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Rutgers struggles to score in road sweep

The Rutgers field hockey team went into this weekend’s road trip with high hopes of taking down Big Ten rivals No. 5 Penn State and No. 2 Maryland.

But instead of making a statement win, the Scarlet Knights (6-9, 1-6) were outmatched and outplayed.

The Knights scored zero goals this weekend as their offensive woes continue to grow. Their struggles have been persistent throughout the season – Rutgers has a conference-worst 1.8 goals scored per game, giving up 2.66 goals a game. 

Compared to Penn State, which scores 3.22 goals a game and gives up 1.18 goals a game, and Maryland, who scores 3.93 goals a game and gives up 1.21 goals a game.

The Knights went into head coach Meredith Long’s alma mater, Maryland (13-2) on Sunday in College Park, Maryland, looking to open some eyes.

Instead, they were handled 4-0.

Going into the match, Long echoed playing their game, but it was easier said than done for Rutgers.

“We have to attack as a unit,” she said.

The Knights gave up two goals in each half and were unable to contain the Big Ten’s best offense.

Forward Maxine Fluharty was among the scorers for the Terrapins, adding to her team-leading 12 goals.

On Friday, Rutgers fell to the Nittany Lions (13-2) 3-0 in University Park, Pennsylvania. 

“We started pretty strong,” Long said. “They came down and had two quick chances. The team just deflated. We were really flat and lacked focus. We couldn’t quite get a handle on the game after that.”

Defensively, the Knights had an up and down game. Sophomore defender Sophia Walia was one who stood out, saving a goal at one point, but she felt the defense could have been better.

“We weren’t ready for the first two goals,” Walia said. “We didn’t work off each other today. We got back into it defense-wise, and we were pushing and working harder because we knew that we only get so many opportunities in the game.”

Rutgers was outshot 18-9 in the game and had two fewer corners. 

“Penn State is an attacking team that takes advantage of their offensive opportunities,” Long said. “I give their attack credit. We were a little bit reactive in a few situations. They caught us reacting late.”

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