The Rutgers women’s soccer team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. Hopes are high as the team recently reached #22 in the NSCAA rankings. The Scarlet Knights look ready to make some noise again this postseason. Last year, Rutgers made the College Cup for the first time in school history. Don’t bet against them making it back there this year.
The Road Begins with Harvard
The path back to the College Cup for the Scarlet Knights begins with a matchup against Harvard. The first-round matchup is scheduled for 5 pm this Saturday at Yurcak Field. Playing at home is great news for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have a record of 6-0-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches held on their home pitch.
Believe it or not, this will be the first meeting between the two schools. Historically, Rutgers has fared very well against Ivy League opponents, holding a 31-11-3 all-time record against them. The winner of the match will face the winner of the St. Francis and Georgetown match. That is a tough match for Rutgers if they meet Georgetown. The Hoyas are a No. 2-seed and will present the first big hurdle to clear if the Scarlet Knights want to make it back to the College Cup. The rest of the road to can be found by checking out the NCAA Tournament brackets.
A Closer Look at the Scarlet Knights
Rutgers has a record of 11-4-6 on the season. They are coming into this tournament fresh off a loss in the Big Ten Tournament after two wins over ranked foes. In the final, the No. 7-seeded Scarlet Knights finally ran out of gas during their magic ride through the tournament, falling 2-1 to top-seeded Minnesota. Rutgers could have become the first school to eliminate the top three seeds in the Big Ten Tournament on the way to the championship.
Even though there was a sense of disappointment about losing the Big Ten final, all of that has evaporated with the news that Rutgers is going to be dancing once again. Their magical run in last year’s tournament is fresh in their minds, and they just had an amazing run in the Big Ten Tournament. They lost the final of the Big Ten Tournament last year as well, and they followed that loss with an NCAA Tourney run to their first College Cup appearance.
When a team has done it once before, they have a feeling they can do it again. This Rutgers team has a belief in themselves that leads to results like their 2-0 blanking of No. 2-seed Penn State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Coach Mike O’Neill has his players believing that they can do anything once they are in the tournament, and that should scare every opponent they face.
The time is now for Rutgers. Senior Madison Tiernan leads the team with 24 points, including nine goals and six assists. This is the senior’s chance to make one more run with this talented, experienced squad. It will be fun to watch.