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Olympic Sports: Opening exhibitions and what we learned UPDATE

The fall season is getting underway. Most teams started with exhibitions, and the results, what we could find, were generally pretty good.

scarletknights.com

Women's Soccer

It wasn't the strongest test, but it was good as a warmup.  The Rutgers women's soccer team topped Lehigh in exhibition action last Wednesday night in Bethlehem, by a 2-0 final. Junior Jessica Puchalski and sophomore transfer Colby Ciarrocca provided the offense for the Scarlet Knights in the win. Lehigh was 4-7-5 in '14.

The defense had a solid outing as well in the shutout victory, as sophomore goalkeeper Brianna Scaroloa played the full time in net.  Sophomore Casey Murphy, selected as the goalkeeper on the 2014 Big Ten All-Freshmen Team, did not play.  Murphy ended her first year in net with a 13-6-1 record, 0.64 GAA, .829 save percentage, 10 shutouts and 63 saves

All seven newcomers - Ciarrocca, Adora Moneme, Christy Monroy, Cassandra Taniguchi, Nicole Wagner, Katelyn Walters, and Kenie Wright - saw their first college soccer action as Scarlet Knights in the exhibition event.

Last Saturday, the women played to a 0-0 tie with Syracuse. Sophomore Brianna Scarola posted her second shutout of the preseason, as RU looks ahead to its season opener Friday.

Another honor for Reed

Rutgers women's soccer senior defender Brianne Reed was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Women's College Preseason Best XI Third Team, the publication announced Monday.  The honor is the second of the preseason for the 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American, who is also one of 28 women from the NCAA Division I level to earn placement on the Missouri Athletic Club's (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List.

UPDATE: 8/17 Ranking released

The Rutgers women were ranked in another poll to start the 2015 season asTopDrawerSoccer.com listed the Scarlet Knights as the No. 22 team nationally.  The ranking is the second for Rutgers after the program debuted at No. 24 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Preseason Poll. The NSCAA preseason appearance was RU's first since 2010, when the squad came in ranked No. 18 to start the year.

In addition to Rutgers, the Big Ten was also represented in the TDS Top 25 by No. 4 Penn State and No. 14 Wisconsin.

B1G Preseason Predictions

In 2014, the Knights finished the season in fourth place.  The coaches poll gong into 2015 puts RU tied for third with Wisconsin.

The complete Rutgers press release is here, the Big Ten release here.

Upcoming Schedule
Penn State Tournament
8/21/15 vs. Loyola Marymount University Park, Pa. 5:00 p.m. ET
8/23/15 vs. Hofstra University Park, Pa. 2:30 p.m. ET

Men's Soccer

The Rutgers men's soccer team had a strong to start to kick off the preseason with a 3-0 showing against NEC-opponent Bryant in exhibition action.

Playing three 30 minute periods, Rutgers had ample opportunity on goal, outshooting the Bulldogs 15-3 with six different Scarlet Knights able to get an attempt off on net.

Mitchell Taintor led the way with six shots and put RU up on the scoreboard 1-0 in the 50th minute. The senior Scarlet Knight, who posted a trio of goals a year ago, put away a free kick from 25 yards out.  Rutgers added two more goals during the final period. Ahmad Faheem was able to find the opening off a Jack Young corner from the far post and newcomer Brian Hawkins fed Sugor Al Awwad 12 yards out at the right post to round out the scoring.

Junior David Greczek and freshman Brian Shushkovsky had turns in goal, both ending the afternoon with a save a piece.

It's a team effort

You're a brand, a whole school effort.  We're all in this together.  However you want to describe it, Kyle Flood gets it...as does Dan Donigan.  The tweet below says it all.

Upcoming Schedule
8/22/15 at NJIT   exhibition Newark, N.J. 7:00 p.m. ET


Big Ten Volleyball

Rutgers Volleyball doesn't open its season until August 28.

Defending NCAA Champion Penn State was chosen as the conference favorite for the 2015 volleyball season as voted on by the Big Ten coaches, it was announced on Thursday. After claiming their seventh national title last season, the Nittany Lions top the preseason poll for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons.

NCAA quarterfinalist Nebraska was picked to finish second, while Illinois was tabbed third. Wisconsin, which claimed the Big Ten Championship last season, was voted to finish fourth, while Minnesota rounded out the top five of the preseason poll in fifth place.

Rutgers was picked last in the 14-team conference.

Field Hockey

Rutgers field hockey opened its season with an exhibition against Fairfield over the weekend.

The Knights will play two games televised nationally by the Big Ten Network. RU's games against Ohio State on Oct. 9 and against Indiana on Oct. 30 will air on BTN. Both games will be played at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. Last season, RU defeated the Buckeyes, 3-2, for the program's first ever Big Ten Conference victory.  The Scarlet Knights beat the Hoosiers, 2-1, last season to clinch a bid to the Big Ten Conference Tournament.

Upcoming Schedule
8/21/15 at Lafayette exhibition
Easton, Pa. 7:00 p.m. ET