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Rutgers shut out against No. 5 UConn in NCAA Tournament's 1st round

After one of its most historic seasons to date, the Rutgers field hockey team dropped a 5-0 loss to No. 5 UConn in the NCAA Tournament's first round on Friday afternoon.

After losing out of the Big Ten Tournament's quarterfinals to Ohio State, the No. 11 Scarlet Knights (13-6, 4-4) were considered a bubble team for the tournament. Their wish came true last Sunday, as it was announced they would be traveling to College Park, Md. to take on the defending national champions, the Huskies, in the first round. 

The game was a rough one for Rutgers. Uncharacteristically, it surrendered 5 total goals. Coming into the game, the team was one of the most sound defensive teams in the country with nine shutouts on the season. 

UConn scored early and often, posting 4 goals in the first half. All 5 goals for the Huskies were scored by different players. 

The Knights were outshot by the Huskies, 17-7, with UConn winning the shots on goal battle, 13-4. They also had six penalty corners compared to Rutgers' four. 

For the Knights, sophomore midfielder Gianna Mancini had one shot on goal, as did sophomore midfielder Kassidy Shetler. Senior midfielder Linde van Schaik had two shots on goal in her final game at Rutgers. 

Van Schaik, a Second Team All-Big Ten selection, finished her career with 24 goals, 17 assists and 65 points. She is seventh all-time on the Banks in goals and points and 12th in assists.

Leading the team all season, sophomore midfielder Daphne Groothuis finished the season with 12 goals, 13 assists and 37 points. On Rutgers' single-season record book, that’s good enough for third in assists, sixth in points and tied for seventh in goals.

"I am incredibly proud of this team and the effort they put into not only today but the whole season," said head coach Meredith Civico, according to scarletknights.com. "It's obviously a very disappointing result, but being here, in the NCAA Tournament, and playing the defending national champions was a great experience."

Next season, the Knights are poised to be just as dangerous, if not more, as many key starters such as sophomore goalkeeper Gianna Glatz and junior forward Alanna Gollotto, as well as Groothuis, Mancini and Shetler will return. 

The only starters that they lose are van Schaik and senior midfielder Nikki Profita, who finished second on the team with 8 goals. 

“It's one we will learn from and hopefully we will use it achieve even more in 2019," Civico said. "I am so grateful to the players, staff, administration and family of the Rutgers field hockey program for a truly historic season. I can't thank them enough for everything they have done to help us achieve success this season."

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

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