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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.
Sophomore forward Rachel Cole scored the game-winning goal yesterday in the second overtime against Cincinnati. The goal was her second on the season and pushed Rutgers to the tournament semifinals.
Incentives for fans who show up Sunday afternoon at Yurcak field include a free blackout T-shirt and a slice of pizza. For the Rutgers women’s soccer team, the incentive is making their first conference semifinal since 2006. The Scarlet Knights (12-4-2, 5-3-1) host Cincinnati (8-10-1, 4-4-1) in their AAC tournament quarterfinal matchup.
Senior goalkeeper Jessica Janosz has started every game this season for Rutgers, including six shutouts. Janosz must prevent Cincinnati from scoring in the Knights’ first-round AAC playoff game.
Fans who have watched the Rutgers women’s soccer team this season may have noticed that two freshmen — midfielders Tori Prager and Madison Tiernan — have a special connection on the field. Being teammates for six years — first at the club level with the Mount Laurel United Crush and then with the Olympic Development Program — can have that effect.
Freshman Madison Tiernan was a rival to teammate Tori Prager during high school.
The Rutgers women’s soccer team has much to celebrate this year. The Scarlet Knights compiled a historic 10-1 home record this year — a program first — while also clinching the AAC Tournament’s third seed. Much of the Knights’ success this season falls on their attacking methods. Rutgers’ offensive approach is complex and overpowering at times, as the team routinely outshoots its opponent.
Senior forward Jonelle Filigno leads the Knights with 26 shots on goal this season. Filigno has shouldered less of the team’s offensive load, as she is second in goals.
Head coach Glenn Crooks said his top attacking trio this season is his best in quite some time for his 14-year Rutgers tenure.
On a day when the upperclassmen were honored, the Senior Day matchup for the Rutgers women’s soccer team held more significance. A win for the Scarlet Knights meant they would clinch at least a fourth-place finish and host an AAC Tournament quarterfinal match. Rutgers did just that, clinching the No. 3 seed yesterday as it defeated Temple, 2-0, at Yurcak Field. The win also gave the Knights (12-4-2, 5-3-1) their 10th victory of the year at home, a program record.
With a potential home playoff game on the line, Rutgers and Connecticut faced a high-stakes game at Yurcak Field. Both teams saw their fair share of chances, but the Huskies (11-7, 5-3) capitalized on their opportunities to secure a crucial 2-1 victory against the Scarlet Knights (11-4-2, 4-3-1). “It’s a very difficult loss, and I need to be honest, I didn’t think there was any point in the match that we thought we would be on the wrong end of the match,” said head coach Glenn Crooks.
Junior forward Stefanie Scholz runs after the ball during Rutgers’ 2-1 loss last night against Connecticut. The Huskies scored a game-winning goal in the 80th minute to secure a victory at Yurcak Field.
With only two games remaining in the Rutgers women’s soccer team’s regular season, the pressure to perform is high. Rutgers currently sits tied for third in the AAC, six points behind first-place UCF, and only one point ahead of fourth-place Connecticut. For the Scarlet Knights (11-3-2, 4-2-1), tonight will feature a critical matchup when Connecticut (10-7, 4-3) comes to Yurcak Field.
Senior defender Tricia DiPaolo will be partially responsible in stopping Connecticut’s offense when Rutgers hosts the Huskies tonight at Yurcak Field.