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Rutgers Roundup: Olympic Sports up and running

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Women's Soccer opened the season at the [Penn State] Invitational and it was a good start.

scarletknights.com

You know you want all of our sports to be successful.  You know you want Big Ten titles.  Lets look off the gridiron and off the hardwood ju-u-u-u-ust a little, because there are good things happening.

Women's Soccer

The No. 24 women's team opened the regular season at the PSU Invitational, finishing the weekend effort at 2-0.

In the weekend finale, Junior Jenna Seddon, a former defender, scored her first-career goal in the 40th minute and gave the Rutgers women's soccer team a 1-0 win Sunday afternoon against Hofstra to close out the Penn State Invitational.  Redshirt junior Gabby Moreno tallied the assist on Seddon's score for the first points of her career. Moreno sat out last season due to injury and saw her first action this weekend since 2013. Sophomore goalkeeper Casey Murphy recorded the 12th shutout of her career in a three-save outing. The young Scarlet Knight star is already one shutout shy of tying Jess Janosz (2011-13) for eighth on the program's all-time list.

In the season opener, it took 63 minutes of action before the Knights scored against Loyola Marymount in a 2-0 win Friday night. But once it did, the Scarlet Knights closed the door on their 13th consecutive season-opening win.

Freshman defender Adora Moneme converted the game-winner - the first goal of her career - in the 63rd minute on a corner kick send-in from junior Jen Andresen.  Less than four minutes later, senior forward Rachel Cole buried a penalty attempt to put the finishing touches on a 2-0 Rutgers (1-0) win.

In goal, Casey Murphy made four saves in the 11th shutout of her career.Second year head coach Mike O'Neill was upbeat about the 2-0 start. "To get two wins away from home so early in the season is always important. The coaching staff is very proud of the team. We wanted to play two good teams early to see the areas of our game we need to improve upon to have a successful season. It was a total team effort on both sides of the ball."

Results and upcoming schedule

Penn State Tournament
8/21/15 vs. Loyola Marymount University Park, Pa. W, 2-0
8/23/15 vs. Hofstra University Park, Pa. W, 1-0
8/28/15 vs. Villanova Yurcak Field 8:00 p.m. ET
8/30/15 vs. Massachusetts Yurcak Field 1:00 p.m. ET

Men's Soccer

The men's soccer team closed out the preseason undefeated after downing NJIT, 1-0, on Saturday night in Newark.

Senior Mitchell Taintor scored the lone goal of the match in the game's 65th minute. It was the co-captain's second game-winner of the exhibition season having put away the first of three Scarlet Knight goals in a 3-0 win over Bryant last weekend.

Head coach Dan Donigan was pleased with the way the team looked.  "I am very pleased with the effort on both sides of the ball. Both teams had some quality chances they should have or could have scored on. It was a great match for us to see where we need to strengthen ourselves and we were also able to see what we have moving into our opener," added Donigan. "We are a much different team from last year and this group needs to keep plugging away and continue to bond on and off the field as we enter into the real season."

Results and upcoming schedule
8/15/15 vs. Bryant # Piscataway, N.J. W, 3-0
8/22/15 at NJIT # Newark, N.J. W, 1-0
8/28/15 vs. Siena Piscataway, N.J. 5:30 p.m. ET

Field Hockey

Three Knights were named as Players to Watch by the Big Ten Conference.  Redshirt junior midfielder Alyssa Bull, senior forward Katie Champion, and junior back Sofia Walia were recognized by the league as players to watch for the upcoming season.

Bull earned the league's recognition for the second straight season, one of just seven players to be honored for the second consecutive season. She started 18 games for the Scarlet Knights last season and was a team captain. Bull scored two goals and added two assists last season, and has totaled 23 points in 38 career games.

Champion is RU's leading returning scorer. She scored 10 goals and added six assists for 26 points, leading the Scarlet Knights in all three categories. Champion also had a team best three game-winning tallies in 2014.

Walia was named Second Team All-Big Ten and First Team All-Region last season. The junior led the team with six assists and was tied for team-best with three defensive saves. She also was second on the team with seven goals.

The Scarlet Knights return 18 of 21 letterwinners from last season's squad that won nine games and qualified for RU's first postseason appearance since 2010. The 2015 regular season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 28 when Rutgers hosts Bucknell at 4 p.m. at the Bauer Track and Field Complex.

Upcoming schedule
8/28/15 vs. Bucknell Piscataway, N.J. 4:00 p.m. ET
8/29/15 vs. Ball State Piscataway, N.J. 12:00 p.m. ET


Volleyball

Volleyball opens its season this weekend with the first of three straight road tournaments.  The Knights head west to Santa Clara to open up.  Santa Clara was an NCAA qualifier in 2014, while both Sacramento State and US Riverside are not necessarily powerhouses.  It should be a good a god test for the Knights as they prepare for a strong Big Ten Conference slate.

Santa Clara Invitational
08/28/15 vs. Sacramento State Santa Clara, Calif. 7:30 p.m. ET
08/29/15 at Santa Clara Santa Clara, Calif. 1:00 p.m. ET
vs. UC Riverside Santa Clara, Calif. 6:00 p.m. ET