No. 17 Rutgers travels up to No. 10 Michigan
The Rutgers field hockey team will look to stay undefeated this Friday as it travels to Michigan for its first road trip of the season.
The Wolverines (3-3) are ranked No. 10 in the country and all three of their losses come against ranked opponents. Michigan lost to No. 2 North Carolina 5-1, No. 14 Wake Forest 3-2 and No. 1 Connecticut 2-1.
Aside from being the No. 17 Scarlet Knights’ (5-0) first away game of the season, it will also be their first Big Ten game of the year. Rutgers was 3-5 in Big Ten games in 2017.
The Knights have relied heavily on their defense to win games, so far. Of Rutgers' five wins, four are shutouts — which leads the nation. Its goals-against average of 0.40 also leads the nation.
Probably the biggest part of the Knights' exceptional defense so far has been the play of sophomore goalkeeper Gianna Glatz. Glatz boasts a 0.43 goals-against average and .905 save percentage, which both rank second in the nation.
The Wolverines are led by Emma Way, who has scored 7 goals, while they have two goalkeepers who have split time in the box. Dating back to 1992, Rutgers is 0-7 against Michigan, so a win in Ann Arbor would be monumental.
“We just need to stay in the moment and stay focused,” said head coach Meredith Civico, according to scarletknights.com. “Michigan is a very good team. We’re a very good team. Our experience winning these games so far has put us in a good position. It’s going to be a tight game, we need to figure out how to just play our game and keep attacking, even when the pressure is on.”
While in Ann Arbor, the Knights will also take on Longwood. The Lancers are 4-1 on the season — including a 2-1 victory over No. 20 Liberty earlier this week.
So far this season, Rutgers is led by junior midfielder Austyn Cuneo, who has 4 goals, and sophomore midfielder Daphne Groothuis who has 3 goals. Groothuis also leads the team in points with 12.
If the Knights can come out of Michigan with two victories, they will be 7-0, and off to their best start in more than 10 years. The Wolverines will be Rutgers’ third ranked opponent of the season, and if they can topple them on their home field, they have a real shot at cracking the top 10 national rankings.
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