Rutgers earns two weekend wins to start season

The Rutgers women’s field hockey team has had a successful year so far against both No. 24 Maine (0-2) and Ball State. The No. 19 Scarlet Knights (2-0) were able to outlast these two teams, but it was a closer match against the Cardinals (1-1).

One of the stars of the game was junior midfielder Katie Larmour, who hasn’t scored 2 in a game since 2016. Last year, Larmour had only played in the season opener against Richmond, and redshirted her junior year due to injuries in her knees. With four shots on goal, this was a great way for her to start a healthy year.

Following Larmour’s 2 goals was fifth-year senior back Austyn Cuneo, with 1 goal for the game. She had seven shots with five on goal. Both Larmour and Cuneo were leading the way in offense by making the goalie work. 

Cuneo had previously played for North Carolina for two years, where she redshirted one year due to injury. Cuneo has only had success since she has been on the Banks, and just this season, she already has 10 shots on goal, and 3 goals.

Within these first two games, there have been several freshmen and sophomores getting their collegiate and season debuts. 

Freshmen forward Rachel Houston and midfielder Maggie Lamb have already made an impact with an assist for each. With the freshman class making up a significant amount of the roster, it is important that these new players start their first season off by giving it everything they've got.

All of the first-year athletes have extensive and impressive records prior to Rutgers. From being all-state to top 10 players to watch, these women are coming onto the Banks with diverse and impressive histories. They all made a significant impact on their high school teams and are here to do the same on campus.

These games against Maine and Ball State will be the only time that they will play games back-to-back, but throughout the season, the Knights will be playing games on both Fridays and Sundays, with travel in between.

"Today we had some fatigue playing in back-to-back games, but I think we managed the game really well," Lamour said. "We passed the ball a lot and picked it up to get it done.”

If they are able to play two highly successful games with the fatigue Larmour was describing, then they should be more than able to take on what they have to face later in the season.

With 10 out of its 15 remaining games being against higher-ranked teams, Rutgers will have a tough schedule ahead of it, but that hasn’t stopped the team in the past. Last year, the Knights were 13-6 and started the year with a No. 23 rank. 

But, they ended the year with a No. 11 ranking and ranked as high as No. 10 during the season, which was a record high for Rutgers. The team defeated five ranked teams last year, so it is not uncommon for the Knights to come out on top despite their circumstances.

Rutgers will be heading to its first away game on Friday against No. 4 UConn, its first game against a higher-ranked team.

“I'm really pleased that the team was able to get the win today,” said head coach Meredith Civico. “That was a focus point of ours, to start the season on a front-foot, aggressive mindset. We were the first ones to the ball and made a statement in the first five minutes of the game. We had really high energy and an attacking mentality."

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

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