The fall season is, incredibly, rushing to a close. While there are still five more weeks of football, the other fall sports are closing in on postseason possibilities. We’ll open with the team - aside from women’s soccer - that has been somewhat of a bellweather for Rutgers.
Field Hockey (9-7, 2-5 B1G)
Despite going 1-1 over the weekend, Rutgers has already qualified for te Big Ten tournament which begins Nov. 3 at Maryland. The Knights have one regukar season game remaining against the Terrapins this Saturday.
In a conference contest, then-No. 6 Penn State topped RU at the Bauer Track & Field Hockey Complex, 4-1. Senior Rachel Yaney scored her 21st career goal for the only Rutgers tally. On Senior Day, the Knights bounced back in a non-conference game, topping Richmond, 2-0. The Scarlet got goals from a pair of freshmen in Nikki Santore and Katie Larmour, and a shutout in net from senior Shevaun Hayes.
"I thought our seniors were the absolute heart and soul of our team today," head coach Meredith Civico said. "They each bring something so unique to the team. There's such a special group. To win this game today in celebration and honor of that group of women was really exciting for the whole team and the program. They are such a dynamic group, on and off the field. You don't get teams like this every year. A team like this has the potential to keep going, and we want to do that, heading towards the Big Ten Tournament."
Men’s Soccer (0-12-2, 0-6-2 B1G)
The confusion and disappointment continued for the men. A 4-0 loss to NJIT (7-4-3) at home was followed by a 3-2 double-OT loss to Penn State (7-6-2, 4-3-0 Big Ten) in Happy Valley. Head coach Dan Donigan was still pleased with the effort put forth by his squad.
”The guys played really well tonight so it’s heart wrenching to play like that on the road and not be able to get the win,” said head coach Donigan. “All five of our overtime games have come against one of the eight teams from the Big Ten schedule. The margin of difference between all the teams in the league, from top to bottom, is so slim and these teams will make you pay for little mistakes. Unfortunately for us, Penn State was able to keep onsides on that last play. Our guys battled hard out there tonight and I’m proud of them, but I’m also gutted for them that they couldn’t walk away with the result.”
The men have two non-conference games scheduled, starting with a home contest and Senior Night against Columbia on Tuesday night followed by a road trip to Bradley on Saturday to close out the season.
The women traveled south to Rehoboth Beach for the Lady Blue Hen Invitational. The squad finished fifth in the ten team outing.
Redshirt sophomore Ashleigh Greenham paced the Scarlet Knights with a 228 (80-73-75) to finish tied for second in the 60-player field. Harvard won the event with a 920, 10 strokes ahead of second place Delaware. The Knights finished ahead of Towson, Dartmouth, High Point, Delaware State and La Salle.
“The course played difficult again today,” said head coach Kari Williams. “I was pleased with the way Ashleigh competed down the stretch to finish tied for second place. She buckled down and made a few great birdies.”
Greenham had 33 pars and six birdies on the par 71, 6,003-yard course. The performance marked her third consecutive tournament posting RU’s best score.
Women’s Volleyball (4-19, 0-10 B1G)
The women dropped two 3-0 matches, losing to No. 11 Michigan State on the road before dropping the contest to Maryland at home. Against the Spartans, Junior outside hitter Meme Fletcher led RU with 10 kills in the match, along with two blocks. Senior right side Lauren Cloyd followed with five kills of her own. Against the Terps, RU kept it very close losing by set scores of 25-20, 25-19, and 26-24. Senior right side Lauren Cloyd led RU with nine kills along with three blocks, while senior outside hitter Micaela Anderson contributed seven kills.
The women traveled to Connecticut to compete in the ITA Regional Championships, hosted by Yale over the weekend.
“Overall we had a great showing at regionals,” said first-year head coach Hilary Ritchie. “The ladies played extremely well in singles action in both the qualifying and main draws. We ran into some tough opponents on Saturday, but we will continue to work hard in order to get to where we want to be as a program.”