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Gloomy, wet and eerie were three words to describe the scene that took place Saturday night at the Dan McClimon Memorial Soccer Complex in Madison, Wisconsin.But the outcome was anything but unusual for the Rutgers men’s soccer team, as it dropped its eighth game of the season, putting it at 0-8-1 thus far.
Following its first instance of real Big Ten adversity this season, the Rutgers women’s soccer team had a bounce-back game versus Michigan State Sunday, winning the matchup by a score of 3-1.But the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s (NSCAA) 19th ranked Scarlet Knights faced a hardship on Thursday night in second game of their road trip in the Great Lake State.Rutgers suffered a gut wrenching defeat at the hands of Michigan, losing 3-2 in double overtime.It was the only time that the Knights have allowed more than two goals in a match in all of 2016.After going through such a tough experience in Ann Arbor, Rutgers (8-2-2, 3-1-1) was looking forward to a chance at redemption in East Lansing.“The players responded so well from the opening whistle,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
In probably the most heartbreaking defeat the Rutgers women’s soccer team has faced all season, the Scarlet Knights (7-2-2, 2-1-1) fell to Michigan 3-2 in double overtime Thursday evening.
Coming off a resilient comeback that just fell short of a win, the Rutgers men’s soccer team looks to get back on track as it heads to Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday to resume conference play against the Badgers. But, the Scarlet Knights (0-7-1), (0-3-1) (why are there two records?) face a different kind of team this weekend. Unlike Florida Gulf Coast’s high-octane offense, the Badgers sport a totally different look. Wisconsin’s goalkeeper Phillip Schilling is averaging a .78 (SPELL OUT FOR FIRST REFERENCE UNLESS THIS IS A BIG THING AND I JUST DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS) GAA, which is second in the Big Ten, as well as a .760 save percentage that ranks third in the Big Ten.
The Rutgers women’s soccer team faces its first Big Ten road trip of the season, visiting both Michigan and Michigan State this weekend. The Scarlet Knights are currently ranked 19th nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, but are confronting a true challenge in the Great Lake State. Thursday evening they play a Michigan side that has gotten off to an extremely impressive start.Michigan heads into Thursday’s match tied for third in the Big Ten with a 7-1-1 overall record and a 3-0 mark in conference play.Despite not ranking in the top 25 by the NSCAA, the Wolverines are rated at No. 17 in the country by Soccer America and No. 22 by TopDrawerSoccer.com.In its last two contests, Michigan defeated Nebraska and Michigan State 2-1 and 1-0 respectively.Pacing the offense is redshirt junior Ani Sarkisian who leads the Wolverines in scoring with 5 goals, including the game-winner against Michigan State.In addition, Michigan has displayed excellent defense winning five consecutive matches and allowing only 1 goal in that span.The leader of the defensive front is goalkeeper Sarah Jackson, who has a save percentage of .897 and only allows an average of 0.43 goals per game.“Michigan will definitely be a tough one as they have one of the best defenses in the country,” said freshman defender Chantelle Swaby.
Bear Bryant, a Hall of Fame football coach for Alabama, once said, “offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.”Trophies and champagne will be flowing to the Rutgers women's soccer team if Bryant’s saying is true.The Scarlet Knights’ (7-1-2, 2-0-1) defense has been nothing short of spectacular this season with seven shutouts in 10 games.Rutgers has not allowed a goal in six consecutive matches, a stretch that includes a streak of more than 200 minutes without conceding a shot on goal.The back line of freshmen Chantelle Swaby and Amanda Visco, sophomore Kenie Wright and senior captain Erin Smith has been able to maintain the level of last season's team despite having little time to build chemistry.After making it all the way to the College Cup — the soccer version of the NCAA Tournament Final Four — last year, the Knights had to rebound quickly after the loss of many seniors that made up the nucleus of the team.Visco and Swaby have stepped in beautifully and have Rutgers right back where it expects to be — competing for a Big Ten championship.“We have high expectations as a unit,” Visco said.
Nothing new happened Tuesday night.In fact, it was the same old story – just a bigger letdown. Despite junior forward Jason Wright’s hat trick, and the Rutgers men’s soccer team cutting what was once a 5-0 lead to 5-4, they were defeated again Tuesday night against No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast 6-5. “Obviously it wasn’t a very good defensive game between either team,” said head coach Dan Donigan.
In an important weekend with two visiting conference opponents, the Rutgers women’s soccer team saw two drastically different outcomes. The Scarlet Knights earned an impressive 2-0 victory on Friday in the first match versus Northwestern. Rutgers held the Wildcats without a shot on goal for the entire first half and completely dominated the possession. In the 33rd minute senior forward Erica Murphy scored a superb goal as a substitute. Fellow bench star freshman midfielder Taylor Aylmer set up the play with a great run down the middle of the field. Aylmer dribbled past several defenders and drew the attention of the two Northwestern center backs freeing up Murphy on the right flank. After receiving a concise and sharp pass, Murphy placed her shot easily beyond the stretches of the goalkeeper.
After earning its first tie of the season, the Rutgers men’s soccer team will try to ride its momentum into its fourth non-conference game of the season against the highest scoring team in the country — Florida Gulf Coast. The Scarlet Knights (0-6-1), (0-3-1) are heading into Tuesday’s game for the first time this season not coming off a loss. “It just doesn’t make you forget the other games,” said head coach Dan Donigan.
For the fifth time in seven games, the Rutgers men’s soccer team will play a top-20 team as No. 4 Indiana (4-0-3) will travel to Yurcak Field Friday.
The Rutgers men’s soccer team fell to 0-6 on the season following a 3-1 loss to Ohio State on Sunday.The Buckeyes (2-5) scored in the fifth minute to put the Scarlet Knights in a hole.From there, it was all Ohio State, as it padded its early lead to 2-0 heading into halftime.“I don’t know what the answer is,” said head coach Dan Donigan.
The No. 19 Rutgers women’s soccer team hosted and defeated Big Ten foe Maryland 1-0 in each team’s first conference game at Yurcak Field on Friday night.The Scarlet Knights (6-1-1) and the Terrapins (2-6-1) had split the last two meetings as league opponents going into the match, but after the victory, the Knights are now 3-6-1 all-time against Maryland.
It’s finally time for the Rutgers women’s soccer team’s real tests to begin as the Big Ten schedule starts at home Friday night 7 p.m.
Last year the Rutgers men's soccer team surpassed all expectations. The Scarlet Knights went 12-7-2 making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011, reached the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament and finished ranked No. 23 in the final NSCAA coach’s poll.The Knights shocked everyone with their accomplishments, but they had many contributors to that success. Jason Wright was, obviously, the main one. The then-sophomore captured the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award, earned Second Team NSCAA All-American honors, NSCAA First Team All-Region honors, unanimous First Team All-Big Ten selection and was chosen, a whopping, four times for the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award. Wright was also complimented by midfielder, Mitchell Taintor.Taintor, who graduated last year, played in 20 of Rutgers' 21 games, putting up five goals, five assists and ending the season with a total of 25 shots on goal.Also from the Class of 2016 is Mitch Lurie, who now plays professionally for Toronto FC.
It’s extremely difficult to replace a star player in any sport, and in every case except a few rare instances, the newcomer falters. Time and time again, the expectations are simply too high and the fans start calling for the replacement’s head, reminiscing about the good ole days they had watching their favorite player before this new one ruined the team. There has been no such nostalgia among the Rutgers women’s soccer team faithful, however, as redshirt senior Alana Jimenez has done a commendable job in net as the successor to All-American goal keeper Casey Murphy. Murphy, who would be entering her junior season for Rutgers, was offered to play on the Under-20 U.S.
It was a chance to make the pain of four straight losses go away. Getting outscored 12-0 in the first four contests, the Rutgers men's soccer team knew it had to show up Tuesday night with some firepower hosting No. 4 Maryland. But all didn’t go as planned. The pattern continued for the Scarlet Knights, yet again allowing an early goal that cost them in a tightly contested game that ended in a 2-1, double overtime loss. “Maryland kept coming at us,” said head coach Dan Donigan.
There’s a famous expression, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going." And for the Rutgers men’s soccer team, the going has gotten tough and tough must get going. The Scarlet Knights have stumbled out to an 0-4 start this season and haven't scored a single goal in 360 minutes of action.
On the eve of Rutgers’ first home football game, all eyes were on Yurcak Field as the Rutgers women’s soccer team took on Cornell. After a defeat at the hands of Georgetown that broke the Scarlet Knights’ streak of 18 straight home game matches without a loss, it was of paramount importance for the squad to earn a win. Although the final score was 2-0 in Rutgers’ favor, at halftime it didn’t look like it would go that way."We talk so much about confidence and playing with purpose," said head coach Mike O'Neill.
The Rutgers men’s soccer team has struggled early on this season to stop the opposition from scoring early. For the first 43 minutes of Friday’s contest against Michigan State, the Scarlet Knights were able to do so, holding the Spartans scoreless despite the eight shots they made.But the pressure from the home side became too much.
The Rutgers women’s soccer team lost its first game at home since 2014 but is looking to rebound in a big way match against a formidable Ivy League foe.The No. 23 Scarlet Knights (3-1-1) will welcome Cornell (2-1) to Yurack Field this Friday night at 7 p.m. “Cornell is well organized and well coached,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.