No. 21 Rutgers wins on road at Monmouth, falls to No. 9 Delaware

The Rutgers field hockey team split its weekend slate, going up against No. 9 Delaware and Monmouth. The No. 21 Scarlet Knights (3-3) were edged out by the Blue Hens (5-0) 1-0, but secured a 2-1 victory against the Hawks (4-2) down by the beach.

Time and time again the Rutgers offense was a shot away from tying the game. The Knights ended the first game against Delaware with only three corners, while the Hens were able to get five of them, one of which resulted in a goal for the team.

This game was back-and-forth while being evenly matched. As Delaware is highly ranked at No. 9 while also holding an undefeated record, Rutgers was able to contend with the team through the full game.

When the Hens went up against previously ranked No. 9 Penn State, they were able to get 15 shots, while the Nittany Lions could only get three on goal. In that game, Delaware had seven penalty corner opportunities, and Penn State had two.

In comparison to the Hens' previous game, this time around, the Knights had six shots and five of them were on goal. Delaware, on the other hand, only had 4 shots on goal out of 11. Rutgers was able to calm the Hens in this game but not completely stop them. 

“I think a lot of that was positioning and timing It’s something we train a lot," said head coach Meredith Civico, after the home loss to Delaware. "So we’re gonna keep hammering at it. We got our set pieces right, but we weren’t able to execute cleanly, which is disappointing.”

This was definitely the theme of Friday’s game. The Knights consistently had the upper hand, but could never follow through with their advantage.

In the final few minutes of the game, Rutgers was able to press the Hens for a tight final quarter. The Knights even went so far as to take out junior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz from the game, and put in another field player for that extra support. But, they weren’t able to keep the ball on the Hens' half and lost the ball with 10 seconds left.

Fifth-year senior back Austyn Cuneo was once again the shot leader for Rutgers.

“Our schedule is definitely not easy,” Civico said. “I think our first five games were against ranked opponents, but we want to play teams that are going to push us and make us better, and we could play teams that we could roll over, but I don’t think it’s going to prepare us for our Big Ten aspirations or NCAA aspirations."

Against Monmouth in a Sunday matinee, junior midfielder Katie Larmour put the Knights on the board first, scoring her third goal of the season in the 13th minute. She was the top player on Rutgers' offense against the Hawks, attempting a team-high three shots. 

Seven minutes later, Monmouth would strike back to knot the game at 1 when its own Ireen Frenken scored her first goal of the season. Last season, as a sophomore, she was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association (MAAC), posting 14 points in 20 games started. 

The game would be stagnant for the most part until the 35th minute. Larmour netted her second goal of the game, a game-winner sent past the Hawks' Kate O'Hogan, in the third period. 

Glatz earned her third victory of the season, holding an even 3-3 record through six games. She made three saves against the Monmouth offense. 

After this weekend, the Knights will go up against some of the toughest teams in the country, all within the top 10. First, they will head down Route 1 this Friday to face No. 5 Princeton. Then, Rutgers will welcome No. 4 Maryland in the Big Ten opener.

Last year, the Knights were able to defeat the Tigers in the highest-ranked program win. Rutgers was then ranked No. 23 while Princeton was No. 6 in the country.

“We want to make sure that we're playing teams that are gonna push us,” Civico said. “And where we’re really going to push ourselves. We knew that when we scheduled, and I think we’re getting better."

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