Rutgers ends season with 13 wins, most since 2008
Over the weekend, the Rutgers field hockey team capped off one of its most impressive seasons over the last 10 years by beating No. 7 Iowa on Friday and American on Sunday.
With the two wins, the Scarlet Knights finished their season 13-4, the most wins for the program since 2008. Out of the 13 wins, five came against ranked teams, the most in program history.
Friday’s game against the Hawkeyes (12-5, 4-4) was quite possibly one of the most important games of the season because of seeding implications for next weekend’s Big Ten Tournament. In a low scoring affair, Rutgers beat Iowa, 1-0.
The lone goal came off of a corner that was deflected in by senior midfielder Nikki Profita. Coming in to this season, Profita had zero career goals. This season, she has 8 goals, which is second highest on the team.
“It’s a set piece we’ve practiced several times,” Profita said. “When we got the opportunity, we knew that was a big moment to capitalize on, and we did, which was awesome. It really gave us a lot of momentum in the game.”
In the game, the Hawkeyes outshot the Knights, 10-3. They also had eight penalty corners to Rutgers’ one.
Sophomore goalkeeper Gianna Glatz was phenomenal yet again, recording her eighth shutout of the season. That number is now at nine after shutting out American on Sunday, and leads the nation.
No other play in the game was bigger than the save Glatz made on an Iowa penalty stroke late in the game. With just 9 minutes to go, Glatz made a diving top-shelf save to stifle Hawkeye Katie Birch.
“At that point in time, with a penalty stroke, if it goes in the goal it’s a huge game changer,” Glatz said. “If you save that stroke, there’s a good chance you come out on top. A stroke is always a momentum builder, and I knew if I saved that stroke everyone was going to get pumped and we would win the game.”
On Sunday, the Knights celebrated senior day. Profita and backfielder Linde van Schaik were honored prior to the start of the game.
Profita and van Schaik had strong seasons in their final year at Rutgers, with Profita ending the regular season with 8 goals and three assists, and van Schiak adding 7 goals and six assists herself.
“Nikki and Linde have made such an impact on this program,” said head coach Meredith Civico. “I think going in to this year they really knew the team had potential to go far and to do really well. Those two have done such a good job leading this group and putting them on their back and taking them on this journey. They’re such a tight team and I really think that’s a testament to those two.”
The Knights survived a 1-0 overtime thriller in the game against the Eagles, with an overtime goal by sophomore midfielder Daphne Groothuis being the difference. Groothuis has 12 goals on the season, leading all Rutgers players.
The Knights' next game will come on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. They will be playing Ohio State in Columbus, who they lost to, 4-3, in a penalty shootout back on Sept. 23.
“Huge moment, Glatz saving that penalty stroke,” Civico said. “She’s got a lot of confidence, she’s playing really well and that was a massive save.”
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