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It was a long and historic run for the No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team this season, with the Scarlet Knights reaching the national semifinals of the Women’s College Cup for the first time in program history.The run ended on Friday evening, however, when they squared off against No. 6 Penn State for the third time this season — this time with a spot in the National Championship Game on the line.Unfortunately for the Knights (19-4-3, 7-2-2), the match played out in similar fashion to their loss against the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten Championship game.
It’s funny how things can sometimes turn out in sports.After already playing against each other twice this season, the No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team will meet No. 6 Penn State in the semifinals of the College Cup on Friday in Cary, North Carolina.The Scarlet Knights (19-3-3, 7-2-2) beat the Nittany Lions (20-3-2, 8-2-1) at home at Yurcak Field on October 18th by a score of 1-0.The two teams then met in the Big Ten Championship game at Penn State’s Jeffrey Field, where the Nittany Lions controlled the game and won 2-0.The rubber match holds the highest stakes of the three matchups, as it will determine who gets to play either No. 2 Florida State or No. 20 Duke in the national championship game.“We’re excited for the opportunity to be in the College Cup,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
It’s been a long season for the No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team, but the Scarlet Knights wouldn’t want it any other way.While the athletic department and football team are undergoing changes following its season, the Knights (19-3-3, 7-2-2) on the pitch are preparing for their biggest game in team history.They are set to face Big Ten foe Penn State in the College Cup semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, which will serve as a veritable rubber-match after both teams have split the first two games against each other this season.As they get ready to head down to Cary, North Carolina, for the game, Rutgers reflected this week on the toughness and endurance they have showed throughout the season and in their upset victory in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals over No. 1 Virginia.
The Rutgers men’s soccer team entered 2015 expected to repeat the lackluster season it produced in its first season in the Big Ten the year prior.Returning a majority of the team that finished in second to last in the Big Ten with a record of 6-12-1, the Scarlet Knights were not looked at as a major threat in one of the premier conferences in the country.But looking back on a season that saw the Knights earned their first NCAA Tournament birth since 2011, reached the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament for the first time in program history and finished ranked in the final four NSCAA Coaches Polls, including a final No. 23 ranking, Rutgers proved the preseason predictions wrong.“It was awesome.
It seemed like the No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team was destined to suffer the same fate that has haunted them the last two seasons against No. 1 Virginia.After the Cavaliers (19-1-3, 9-1) knocked the Scarlet Knights (19-3-3, 7-2-2) out of the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons, they looked as if they were on the verge of a trifecta by controlling the possession for most of this year’s quarterfinal matchup.But the 2015 version of the Knights are a different group, and weren’t about to let Virginia end their season for a third straight year.Rutgers advanced to their first Women’s College Cup in school history by traveling to Charlottesville and defeating Virginia on the road in penalty kicks, 7-6, after both teams played to a draw in regulation and two overtime periods.It is the first time the women’s soccer program has ever reached the national semifinals, and the first team at Rutgers to do so since the 2007 women’s basketball team.“It’s a pretty special feeling, and we all recognize the significance of what this team has accomplished,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
Playing at your best at the most crucial time of the year — the post-season — is what coaches aim for in most sports.The pre-season is used to begin preparations for the regular season slate.
The No. 23 Rutgers men’s soccer team felt as if it was reliving 2011 when the NCAA Tournament bracket was released last week.Just like the last time they participated in the competition, the Scarlet Knights hosted — and won — the first round match against an opponent they were expected to defeat before traveling to a fourth-seed hoping to turn some heads with an upset.But instead of repeating the success of the past when they defeated fourth-seeded Boston College in a penalty shootout, the Knights (13-7-2, 4-4-0) returned home for the final time in 2015.Rutgers was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament after suffering a 6-1 pummeling at the hands of fourth-seeded Akron on Sunday afternoon in its second trip to Ohio of the season.
PISCATAWAY — The No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer team isn’t quite ready for its historic season to end just yet.After beating Hofstra, 2-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night, the Scarlet Knights returned to Yurcak Field on Sunday to face No. 18 Connecticut in the Sweet 16.It didn’t take long for them to carry over their momentum from Friday into Sunday’s match.The No. 2-seeded Knights (19-3-2, 7-2-2) came out with the offensive firepower they felt was missing from their first round victory over Fairleigh Dickinson and scored two first half goals in a 4-0 win over the Huskies.Both of their wins over Hofstra and Connecticut marked the second time they have beaten each team this season.After a rainy Thursday soaked the pitch at Yurcak Field for the weekend, the Knights were still able to gain traction and push the tempo on offense in both games.In a record-breaking season for the Knights, they added another one to the list by becoming the first team in program history to advance to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals with the win.It is a major accomplishment for Rutgers, which is the first team in program history to get this far.“I feel blessed,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.
For the first 110 minutes of the NCAA Tournament first round match between the Rutgers men’s soccer team and LIU Brooklyn, the crowd at Yurcak Field was as loud as ever, despite the horrific weather conditions throughout the night.But in the most crucial moment of the match, everything went silent.Junior goalkeeper David Greczek stood on the goal line with a chance to send his team to the next round of the biggest tournament in collegiate soccer.
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.