Ali's penalty kick gives No. 19 Rutgers win at Delaware
The Rutgers women’s soccer team continued to dominate with a double overtime win over Delaware on Sunday. The double overtime win gives the No. 19 Scarlet Knights a 6-0-1 record with five wins at home and one draw. As Rutgers continues to play consistently, the wins just keep on coming.
On defense, the Knights have been anchored by terrific play from sophomore goalkeeper Meagan McClelland. Her performance against the Blue Hens (4-4) proved to be key to Rutgers' win as she recorded her fifth shutout of the year. In the first half, the defense kept Delaware to just two shots, and only another three more in the second half.
Transitioning to offense, the Knights had a total of 19 shots, with the sole goal scored from a penalty kick in the second overtime by junior forward Amirah Ali. Ali is now 3 for 3 on penalty kicks and has scored two game-winners so far in the season.
For Ali, it was her sixth golden goal dating back to her freshman season. It was also her fifth goal of the season as she inches her way to the conference lead just in time for conference play. When Rutgers faces Minnesota on Thursday, it will be a rematch of the first round of last year's Big Ten tournament, a game in which Ali was injured and ultimately resulted in an upset loss at home for the Knights.
The Hens' goalkeeper, Kamryn Stablein, held Rutgers off with eight saves before the game-winning goal.
Looking deeper into the statistics, the Knights not only are looking promising on field, but also on paper. Rutgers has outshot its opponents 119 to 55, more than double the amount. With so many shots taken, the Knights have averaged 2 goals versus their opponents’ 0.29 goals on an average of 17 shots per game.
With both quality offensive and defensive play, Rutgers is proving to be a top team in the nation. The Knights are currently ranked 19th in the United Soccer Coaches rankings.
The next two games will be home at Yurcak Field and will mark the beginning of conference play with a match this Friday at 7 p.m. against Minnesota and Sunday at noon against Wisconsin.
If Rutgers continues to play like it has for the past six matches, there is a possibility that the team can continue its winning streak.
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