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Rutgers takes down Iowa, draws Nebraska on Midwest trip

Returning from its Midwest journey, the Rutgers women’s soccer team remained unbeaten on the road to capture a win and a tie against Iowa and Nebraska over the weekend. 

The No. 21 Scarlet Knights (10-2-2, 4-2-1) posted a shutout victory with a 1-0 win to the Hawkeyes (13-3, 5-3) on Friday before pushing through a double-overtime draw that left the Cornhuskers (4-8-3, 3-4-1) and Rutgers at 1-1.

Ending Iowa’s double-win streak, the Knights put together a similar play from its match against Wisconsin to score the lone goal against the Hawkeyes in chilly 40-degree weather. 

Rutgers and Iowa were even throughout a majority of the match, but the Knights were able to close their opportunity on a corner kick in the 28th minute. Senior midfielder Taylor Aylmer launched the ball to senior back Amanda Visco, who headed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. 

The goal marks the second time Aylmer and Visco have teamed up on a corner kick goal for Rutgers, and is Visco’s second goal of the season.

The win against the Hawkeyes is also sophomore goalkeeper Meagan McClelland’s eighth shutout victory, posting six saves throughout the match.

“Today was one of those games where you need to dig deep and give everything you have,” said sophomore back Shea Holland. “Mentally, we prepared for the wear and tear, the travel and the cold weather … We give everything we have always and stay united together as a team and that's why we got the result we wanted.”

A quick travel day to Nebraska and a long history of three straight draws, the Knights added a fourth draw to the record in which Rutgers and the Cornhuskers ended with a 1-1 double-overtime tie.

Right out of the gate, junior forward Amirah Ali scored the Knights' fastest goal since 2015, putting Rutgers up by one with just a minute and 15 seconds into the game. 

Senior back Chantelle Swaby made a quick pass at midfield to put Ali into a pressure situation surrounded by three defenders. With great footwork around Nebraska's backline, Ali went for the shot and sent the ball to the far right side of the net. 

The Cornhuskers tied up the score with a long pass to a header that slipped by McClelland in the 33rd minute of play. 

Afterward, the Knights and Nebraska didn't score goals in the second half. Rutgers came back around with four shots in the overtime periods, leaving the Cornhuskers at bay with no shots. But, neither team was able to seal the deal on Sunday.

The Knights came away with nine shots, compared to four from Nebraska. Rutgers won the shots on goal battle, putting up three to the Cornhuskers' two.

Nebraska had the most corner kicks with eight, but failed to make an attack out of the awarded possession. The Knights were awarded five opportunities from the corner.

Rutgers is currently in fifth place in the Big Ten standings, with Michigan, the Badgers, Iowa and Penn State all above. Indiana, who the Knights will play this weekend, is right behind them in the standings.

Rutgers has four Big Ten games left until the conference tournament, with the semifinals and finals round hosted in Piscataway. For now, the Knights will be back at home to play Purdue on Thursday evening and the Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon at Yurcak Field. 

For updates on the Rutgers women's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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