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No. 21 Rutgers upsets No. 6 Princeton 2-1

The Rutgers field hockey team faced off against No. 6 Princeton at Princeton’s Bedford Field, where the stands were full of both orange and scarlet. With such a huge rivalry between the two schools, it was definite that the fans would be there to witness the game.

Last year, the No. 21 Scarlet Knights (4-3) also played the Tigers (3-2), but it was on Rutgers home turf. The Knights made history that game and won the highest-ranked game in Rutgers field hockey history, when defeating previously ranked No. 6 Princeton. That same record was tied last Friday.

With an even more daunting game to play, the Knights pulled through and tied their record for the highest-ranked win against the Tigers once again. They won 2-1, unlike last year’s low scoring 1-0 game win. Princeton knew that it had lost last year, but just knowing that fact didn’t prepare it for another loss.

“We knew it was gonna be a big crowd,” said head coach Meredith Civico. “We knew that they were going to want to beat us from last year, and I know that it was a tough game. We had to defend quite a bit last year, but this year we really out-played them for some big parts of the game.”

Freshman forward Rachel Houston made her first career goal during the game, and what a game to make it in. She has been a top player this season with several assists but never a goal. This time it was junior midfielder Katie Larmour who assisted Houston for the game-tying goal.

This goal was only made after a goal by the Tigers in the first 5 minutes, and its pressure did not let up once during the game. Princeton had a total of 10 shots, while six of them were on goal, and they had five penalty corners to top Rutgers’ one corner.

In terms of stats, the Tigers had the upper hand, but junior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz was a key player. Glatz made five saves this game, and they all corresponded with the number of corners for Princeton. 

In last year’s game against the Tigers, Glatz was even more impressive. She had a total of eight saves against Princeton's 13 total shots. In that same game, the Knights only had two shots, and only one was on goal. While Glatz may have had a semi-easier game than previous, she still put in the work needed to solidify another win for Rutgers.

The game-winning goal came from junior midfielder Gracey Butsack that also had her first goal of the season. Neither Houston nor Butsack started in the game, but they definitely finished it. 

“It was kind of nerve-wracking,” Butsack said. “Because we kind of messed up the corner that was supposed to be called, so we had to quickly change it. We played it out, and we all had to switch positions, but I was kind of like get in there and do what I needed to do, and try to make the ball go into the goal.”

This mentality was definitely shown in their gameplay. The Knights took advantage of opportunities and commanded the field more than last year. Since Nov. 2, 1977, the Tigers have gone undefeated on their home field, but this year was different.

This game goes to show that it means more than a win on their record. It shows how much time and effort Rutgers has put into the game. While the Knights have had a slow season so far, it just goes to show how well the team can do when put to the test.

“This is a win that just proves to the team that they can beat anybody,” Civico said. “It gives them a lot of confidence, and Princeton’s a team that can go far. I know that they’re gonna be competing in the NCAA tournament. It’s a benchmark, and I think (Rutgers) can beat anybody. This was great preparation. They know they need to work hard and continue to get better, but I think it’s a great win.”

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

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