted of golden goal rules, so the first team to score wins. Sophomore goalkeeper Gianna Glatz saved four shots in the first overtime, tallying nine saves on the day and tying her career high. The Buckeyes put much pressure on the Knights the entire game, outshooting them 20-8.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the game headed to a penalty shootout. Each team made 4 of their first 5 tries, sending it to sudden death. Nolan scored the winning penalty shot for Ohio State, ending the 90-minute contest.
Rutgers is back in action this weekend, with two more ranked opponents. First, on Friday, the Knights will take on No. 14 Penn State (6-3) at home. They will then travel to play No. 17 Delaware (4-5) on Sunday.
“I don't feel like we played our best today. Our focus was to play our hockey for 70 minutes. I think we had some good moments, but it wasn't enough today," Civico said. "We'll recognize the things that we need to work on and prepare as hard as we can for Friday's matchup against Penn State."
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