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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.
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.
In the thick of a tight race for the Big Ten Conference regular season title, the No. 21 Rutgers men’s soccer team has its biggest match since joining the conference last season looming ahead.But before the Scarlet Knights travel to College Park to face Maryland on Wednesday, they hosted Nebraska-Omaha in their final regular season match at Yurcak Field of 2015 Saturday afternoon.The Knights (11-4-1, 4-3-0) took care of business on Halloween in a 1-0 shutout victory over the Mavericks to extend their winning streak to seven games.
The Rutgers men’s soccer team will put its six-game winning streak on the line on Halloween at Yurcak Field.
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 35 minutes remaining in the Rutgers men’s soccer team’s match against Loyola (Md.) earlier this season, senior midfielder Mitchell Taintor placed the ball about 30 meters from goal and lined up for a free-kick. He took a deep breath, stepped up and unleashed a vicious strike that bounced off the post and ricochetted into the goal past Tyler Beaudoin.While the goal was insignificant for the Scarlet Knights — they had been up 4-0 prior to the score — it was the most important goal of Taintor’s career.Two weeks earlier, on Sept.
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.
Defense wins championships.If this age-old sports cliché is as true as it is hyped up to be, the Rutgers men’s soccer team seemed hopeless in its pursuit for the first piece of silverware as a member of the Big Ten midway through the season.In their first nine matches, the Scarlet Knights kept just one clean sheet, conceding 12 goals in a mediocre 4-4-1 start to their campaign.