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Rutgers falls in double overtime to Howard

Arriving at Yurcak Field following a 2-goal loss to Big Ten opponent Wisconsin, the Rutgers men’s soccer team looked to avenge its recent losing woes against Howard, a non-conference opponent. 

In a lengthy 107-minute match, the Scarlet Knights (2-9-1, 1-4-0) fell to the the Bisons (2-5-3, 0-1-0) on a double overtime golden goal.

Defender Matteo Turner netted his 1st goal of the season, off a cross from forward Ronald Little that caught senior goalkeeper Rafael Pereira off guard. The goal gave Howard its first win since the Bisons’ first match of the season, when they defeated Bryant. 

“It went from a medium ball to a high ball,” Pereira said. “As the ball bounced too close to me, I didn’t have enough time to react.”

After a quiet start to the match, Rutgers saw its first scoring opportunity on a set piece, an aspect to its game that head coach Dan Donigan stressed after the loss to the Badgers, on Sunday. 

Junior forward Jordan Hall, the team’s leader in shots (35), missed a rebound chance off a corner kick from freshman defender Thomas DeVizio. The Manchester, England native once again led the team with five shots, three of which were on goal.

The Knights controlled the offense during the first half. They outshot Howard 6-1, with most of the opportunities coming off three corner kicks. Rutgers’ best chance came in the 40th minute, when Hall crossed a pass to junior forward Brian Hawkins, who was unable control the pass. 

The second half was primarily controlled by the Knights. DeVizio took five corner kicks in the half and finished the match with two shots, each on opportunities from set pieces or transition plays. The team was able to create open space midway through the second half, but the Bisons' defenders cleared out the possession. 

“We created a lot of crosses,” DeVizio said. “We have to get on them.”

After the match was scoreless heading into the first overtime period, the game started to tilt in Howard’s favor. It outshot Rutgers 4-1 in the overtime periods. 

The Bisons' forward Tyler Hartman and midfielder Malik Saleh took their only corner kicks of the first overtime. On both of the set piece plays, Howard's midfield was able to penetrate through the Knights’ box. 

The Bisons' goalkeeper Carlos Caro made seven saves on the match, four more than Pereira. The Lisbon, Portugal native punched out a few shots with 10 minutes left in regulation play. Rutgers’ defense cleared out the majority of their shots in that time period. 

The Knights had arguably one of their better offensive performances against Howard. They finished outshooting the Bison 15-7, eight of which were on goal, and also had more corner kick opportunities (8-3). 

“I told our guys at the end of the game, ‘We have to move on,’” Donigan said. “(We) have to suck it up and move on.”

Rutgers went with a different look offensively to start the match. Fifth-year senior forward Kyle Goodwin and sophomore forward Miles Franklyn started the match, after both saw lengthy minutes off the bench against Wisconsin, last weekend. 

The Knights were without fifth-year senior forward Miles Hackett, because he accumulated five yellow cards and was ineligible to play this match, as per NCAA rules. The Montclair, N.J. native had started the last three matches, recording an assist in each of those games. 

Sophomore midfielder Brendan Wall started his third consecutive match for Rutgers. Wall has been integrated more in the offense since the Knights’ upset win over Ohio State at the end of September. 

Also receiving more minutes was sophomore midfielder Tyejae Burchall, who played in his first match since Rutgers' loss to Elon in early September. Burchall led several offensive surges in the match.

The Knights will continue their two-match homestand as they welcome the Northwestern Wildcats to resume Big Ten play. The Wildcats (4-5-4, 0-3-2) were held to a draw against Penn State last Saturday, despite putting up 17 shots.  

“Friday (against Northwestern) is a massive game for us,” Donigan said. “We can really do a lot for ourselves if we can bounce back from this demoralizing loss.”

For updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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