When you're playing at home at tournament time, you know you did something right. Such is the case for both the men's and women's soccer teams as they play in the NCAA Tournament.
Both the men and the women didn't finish the Big Ten season as they had hoped. The men had a nasty run in with Ohio State in the B1G's semifinal, losing 4-0. The women took it one step further, making it to the championship (a first for RU in the Big Ten in any sport) before dropping a 2-0 match to Penn State.
But for both teams, the good folks at the NCAA rewarded them with decent positions - the women at No. 2 seed - and some home cookin'. The women are home for the round of 16 and host the quarterfinals on Sunday.
UConn faces the Irish at 4 PM at Yurcak Field while the Knights will host the Pride at 7. The winners will play at Yurcak on Sunday at 1:00. So, the women have a chance to make the Elite Eight at home. In their game against FDU, Rachel Cole scored the winner in the 45th minute of play. Casey Murphy had to make just one save, while the FDU goalie had to make 11.
Hofstra, next up for the Knights, topped Georgetown on penalty kicks, 4-2. The Pride is 13-5-2; the Georgetown game technically counts as a tie.
On the men's side, the Big Ten tourney was disappointing. But the NCAA bid is a welcome prize for the Knights.
"It's exciting. It's nice to be back in the tournament. It refreshes you, it reenergizes you. Now everyone is 0-0 and anyone can win at this point. There are 48 quality teams in the tournament," said head coach Dan Donigan. "We're excited to be able to host a game, which is a bonus. Now it's time to learn about LIU Brooklyn and what they are all about for Thursday's game."
The Scarlet Knights are making their 17th NCAA Tournament appearance, last playing in the 48-team bracket in 2011 and advancing to the third round. Thursday's game against LIU-Brooklyn is at Yurcak Field starting at 7:00.
The Blackbirds made the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Northeast Conference Tournament. Oddly and admirably, LIU won both games in the NEC on penalty kicks, topping St. Francis of Brooklyn, 4-3 and then beating St. Francis (Latrobe, PA), 3-1.
Full men's bracket here.
Live scoring of men's game available here.
And don't forget.....
Only one week left in voting for the @SnrCLASSAward! Let's push Brianne into first place! https://t.co/iuZHV5MWNb pic.twitter.com/pdLtXKgFno— RutgersWomensSoccer (@RUWSoccer) November 16, 2015
Actually it is only until Monday....so vote.