No. 22 Rutgers honors 8 seniors prior to win over Indiana
Emotions were high, but their performances have been even higher this season. For the seniors on the Rutgers women’s soccer team, their time on the Banks is coming to a close and was celebrated on senior day during their 1-0 win against Indiana on Sunday afternoon.
The impact that the seniors have made will leave a huge dent in the No. 22 Scarlet Knights' (12-2-2, 6-2-1) next season. For now, the Rutgers seniors are leading a strong contention heading into the Big Ten tournament and have the chance to make history.
“After our senior luncheon yesterday, we had an emotional time,” said junior forward Nneka Moneme. “We just wanted to make sure that it carried over to today, and we did that. We just wanted to leave our seniors with a good win.”
Helping to score the lone goal of the game was senior midfielder Taylor Aylmer. The Garnerville, New York, native knows how to create the perfect set up for a goal, recording seven assists this season. As a sophomore and junior, Aylmer had a total of five assists. The 2019 team captain is grateful for her time with the Knights, but it’s definitely not over yet.
“I mean there’s not many words you can say,” Aylmer said. “(Rutgers is) something that touched our hearts so deeply. Yesterday at the senior banquet, there were a lot of smiles and laughs, also a lot of tears. That just carried over to today. It was so special to be able to spend today with our families, our best friends and just have a good laugh to see how far we’ve come. It really was a perfect day.”
Senior back Amanda Visco has been able to work with Aylmer on two occasions, scoring headers from Aylmer’s corner kicks.
Visco stands with Aylmer as another team captain, hailing from Manalapan, New Jersey. A School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in sports management, she usually spends her time on the defensive end, but knows how to seal the deal for a goal. Most recently, Aylmer was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week to contribute to one of the strongest defensive teams in the nation.
Joining Visco at the back is classmate senior back Chantelle Swaby, who has had quite the international experience with the Knights. Over the summer, Swaby represented Jamaica at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which was the country’s first appearance competing in the tournament. The West Hartford, Connecticut, native is no stranger to All-Big Ten teams and was recognized to a conference team every year she’s been on the banks.
On the other side of the field, senior forward Brittany LaPlant is a force to be reckoned with. The Queensbury, New York, native didn’t have the greatest junior year only starting six games. But, she quickly made her way up to starting every single match this season, which is something LaPlant hasn’t done in any season since she’s been at Rutgers.
LaPlant was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for notching back-to-back goals against conference opponents and knows how to control the ball when surrounded.
LaPlant is a powerhouse forward that will be a big player to lose, but the Knights are left in good hands with junior forward Amirah Ali and Moneme leading the way for Rutgers offense.
Senior forwards Jenna Sayers, Tiernny Wiltshire, Brianna Starr and back Megan Katona were also honored during the pre-game ceremony.
“The pre-game ceremony was awesome because it had all of our families together,” Sayers said. “We could just feel the energy rise and rise as the minutes went on. And then winning today was awesome because we all had everyone be a part of it.”
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