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Surviving and advancing is one of the notable mantras used to describe how teams approach tournament-style play.The No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team (17-3-2, 7-2-2) pointed right to that old adage following its 1-0 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last Friday.The Scarlet Knights felt they did not play as aggressively as they wanted to, but were satisfied to leave their home fans at Yurcak Field with a tournament victory.The team now returns home Friday night to play Hofstra in the second round of the NCAA Tournament looking to be more assertive in its offensive attack for the next game.“Our team is good.
PISCATAWAY — On Friday the 13th, there was nothing unusual from the No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team as they opened NCAA Tournament play at their home Yurcak Field.The Scarlet Knights (17-3-2, 7-2-2) hosted in-state rival Fairleigh Dickinson and exhibited their defensive prowess throughout the contest, along with timely scoring.
Looking to put the loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Championship game behind it quickly, the No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team is set to host Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.The Scarlet Knights (16-3-2, 7-2-2) enter the tournament as a No. 2 seed, the highest in program history.Their strong play throughout the year led the NCAA committee to tab them with the honor of the high seed.
A loss in such a high magnitude game like the Big Ten Championship game could have potentially damaging effects for a team, but the No. 7 Rutgers women’s soccer team plans to put the loss behind them as quickly as possible.After all, the game represented its one truly flat performance of the season, a year in which it has already broken many school records.Going into the championship game, the Scarlet Knights (16-3-2, 7-3-2) were riding their longest unbeaten streak in school history – ten games – having gone 8-0-2 during the stretch.Their 16 wins are tied with the 2006 team for the most in school history, and they can break the record with an NCAA Tournament victory on Friday.Though Sunday’s loss was a tough one for the Knights, they know they have to move past it quickly and are looking at their season as a whole to build some confidence heading into the NCAA Tournament.“The players always want more and to do better, which is all we can really ask for as coaches,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
The move to the Big Ten just two short years ago brought much fanfare and attention to Rutgers.Heading to such a high-profile athletic conference was sure to be a major move for the school, and the Scarlet Knights got their first taste of a championship game in the conference Sunday afternoon.But the No. 7 Rutgers women’s soccer team did not get the result it was hoping for as it was beaten by No. 9 Penn State, 2-0, in the Big Ten Championship game at Jeffrey Field in State College, Pennsylvania.The Scarlet Knights (16-3-2, 7-3-2) entered the game as the No. 3 seed in the tournament and could never gain any momentum after a pair of early goals from the No. 1 seed Nittany Lions (16-3-2, 9-2-1).Penn State controlled the ball from the start, showing an aggressive offensive attack against a Rutgers defense which has been among the best in the country all season long.In the ninth minute, Elizabeth Ball scored off a corner kick from Nickolette Dreiesse to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead.It highlighted the one area in which the Knights have struggled this season — defending set pieces.Sophomore goalkeeper Casey Murphy made a big save in 20th minute when she came out of net to catch a long-distance shot from Penn State.But in the 26th minute, Emily Ogle got one past Murphy after a Rutgers turnover and gave the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead with a strike from 18 yards out.
For a team filled with talent and high expectations, the No. 7 Rutgers women’s soccer team has been able focus in on each game throughout the season as if it were the most important one on the schedule.The program navigated a tricky non-conference schedule, headlined by a victory over then-No. 20 Connecticut, then posted a 7-2-2 conference record in the Big Ten.The Scarlet Knights now enter the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a 15-2-2 overall record, having gone unbeaten in their last nine games (7-0-2).As they prepare to play an Ohio State team which they already defeated by a 2-0 score a few weeks ago, the Knights remain excited about their postseason prospects and keep the historic ride going.“We try to do a good job with scouting reports and making sure that the players are always prepared,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
Training begins early in the year well before games approach, with technique and conditioning being at the forefront of these early sessions.Preseason and exhibition games come next before the regular season gets underway, and then the hard work can come to fruition by qualifying for the postseason.The No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team has gone through a rigorous training schedule and Big Ten slate throughout the season, but are seeing their efforts pay off with their best performances of the year at the right time.After navigating through the regular season with a 15-2-2 record and 8-2-2 conference record, the Scarlet Knights are trying to keep the same focused mentality that has allowed them to be so successful.“When you’re driving to a stadium, and it’s playoff soccer, it’s a different drive,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
The No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team has talked the whole season about the great depth of its roster and how it allows talented individual players to work efficiently together.The skill of the players is evident through their games.
Riding a wave of momentum heading into the postseason, the No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team will host a Big Ten Tournament game for the first time in school history on Sunday afternoon when it takes on Minnesota.These two teams met just last week at Yurcak Field, when the then-No. 12 Scarlet Knights rallied for a 3-1 comeback victory against the then-No. 19 Golden Gophers.But the postseason brings on added pressure and forces adjustments to be made, especially when these teams are so familiar with each other given the recent regular season game.“We know that we are playing a very tough team that we saw just last week, so we really have to stay focused and aware of what we need to do,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
A road trip to Iowa for the regular season finale was sure to present difficulties for the Rutgers women’s soccer team, but it was able to carry over its home dominance into enemy territory and escape with a 2-0 victory.The No. 9 Scarlet Knights (14-2-2, 7-2-2) got off to a quick start against the Hawkeyes (7-10-1, 1-9-1) and wanted to make sure they played consistently for the full 90 minutes like they have over the past few games.They did just that, dominating the pace of play throughout the whole game and never giving Iowa much of a chance to get their offense going.Senior midfielder Hayley Katkowski gave the Knights the early advantage with a goal in the third minute, assisted by fellow seniors Samantha Valliant and Brianne Reed.The early strike gave Rutgers a quick 1-0 lead.
With one more regular season game to go before the Big Ten Tournament, the Rutgers women’s soccer team is remaining focused on the task at hand for the week — finishing the season strong at Iowa.The No. 9 Scarlet Knights (13-2-2, 6-2-2) are playing their best soccer of the season, picking up crucial conference victories over ranked foes in then-No. 9 Penn State and then-No. 19 Minnesota.They have put themselves in position to host a Big Ten Tournament game at home after their recent string of strong play has them tied with Michigan for third in the conference with 20 points.They also just completed their third unbeaten season at home in school history, posting a 9-0-1 record at Yurcak Field.Rutgers would love to be able to host a conference tournament game at home, but understands that it cannot overlook a Hawkeyes team (7-9-1, 1-8-1) that has beaten Illinois this season, one of the two teams to hand the Knights a loss this fall.“Winning at home this year was very important to us and one of the biggest goals set out by the team at the start of the season,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
Over the course of a season, teams hope to see progression from younger players that shows all the hard work and training pay off.It can take a while for younger college athletes to truly come into their own, as they deal with experiences such as living away from home on top of getting comfortable with new coaches and teammates.For the No. 12 Rutgers women’s soccer team, the growth of some key newcomers has been pivotal in winning matches down the stretch of the season.The Scarlet Knights (12-2-2, 5-2-2) are coming off their biggest win of the year against then-No. 9 Penn State, with sophomore forward Colby Ciarrocca scoring the game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory.She also scored a late goal to seal the team's 2-0 victory over Ohio State last week.Ciarrocca leads the team with six goals and her emergence as an offensive force has been crucial to the Knights’ success.“Colby has the great ability to score goals at the times when we need them,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
The structure of any team or organization tends to put great responsibilities on the veterans who have been there the longest.With new classes of athletes coming in each year in college sports, it is crucial to have leaders who can help usher in the new wave of teammates and show them the way on and off the field.This is precisely what the senior class of the Rutgers women’s soccer team has been able to do this season.The No. 12 Scarlet Knights (12-2-2, 5-2-2) are in the midst of another successful season under head coach Mike O’Neill, coming off a 1-0 Senior Day win over No. 9 Penn State.O'Neill is proud of the depth his team is able to display in each match, but knows it all starts with his senior leaders.“When I think of this senior class, I think of character, talent, accountability and family.
PISCATAWAY — One year after the Rutgers women's soccer team announced its entrance to the Big Ten with an upset of then-No.
The No. 25 Rutgers women’s soccer team kicks off its final home stand of the season on Thursday night.That all starts with a 7 p.m.
Soccer can be a frustrating game.Over the course of a 90-minute match, there are moments where a team can be dominating the pace of play, making key passes and creating prime scoring opportunities.But things can get tense when those chances are not converted into goals.The No.
The No. 23 Rutgers women’s soccer team traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana, to take on Purdue for a brief one-game road trip and played to a 0-0 draw.The Scarlet Knights (10-2-2, 3-2-2) went to overtime for the third time this season, and finished with a draw for the second time in overtime contests.The win over Indiana and the draw against Purdue gives Rutgers four points over their last two conference matchups.Just like in their victory over Indiana last Thursday, the Knights controlled the tempo of the game and outshot their opponent by a wide margin.They outshot the Boilermakers (7-5-1, 2-3-1) by a mark of 22-7, making it consecutive games with at least 20 shots for the Knights.This is a welcoming sign for their offense, but they were unable to capitalize their chances into goals like they did against Indiana.“I was so proud of the effort the team gave today,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.