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It was a rarity for the Rutgers women’s soccer team to provide an offensive spark this season in the first half of matches. So when Jonelle Filigno found the back of the net in the seventh minute against No. 2-seeded Virginia on Friday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the junior forward thought a win was not so farfetched. “I think we really believed that we were going to do it,” Filigno said. But the Cavaliers reared their heads, rattling off six straight goals to defeat the Scarlet Knights, 6-1, to advance to the Sweet 16.
Junior forward Jonelle Filigno scored the first goal in Rutgers’ 6-1 loss Friday at Virginia in the second round of the NCAA?Tournament.
As the seconds on the scoreboard ticked down in Hamilton, N.Y., last weekend, Cassie Inacio could not help but notice the nerves present in her first NCAA Tournament match give way to excitement. The Rutgers women’s soccer team’s victory against Colgate was something the sophomore forward will never forget. “The environment that was there was out of this world, I can’t even describe it,” Inacio said. “Getting the win, it was the best feeling in the world.”
Sophomore forward Cassie Inacio recorded three assists in the regular season and is part of an attack unit that must play a role in containment.
On paper, Colgate presented the Rutgers women’s soccer team a challenge much like Connecticut, a team agains which the Scarlet Knights lost, 3-1, in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Colgate featured a high-scoring offense that averaged 2.24 goals per contest, second in the Patriot League. But senior goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins noticed something she believes will be different Friday, when the Knights play Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Senior Shannon Woeller is one of the Knights’ primary defenders in shutting down second-seeded Virginia in the second round of the NCAA?Tournament on Friday, when the Knights travel to Charlottesville, Va.
The game plan for the Rutgers women’s soccer team was simple: control the ball and limit Colgate’s opportunities around the net. The Scarlet Knights executed their plan, defeating Colgate, 1-0, Saturday to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Raiders managed 20 shots against the Knights, a stat head coach Glenn Crooks expected. “We beat a very good team,” Crooks said. “I don’t know what type of reputation Colgate has or what people think, but they are a very good team.
Midfielder Amy Pietrangelo found the back of the net Saturday in Rutgers’ 1-0 victory against Colgate. Her goal in the 20th minute was her third of the season and her second game-winner. Rutgers plays Virginia on Friday in Charlottesville, Va., in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Senior goalie Emmy Simpkins collected five saves Saturday, including a diving save in the 63rd minute to preserve a shutout bid against Colgate. The captain has 68 saves in her final season.
Things have been hectic lately for Glenn Crooks. Not only did the Rutgers head women’s soccer coach have to deal with his team being on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament, but the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy gave him and the team extra worries. Crooks said a couple of his players’ families, including starting freshman defender Maggie Morash’s, were still without power as of Wednesday. The surrounding circumstances, Crooks admits, makes it hard to keep things in perspective.
Defender Shannon Woeller is a senior, but she was not on the roster for Rutgers’ last NCAA?Tournament appearance in 2009. Only three Knights have experience in the tournament, all of which are seniors. Rutgers’ game against Colgate marks head coach Glenn Crooks’ sixth tourney.
Head coach Glenn Crooks has the Knights focused on tomorrow’s first-round matchup in the NCAA Tournament after Hurricane Sandy distractions.
At her best, former Rutgers women’s basketball forward April Sykes could exploit a defense almost anywhere on the court. She led the Scarlet Knights with 40 3-pointers last year while also posing as a threat in the post. The Los Angeles Sparks forward played her final year at Rutgers on a team with eight upperclassmen. That number is down to four this season. With no upperclassman to replace Sykes along the wing, head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s vision is still formulating.
When Glenn Crooks turned on the NCAA women’s soccer selection show yesterday, the head coach watched the Rutgers women’s soccer team’s postseason fate unfold without many of his players surrounding him. “We had three quarters of our team in class,” Crooks said, “so you can’t miss class to see a selection show.” Crooks could not share a moment with most of the team that he had not experienced since 2009, as the Scarlet Knights earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Forward Jonelle Filigno drives against a Siena defender Aug. 26. The junior leads a scoring attack that faces Colgate on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament’s first round.
The Knights play in their first tournament game since 2009, when they lost to South Carolina, 1-0, in the second round.
Senior defender Tricia DiPaolo is one of only three players on the Knights’ roster with an NCAA Tournament appearance.
For the Rutgers women’s soccer team, its 3-1 loss to Connecticut on Oct. 25 in the first round of the Big East Tournament was a disappointment. While Big East play is over, head coach Glenn Crooks believes the Scarlet Knights’ season is not lost yet. He is now focused on securing a spot in the NCAA Tournament “Our outlook is to prepare for a game for next Friday,” Crooks said. The Knights were in solid position to secure an at-large bid for the tournament at the beginning of Big East play.
Goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins is one of five seniors whose careers could end if the Knights do not make the NCAA Tournament, which they have not done since 2009 when Rutgers lost in Round 2.
The first round of the Big East Tournament was also the last for the Rutgers women’s soccer team. After rallying to go 4-0-1 in their final five conference games and securing a spot in the tournament, the Scarlet Knights dropped their only match, a 3-1 decision on the road against Connecticut. Rutgers (12-7-1, 5-6-1) came within one goal of the lead for 20 minutes after senior midfielder Maura McLaughlin netted a goal in the 61st minute, the Knights’ only form of offense off of an assist from junior forward Jonelle Filigno.
Senior midfielder Maura McLaughlin scored Rutgers’ only goal last night.