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Rutgers earns first Big Ten win against OSU

The Rutgers field hockey team was able to secure its first-ever Big Ten win on Friday at home by a score of 3-2 against Ohio State.

Although the Scarlet Knights (6-7, 1-4) fell short in their hopes for their first weekend sweep of the season in a road loss to Monmouth two days later, the conference win still remains a special moment for the Knights’ players. 

“I’m just so excited,” said sophomore midfielder Alyssa Bull. “It’s been a long time coming, and we really deserved it. We worked hard for it. We’ve been training for it. Just an unreal feeling.”

Bull was able to help lead Rutgers to the win with her second goal of the season. 

Sophomore defender Sofia Walia got the goal scoring started early on in the 13th minute. But the Buckeyes (4-8, 0-4) tied the game just three minutes later, with the teams going into the half deadlocked, 1-1.

The offense began to click on all cylinders in the second half. 

It showed when six minutes into the second half, Bull was able to tap the ball in from right in front of the net and give the Knights a 2-1 lead. 

Less than five minutes later, junior forward Katie Champion scored her team-leading eighth goal to extend the lead to 3-1.

“We talk about setting the tone and the tempo of the game,” said head coach Meredith Long. “Our first 10 minutes of each half is a big focus. …We want to be attacking and put the opponent under pressure from the get-go.”

As a defender and goalie, knowing you have a two-goal lead affects how the defenders approach situations, Hayes said. The Buckeyes were able to cut the lead in half, 3-2, but ultimately Rutgers defense held up.

“It gives us confidence in the back knowing that our forwards are scoring and we are up that much,” said sophomore goalie Shevaun Hayes. “It takes the pressure off of us, and it won’t go down to those last 10 minutes.”

The Knights fell short when they traveled to Monmouth on Sunday in a tight 3-2 loss, unable to continue their momentum from Friday’s big win.

Rutgers trailed 1-0 less than five minutes into the game off a goal from Hawks forward Amanda Schoenfeld. Monmouth (7-6) added another goal 20 minutes later off the stick of forward Meg Donahue. 

Rutgers was able to cut the lead right before the end of the first half thanks to sophomore forward Rachel Yaney’s second goal of the season. 

Ultimately, the Knights fell short in their comeback attempt after going down 3-1 in the second half because of a goal from Hawks midfielder Trish O’Dwyer. 

Both teams were evenly matched coming into the game with the same record and similar stats. Rutgers had 11 shots and five corners, while Monmouth had 12 shots and six corners.

Rutgers was able to tack on another goal scored by senior midfielder Sophie Wright, but finding the tying goal was too tall a task for the Knights, who ended the weekend 1-1. 

For updates on the Rutgers field hockey team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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