No. 21 Rutgers welcomes No. 9 Delaware for 3rd home game

After two road losses for the Rutgers field hockey team, it will finally head home for another ranked match against No. 9 Delaware. The Blue Hens (4-0) swept their opponents and will present a challenge to the No. 21 Scarlet Knights (2-2).

Recently, Rutgers headed over to Philadelphia to face No. 17 St. Joe’s and came home with its second loss in two days. Previously, the Knights were ranked No. 19 to start off the season, but with such a difficult schedule, they have had some trouble against the larger teams.

In Philadelphia, the end score came out to 2-1, with a goal right off the bat in the first quarter from the Hawks. The next 2 goals came in the last quarter. First, fifth-year senior back Austyn Cuneo scored for Rutgers with 15 minutes left on the clock, but that was enough time for St. Joe’s to nab another goal with 8 minutes left in the game.

It was an unfortunate loss that came with such close scoring. The Knights will definitely have their work cut out for them this Friday.

Cuneo has been a major player this season. She already has 4 goals this season, 23 shots with 14 on goal. 

Against the Hawks, Cuneo had five shots on goal, which helped the team have the advantage with 13 total shots on goal against St. Joe's' 12.

Another player that has made an impact during the early season is junior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz. She has made some significant impact to this team within these past four games. Last year, Glatz even posted 12 saves in one game. 

When put up against St. Joe’s, Glatz allowed the most goals in one game so far: two. Even against No. 4 UConn, Glatz only allowed 1 goal having faced 21 shots.

When Delaware was put up against No. 9 Penn State, the Nittany Lions (0-3) had scored a goal in the first quarter to show that they had the upper hand but that changed quickly. 

In each quarter following, the Hens dominated and scored 3 goals for a final score of 3-1. Delaware had a total of 15 shots on goal, while Penn State only had three during the entire game. 

The Hens shocked the stands after this win, and bumped up their ranking from No. 16 to No. 9, taking the place of the Lions.

Delaware's play so far is similar to how Rutgers played last year, with their upset wins against highly ranked teams. 

Last September, the Knights faced No. 6 Princeton, and came out with a 1-0 win over the Tigers. Cuneo was the lone player in the game with a goal, netting the game-winner in the 37th minute to secure the upset for Rutgers, who was ranked No. 23 at the time.

This game against the Hens should prove to be a challenging one for the Knights, but it definitely won’t be the last of this season. 

Coming up, Rutgers will play No. 5 Princeton, No. 4 Maryland and No. 7 Iowa in a span of three weeks. Against Delaware, the Knights should take this going at full speed ready for any challenges that the Hens will bring, while they are coming to New Jersey ready to win.

Even after a two-game losing streak, Rutgers is still able to come back. Against the Hawks, the outcome wasn't what the Knights expected, but head coach Meredith Civico and the team are prepared to face a top-10 team in Delaware.

"Today's loss was frustrating,” Civico said following last Sunday's loss at St. Joe's. “We did not connect as a team, and a very good St. Joe's team took full advantage of that. We now have to prepare and be ready for a really tough game against Delaware on Friday."

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

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