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Rutgers season comes to end with loss to No. 5 Georgetown in second round of NCAA Tournament

On a partly sunny Friday afternoon in our nation’s capital, the Rutgers women’s soccer team saw its season come to an end via a 2-0 defeat at the hands of No. 5 Georgetown. The Scarlet Knights’ (12-5-6) loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament was not necessarily a surprising one due to their underdog status versus the Hoyas, but it was a touch disappointing for a squad that nearly won the Big Ten title. “I felt we were ready and up for the challenge, but we didn’t end up playing our best soccer,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.

Senior defender Erin Smith led Rutgers back into the NCAA Tournament as its captain with a regular season worthy of a First Team All-Big Ten selection. Now, she's trying to lead them to a national championship.

Senior defender leads Knights in NCAA Tournament after impressive regular season

Currently set to play in the second round of the NCAA tournament, known as the College Cup, the Rutgers women’s soccer team is flying high on all cylinders. The Scarlet Knights have accomplished a lot on their way to this point, as the team has accrued an impressive 12-4-6 overall record, including four wins, two losses, and five draws in conference action. Rutgers also notably reached the conference tournament championship game despite being ranked the seven seed going into the postseason. In order to achieve these feats, the Knights had to have exceptional performances from individual players all year long and while it was easy to observe that occur from a fan or coach’s point of view, it’s always extra special when others notice as well. At the culmination of the Big Ten regular season this year, the league office announced its postseason honors with Rutgers having six players recognized. Senior forward Madison Tiernan was named to the All-Big Ten second team and freshman midfielder Nicole Whitley was listed on the third team, while Whitley, Taylor Aylmer, and Amanda Visco earned spots on the All-Freshman Team. Senior defender Erin Smith, meanwhile, earned the highest honor of all the Knights by making it on the All-Big Ten first team. “It’s such a huge honor to be named on the first team,” said Smith.


Rutgers opens NCAA Tournament campaign at home against Harvard

After surprising many after reaching the Big Ten Championship — although unfortunately falling to Minnesota once there — the Rutgers women’s soccer team earned a home game in the NCAA tournament. Battling in an extremely competitive conference this year, the Scarlet Knights (11-4-6) have accrued four wins, two losses and five draws against Big Ten opponents.

Senior Erica Murphy gave Rutgers a first-half lead, but the Knights couldn't hold on as they fell to Wisconsin 2-1 in both team's regular season finale.

Rutgers falls to Wisconsin in regular season finale

In a match where the Rutgers women’s soccer team entered the field hoping to earn a home Big Ten postseason game through a victory, the Scarlet Knights lost to Wisconsin by a score of 2-1 to conclude the regular season with a record of 9-3-6 overall and 4-2-5 in conference action. Meanwhile, the Badgers improve to 8-4-7 overall with the win and now own a Big Ten record of 5-2-4. They didn’t know it during the game, but the Knights wouldn’t have even locked up fourth place, which is the lowest seed that hosts a Big Ten tournament game, with a victory. Rutgers needed to defeat Wisconsin and have Michigan draw or lose to Indiana, but the Wolverines vanquished the Hoosiers by a score of 3-2. After the loss to Wisconsin, the Knights slide back into the seventh position in the conference standings, while the Badgers move up to fifth. Playing soccer in Madison is a difficult challenge for any team, but Rutgers seemed capable of defying the odds for at least the first half. Senior forward Erica Murphy put the Knights in the lead with her third goal of the season in the first half, putting her points total at 7 for the 2016 campaign. Those numbers are especially impressive for a substitute, but not quite as riveting as her score Wednesday night. In the 40th minute, there was a flurry of Wisconsin attempted clearances and Rutgers tries at goal until the chaos cleared at the foot of senior captain Madison Tiernan.

Senior captain Madison Tiernan hit the woodwork on Senior Night on Saturday in a scoreless draw against Nebraska, when she was 1 of 9 Knights' honored.

Rutgers plays Nebraska to scoreless draw on Senior Night

On a night where the Rutgers women’s soccer team honored the nine members of its senior class, the Scarlet Knights played Nebraska to a scoreless draw Saturday night. Rutgers (9-2-6, 4-1-5) played its program record ninth overtime game of the season, failing to score throughout the 110 minutes of action. This was the team’s seventh overtime match in its last eight contests, which has had a cumulative effect on the fatigue of the Knights.

Freshman defender Chantelle Swaby said she could barely feel her legs when warming up before facing Ohio State in a 0-0 draw last Sunday.

Restless Rutgers takes advantage of break after gruesome stretch

A tired team is a struggling team. Over the last seven games the Rutgers women’s soccer team has certainly expended a lot of energy, playing six matches into overtime. The Scarlet Knights are 2-1-4 in those last seven contests, bringing their overall record to 9-2-5 on the season including four wins, one loss and four draws in Big Ten action. Most recently Rutgers has battled against Penn State last Thursday night and Ohio State Sunday afternoon, drawing both in overtime.

Senior forward Madison Tiernan leads the Knights with 19 points this season. She has 57 for her career.

Senior leads Rutgers in final season in Piscataway

Every successful team needs a star player it can count on in tough moments to step up and for the Rutgers women’s soccer team this season that player has been senior captain Madison Tiernan. With 19 points this season and 57 in her career, Tiernan is now ninth on the Scarlet Knights’ all-time scoring list.

Senior forward Madison Tiernan gave Rutgers a 2-0 lead, but the Knights couldn't hold onto it in a 2-2 tie with Indiana Sunday.

Rutgers plays Indiana to 2-2 draw in Bloomington

The Rutgers women’s soccer team played Indiana to a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon at Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium. Senior captains Madison Tiernan and Tori Prager scored early to put the Scarlet Knights (9-2-3) ahead, 2-0, but the Hoosiers (5-7-3) battled back.

Sophomore midfielder Nicole Whitley

Rutgers splits games in Michigan against Wolverines, Spartans

Following its first instance of real Big Ten adversity this season, the Rutgers women’s soccer team had a bounce-back game versus Michigan State Sunday, winning the matchup by a score of 3-1. But the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s (NSCAA) 19th ranked Scarlet Knights faced  a hardship on Thursday night in second game of their road trip in the Great Lake State. Rutgers suffered a gut wrenching defeat at the hands of Michigan, losing 3-2 in double overtime. It was the only time that the Knights have allowed more than two goals in a match in all of 2016. After going through such a tough experience in Ann Arbor, Rutgers (8-2-2, 3-1-1) was looking forward to a chance at redemption in East Lansing. “The players responded so well from the opening whistle,” said head coach Mike O’Neill.

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