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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Senior goalkeeper Jessica Janosz broke the Rutgers women’s soccer postgame huddle after a consoling speech from head coach Glenn Crooks. With tears developing, she was only able to sob the word “team.” The Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium was filled near capacity this past Saturday as 1,610 fans stood in excitement to watch the first round of the NCAA Tournament come down to penalty kicks.
Senior goalkeeper Jessica Janosz posts one of her nine total saves against WVU. Rutgers went to penalty kicks, and Janosz collected her ninth shutout of the year.
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.
Senior forward Jonelle Filigno is expected to play in Rutgers’ first round NCAA tournament game tomorrow. Filigno was injured in last week’s AAC semifinal. She was named to the AAC First Team last week.
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.
A penalty kick loss to Central Florida in the AAC finals forced the Rutgers women’s soccer team to gain an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament to continue its season. But with prospects of continuing their season left to a selection committee, the Scarlet Knights were unsure about their fate after their loss. “I feel bad for the players for how hard they work,” said head coach Glenn Crooks after the loss Sunday.
Head coach Glenn Crooks led the Knights to an at-large bid for their third NCAA Tournament appearance in five seasons.
Rutgers received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament yesterday for the second time in as many seasons. The Knights travel to West Virginia on Saturday to play the Mountaineers in the first round.
Entering the postseason, the Rutgers women’s soccer team had not advanced past the quarterfinals of conference play since 2006. The Scarlet Knights made it to the conference championship that year, falling to the top-ranked team nationally, Notre Dame. The Knights played in the inaugural AAC Championship final yesterday against top-seeded host Central Florida.
The Rutgers women’s soccer team finds itself in a position it has not been in since 2006. With a win tonight, the Scarlet Knights then play for a conference title. Before the Knights (13-4-2, 5-3-1) can jump into the AAC final, they cannot overlook their semifinal matchup with seventh-seeded Memphis (13-7-0, 4-5-0). The two programs first met Oct. 4 at Yurcak Field, which resulted in a 3-2 Rutgers victory.
Senior forward Jonelle Filigno scored twice in the Knights’ 3-2 win Oct. 4 against Memphis. Filigno is second on the team in both goals and points this season and leads the team in game-winning goals with five.
Senior goalkeeper Jessica Janosz made five saves in Sunday’s win against Cincinnati. Janosz is second in the conference in goals against average this season.
Tricia DiPaolo has been with the Rutgers women’s soccer team almost twice as long as her freshman teammates. Six knee surgeries — three ACL tears, two meniscus tears and a microfracture surgery — threatened to force the senior defender to hang up her cleats. Instead of stepping away from the game, she used those words to spark a comeback.
The AAC’s inaugural women’s soccer championship wraps up this weekend. In the quarterfinals tomorrow, top-seeded UCF takes on No. 5 seed USF in a battle of the Sunshine State at 5 p.m., followed by No. 3 Rutgers against No. 7 Memphis at 7:30. It took the Scarlet Knights two overtimes to beat No. 6 Cincinnati, 2-1, in the quarterfinals this past Sunday at Yurcak Field.
Senior Tricia DiPaolo received a seventh year of eligibility for her injury history, which includes six knee surgeries.
Senior forward Jonelle Filigno scored two goals in Rutgers’ last meeting against Memphis, which the Knights face tomorrow in the quarterfinals.
Rutgers head women’s soccer coach Glenn Crooks was hesitant at first to give away the Scarlet Knights’ defensive game plan entering their semi-final game Sunday against Memphis. He jokingly alluded to all the preparation that he hears that goes into each NFL or college football game. “We are going to play a 3-4, split the A gaps and rush the quarterback,” Crooks said. He was able to clarify the team’s defensive strategy.
Senior back Tricia DiPaolo will be part of a Rutgers defense responsible for shutting down a Memphis offense that ranks first in the AAC in both points and goals scored this season. The Knights face the Tigers on Friday night in the semifinals of the AAC Tournament in Orlando.
Sophomore defender Brianne Reed is part of a Rutgers defense which has produced eight shutouts this season.
Entering its match Sunday, the Rutgers women’s soccer team looked to advance to its first conference tournament semifinal since 2006. Head coach Glenn Crooks looking for his 200th-career victory was greater incentive. The Knights (13-4-2, 5-3-1) had to cope with the Cincinnati’s (8-11-1, 4-4-1) impressive size, which allows the Bearcats to perform well on set plays.