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Rutgers Olympic Sports: B1G proving to be a bear for the Knights

When you have to face nationally ranked teams several times per week, it takes a toll on a team. Such is the case for virtually all of RU's squads.

Men's Soccer   Season record: 4-8-1, 1-4-1 Big Ten

One up, one down for the men. The Knights returned to the win column with its highest goal output of the 2014 season. Redshirt junior forward JP Correa put away the game-winner on a penalty kick and freshman forward Jason Wright (Kingston, Jamaica) added two goals in the victory. It ended a six game winless streak.

Sophomore midfielder Erik Sa finally broke through late in the first half on a free kick opportunity. His second goal of the season tied the game up at 1-1 in the 33rd minute of play.  Goalkeeper Mitchell Walier earned the start, his second of his career, and ended the night with a career-high seven stops.

"We're happy, especially going down 1-0, to respond the way we did," said head coach Dan Donigan. "Erik (Sa) had a great restart, which we needed before the end of the half. I felt very good going into second half with the way the game was being played. I thought we were getting rotations and we were wearing (Penn) down. To unload the way we did in the second half, goals are goals, and it's nice to get them."

The week ended for the Knights with a visit from No. 19 Northwestern. The Wildcats used two second half goals to exit Yurack Field with a 2-0 win over Rutgers on Saturday night.

10/21/14 vs. Army TV Yurcak Field 7:00 p.m. ET
10/25/14 at Ohio State * Columbus, Ohio 7:00 p.m. ET

Women's Soccer   Season record: 11-2-1, 7-2-1Big Ten

The women saw their home unbeaten string snapped by visiting Northwestern.  That followed a victory over Illinois. Against the Illini, after threatening on three earlier corners, the Scarlet Knights’ fourth and final one of the contest found the back of the net, as senior Amy Pietrangelo’s attempt bent just far enough inside to deflect off the far post. The goal, which was scored in the 86th minute, improved the Scarlet Knights’ mark at home to 8-0-0 this season.

Freshman goalkeeper Casey Murphy had her shutout streak ended, but made four key saves against the Fighting Illini (9-6-0, 4-5-0 Big Ten) in the match. The results were not as good against the Cats, as the Scarlet lost 1-0 in OT.

Prior to the Northwestern match, the Scarlet Knights honored their six seniors – Brielle Buis, Amanda DeVolk, Cassie Inacio, Tori Leigh, Amy Pietrangelo and Stefanie Scholz.

10/24/14 at Wisconsin * Madison, Wisc. 8:00 p.m. ET
10/26/14 at Minnesota * Saint Paul, Minn. 2:00 p.m. ET

Field Hockey  Season record: 6-9, Big Ten 1-6

Down the road, being on TV, as the Field Hockey team was this past week, will help in recruiting.  But it couldn't help in facing the No. 5 team in the country. In its national television debut on the Big Ten Network, the Knights fell short by a 3-0 score.

"We started out strong today from the first whistle," head coach Meredith Long said. "After Penn State scored on us, we lost momentum. It's unfortunate that we lost the game in this way. We recognize that as a team and need to make those adjustments going into the game against

The team wrapped up the week on the road against the No. 2 Terps of UMd.  The result was the same as the Terps took a 4-0 win.

10/26/14 vs. James Madison Bauer Track & FH Complex 2:00 p.m. ET


Volleyball  Season record: 7-14, Big Ten 0-8

When you play volleyball in the Big Ten, you are facing some of the best teams in the country.  Volleyball dropped two home contests.  Despite putting up a strong fight, the Rutgers women’s volleyball team was edged by Michigan at the College Ave. Gym. The Scarlet Knights fell in three sets by scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-21.

"We had a really good match," said head coach CJ Werneke. "We played pretty consistent from set to set and I really enjoyed the energy from each player being involved. We executed from the get-go. It didn’t take us a whole set or half of a set to get going. That gave us a lot of opportunities to get close to our first set win. All you ask as a coach is for the team to go out there and create opportunities. With opportunities, they will continue to learn how capitalize on them."

The Scarlet Knights found strength behind a strong front line, consisting of junior middle Mikaela Matthews, senior middle Rachel Andreassian and sophomore middle Lauren Cloyd. Matthews notched a team-high five blocks, followed by Andreassian and Cloyd with three stops apiece. Rutgers paced Michigan in blocks, 8-6.

On the verge of capturing its first set victory in Big Ten play, the Rutgers women’s volleyball team fell to Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights were topped in three sets by scores of 25-16, 25-21 and 25-21.

"I am really excited about how we started in tonight’s match," said Werneke. "We started well and executed the game plan that we worked on throughout practice this week . Adjusting to a different playing style from last night's match against Michigan, I thought we made that transition quickly. Our progression showed tonight. We had some opportunities yet again and at some point we are going to figure it out."

For the second night of the weekend, freshman outside Meme Fletcher recorded a team-high eight kills. Fletcher currently leads the squad with 182 kills in her rookie campaign. Defensively, junior middle Mikaela Matthews notched four blocks to hold together a strong front line in the match.

10/21/14 at Maryland * TV College Park, Md. 8:00 p.m. ET
10/25/14 vs. Maryland * College Ave. Gym 7:00 p.m. ET


Golf: Men

The men competed in two tournaments to wrap up their fall campaign.  At the Maryland Invitational, the team tied for 6th place out of 12 teams.  Junior Jonathan Chang led that effort with a two-under-par 70.  His four-over 220 (75-70-75) secured a top-10 finish, a tie for ninth. Chang was three-under on par fives, the second-best scoring average posted by any competitor.  Not far behind Chang were freshman Toks Pedro and senior Jacob Stockl. Pedro improved on his first-round 75 with rounds of 72 and 78 to tie for 24th with a 225. Stockl fired a 230 (75-78-77) to finish tied for 40th.

The second tourney was the Lehigh Invitational where the Knights finished in 2nd place out of 12 squads. Junior Jonathan Chang paced the Scarlet Knights again with a 151 (74-77) to tie for fifth in the 66-player field, as RU had three players among the top 11 competitors.  Not far behind Chang was sophomore Michael Howe, who followed up his first round 79 with a 75 on Sunday to finish tied for eighth with a 154.  Senior Jacob Stockl and freshman Toks Pedro also had successful weekends. Stockl shot a 155 (78-77) and just missed the top ten, finishing tied for eleventh. Pedro fired a 161 (78-83) to tie for 30th.

Tennis

Juniors Mariam Zein and Gina Li advanced to the semifinals of the doubles draw at the ITA Northeast Regional Championship at Yale University. The duo topped two seeded teams to stay alive in the tournament. As this piece was being written, final results were not available. Rutgers also delivered solid performances in singles action. Zein earned a victory in the qualifying round to earn one of the final eight spots in the main draw, along with junior Lindsey Kayati, freshman Chloe Lee and Li in the event. Four Scarlet Knights marked the highest number of individuals to compete in the main draw of Regionals in program history.


Swimming & Diving

Rutgers hosted the Sonny Werblin Invite, where the Rutgers swimming and diving team combined their efforts for a total of 12 first place finishes out of 14 events, while sweeping the top-three spots in four events.

"I was very happy with this weekend's performance," said head coach Phil Spiniello. "We are off to a great start in both swimming and diving and I'm looking forward to even faster times and stronger dives. I am very excited for the season ahead."

The Scarlet Knights kicked off the day grabbing the top two finishes in the 200 medley relay. The team of junior Joanna Wu, sophomore Rachel Stoddard, freshman Karli Rymer and junior Julia Kudryashova  came in first with a time of 1:48.34. Following in second was the group of junior Morgan Pfaff, freshman Larissa Neilan, junior Sophie Newton and junior Sarah Coyne with a result of 1:49.57.

Rutgers' relay teams continued to see success, registering another first-place finish with Kiely, Leberfinger, Wu and sophomore Chantal Asselin recording the top time of 1:38.41 in the 200 free relay. The team also claimed the top two spots in the 400 free relay.

Cross Country Men

Competing at the Princeton Invitational, the Rutgers men finished 25th of 37 teams.

"They improved on their times from last week," said head coach Mike Mulqueen. "Even though the team place is back, they had the fastest team time average of the year for this team. With four freshmen again in our top six runners, this shows good improvement for this team."

Junior Jaimin Vekaria, who a week ago led RU at the Metropolitan Championships, was once again the Scarlet Knights top finisher. He raced to a time of 25:28 on the 8K course to take 97th overall. Freshman Luke Wiley was close behind, crossing the finish line two seconds behind Vekaria, taking 102nd in the field of 301 with his time of 25:40

If you can't get to a home contest, many are broadcast - and rebroadcast - on RVision, BTN or BTN Plus