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The Rutgers women’s soccer team finished its season in mid-November following a hard-fought 90 minutes of regulation and another 20 minutes of overtime against former Big East rival West Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. For the third straight match, The Daily Targum’s Team of the Year was forced to penalty kicks, where it ultimately failed to advance after not matching the Mountaineers penalty kicks, 3-0.
Senior defender Tricia DiPaolo has spent seven years at Rutgers. Even after suffering injury after injury, which threatened to derail her soccer career, she refused to hang up her cleats. Six knee surgeries — three ACL tears, two meniscus tears and a microfracture surgery — and endless rehabilitations later, The Daily Targum’s Comeback Player of the Year finished her career on her own terms.
When Sky Blue FC takes to Yurcak Field next Wednesday against the Chicago Red Stars, the National Women’s Soccer League club will boast one rookie who should be a familiar face for fans of the Rutgers women’s soccer team.Former Scarlet Knights forward Jonelle Filigno made her home debut Wednesday in a 2-0 loss to the Seattle Reign.
While the final result was not what she wanted, senior Alexis Gunzelman finished her career as the top all-around gymnast in program history after competing last Friday at nationals in Birmingham, Ala. Gunzelman earned a 38.175 in the all-around competition and started off strong on her first two events of the night. She opened the competition on the vault and scored a 9.700 after a side step on her landing.
The Rutgers gymnastics team saw its season finish at the conclusion of the NCAA Regionals on April 5, but for one gymnast, her season continues this weekend. Senior Alexis Gunzelman scored a 39.175 in the all-around at regionals to place second and qualify for the NCAA Championships, where she will compete as an individual.
The Rutgers gymnastics team wanted to break a score of 196.000 this season. The Scarlet Knights wanted to earn their first NCAA Regionals bid since 2007. The Knights aimed to place well at the EAGL Championships.Rutgers accomplished all three of those goals in a season that was filled with career highs and program bests.
The Rutgers gymnastics team gained valuable postseason experience Saturday at the NCAA Regionals in Athens, Ga., earning a program-high 193.750 score to finish sixth behind Michigan, Georgia, Central Michigan, Ohio State and North Carolina State. Senior Alexis Gunzelman’s season will continue after her second-place finish in the all-around automatically qualified her for NCAA nationals.
The goal all season for the Rutgers gymnastics team was simple — qualify for the NCAA Regionals. The Scarlet Knights earned their first appearance at regionals since 2007, and it is the first time Rutgers has qualified under third-year head coach Louis Levine. After a program-best third-place finish at the EAGL Championships on March 22 and posting both the highest score on the road at 195.825 and the top-program score of 196.225, the Knights have one more meet to reach perfection.
The uneven bars require consistency and precision.
In gymnastics, the balance beam requires a different mentality than the other three events. Gymnasts flip, jump and spin on an apparatus that is four feet off the ground and is just four inches wide. It is the event that is considered the most psychologically straining, according to Rutgers head gymnastics coach Louis Levine.
In a season full of broken records, the Rutgers gymnastics team added one more to its collection Saturday at the EAGL Championships. The Scarlet Knights scored a 195.275 to finish tied for third with North Carolina State, behind hosts New Hampshire and the Maryland. The third place finish was the program’s top score at the conference championships.
Coming off its second straight record-breaking weekend after a program-best 196.225 score, the Rutgers gymnastics team looks to carry that momentum into its final meet of the regular season. The Scarlet Knights travel tomorrow to face conference foes North Carolina, and ECAC rivals William & Mary and Brown in their final meet before the EAGL championships.
Each event in gymnastics has its own personality. Vault is quick and powerful and is over in a matter of seconds. The uneven bars require grace and look effortless. Balance beam shows fearlessness. Floor exercise allows gymnasts to blend personality, performance and athleticism into a 90-second routine.
As the Rutgers gymnastics team entered its final rotation Saturday, the noise level at the Livingston Gym rose. Freshman Charly Santagado took the floor exercise and scored a career-high 9.875 to start the Scarlet Knights off on the right foot. They never looked back. Rutgers (17-3) finished atop the standings with a school-record score of 196.225 in the five-team meet that included No. 17 Central Michigan, Southern Connecticut State, Yale and Towson.
In a sport that is defined by tenths and hundredths of a point, even a season-best score leaves plenty of room for improvement. The Rutgers gymnastics team will aim to make those improvements this weekend in its final home competition of the season. The Scarlet Knights (13-2) hit on all four events for a score of 195.825 last weekend, which showed the potential Rutgers has when it puts together clean routines.
Sophomore Jenna Williams and freshman Claire Jones each earned EAGL weekly honors yesterday for the Rutgers gymnastics team after their career-high performances Saturday at Cornell. Williams earned Specialist of the Week following a 9.875 score on balance beam. Her previous top score was a 9.850, which she earned Jan. 19 at Ohio State.
Four straight overtime matches — three straight shootouts. For the Rutgers’s women’s soccer team, it was 361 minutes and 15 seconds without giving up a goal. The Scarlet Knights capped off the 2013 season in the first round of the NCAA tournament Nov. 16 when they fell to West Virginia on penalty kicks.
When West Virginia goalkeeper Sara Keane stopped senior forward Jonelle Filigno’s penalty kick Saturday, the focus shifted to the offseason for the Rutgers women’s soccer team. The Scarlet Knights now have nine months to prepare for a new season in their third conference in as many years. “I think the biggest thing [to take away from the season] is that we are just as good as everyone else, if not better,” said freshman midfielder Madison Tiernan.
Three months ago, the Rutgers women’s soccer team traveled to Morgantown, W. Va., to face West Virginia in its opening scrimmage. The Scarlet Knights (13-4-4, 5-3-3) fell to the Mountaineers, 3-0. Now the two former Big East members will battle it out again there in tomorrow’s NCAA Tournament opening round. Head coach Glenn Crooks believes his team will not look back to the early-season loss.
When opposing teams ready for the Rutgers women’s soccer team, there is a rare wrinkle they must prepare for: a flip throw-in, where she runs and front flips before inbounding. Sophomore defender Brianne Reed honed the skill in middle school. The sophomore defender spent 10 years competing as a gymnast and made it to Level 8, just two levels away from becoming an elite gymnast.