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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.
It’s been four years in the making, but it was worth the wait.The Rutgers men’s soccer team plays its first NCAA Tournament match since 2011 when it takes on LIU Brooklyn under the lights at Yurcak Field.The only member of the Scarlet Knights (12-6-1, 4-4-0) returning from the last team to participate in the biggest tournament in collegiate soccer is JP Correa. The fifth-year senior saw action in the tournament as a freshman and will close his career on the Banks playing in the competition the Knights have been working to return to over four tumultuous seasons.“It’s a nice feeling,” Correa said of playing in the tournament twice.
When the Rutgers men’s soccer team fell 4-0 to Ohio State Friday in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, the guaranteed portion of its schedule came to a close.For the past four seasons, the end of the conference tournament — whether it be the Big East, the American Athletic Conference or the Big Ten — marked the end of the season for the Scarlet Knights, who have failed to take part in the NCAA Tournament since their run to the quarterfinals in 2011.But this year was different.A successful season from the Knights made the NCAA Selection Show on Monday afternoon must-watch television for all involved with the program.
Entering its first Big Ten Tournament semifinal in program history, the No. 18 Rutgers men’s soccer team knew it had to remain focused and follow the game plan for 90 minutes if it wanted a shot to reach the finals.The last time the Scarlet Knights faced No. 12 Ohio State — their opponents in the semifinals — they were able to hold them scoreless for 90 minutes, winning 1-0 through a late goal from sophomore forward Jason Wright. The Knights looked to replicate their performance from that game in order to advance to their first ever Big Ten Tournament final.But the game plan quickly fell apart and Rutgers was unable to adjust.The Knights suffered a goal within a minute of either half in a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Buckeyes that eliminates them from the Big Ten Tournament.
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.
There’s a first time for everything.The No. 18 Rutgers men’s soccer team experiences its first taste of Big Ten Tournament's latter stages Friday when it travels to Columbus for the semifinals to face the conference tournament's top seed in No. 12 Ohio State.Competing against elite opposition all throughout the regular season, the quality of the team on the other side of the field is nothing new for the boys from the Banks.“It’s a very big challenge, but everybody in this conference is a very big challenge, top to bottom, from Michigan State, who lost in the play-in game, to Ohio State, who’s the number one seed,” said head coach Dan Donigan.
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.
Around this time last year, members of Rutgers men’s soccer team had already taken off their cleats for the final time. The eighth-seeded Scarlet Knights suffered a 2-0 defeat to top seed Maryland in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament to end their 2014 season.
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.
Aside from a black banner displayed across from the crowd on the opposite border of the field reading, “BIG TEN MEN’S SOCCER TOURNAMENT,” nothing really deviated from the usual at Yurcak Field.Although the competition being played in Piscataway was different, the result was the same.The fourth-seeded Rutgers men’s soccer team continued its strong home form Sunday afternoon by defeating fifth-seeded Northwestern, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament to book a spot in its semifinal for the first time in program history.But the win didn’t come easily.“It’s a hard fought, gutty win,” said head coach Dan Donigan.
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.
What goes up, must come down.The Rutgers men’s soccer team faced Maryland on Wednesday riding high on a seven-game winning streak with a chance to win the first Big Ten regular season title in any sport in school history.The Scarlet Knights' dreams — along with the third-longest active winning streak in Division I men’s soccer — came crashing down as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Terrapins that pulled them down two spots to a fourth-place finish in the conference standings.The Knights refuse to make any excuses for the loss and recognized they were outplayed.“We got beat by Maryland,” said head coach Dan Donigan.
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.
The Rutgers men’s soccer team entered College Park on Wednesday with a chance to make history by becoming the first program in school history to win a Big Ten regular season title in any sport and earn the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament.But by the end of the night, the Scarlet Knights returned home thinking about what could have been.After keeping five clean sheets during a seven-game winning streak, the Knights conceded three goals to Maryland in a 3-1 loss.
Sophomore forward Jason Wright, who leads the Big Ten and ranks third nationally in goals with 13, hopes to add to his tally against the Terrapins.
After fighting through a rough first season in the Big Ten, junior midfielder Erik Sa is happy to be playing meaningful soccer on the final matchday of the regular season. The Knights fight for the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the Big Ten Tournament, which starts this weekend.
After being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, defender Kenie Wright hopes to aid Rutgers during the postseason push.
Decision day — the day the dust settles and everything is put into place — is here.Wednesday is the final day of regular season play in Big Ten men’s soccer and there is still much to be decided before the start of the conference tournament this weekend.
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.
When the final whistle blew at Yurcak Field to signal the end of the match between the Rutgers men’s soccer team and budding Big Ten rival Penn State on Oct.