The Rutgers women's soccer team started their season on Friday night against Rider University. The game took place at Ben Cohen Field in Lawrenceville, NJ. The Scarlet Knight showed up to win and that is exactly what they accomplished. After the preseason noise around the Rutgers women's soccer team, they now have something to live up to. The team was voted into the top 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in the preseason vote, starting the season ranked #10. This is the highest that Rutgers has ever began the season, and the team made sure to prove that they belong at the top.
Rutgers began the season opening match a bit slow, down 1-0 in the first half, but it didn't take them long to turn it around in the second. Not even a minute into the second half, junior Colby Ciarrocca scored the first goal of the Scarlet Knight's season. Shortly after that, senior captain Madison Tiernan added a goal of her own. This was the third time Tiernan scored in a season opener since joining Rutgers.
Moving right along in the second half, Rutgers received a corner kick and was able to capitalize on it. The rookie midfielder Nicole Whitley was able to put it past the Rider goalkeeper to extend Rutgers lead to 3-1. The final goal scored by Rutgers came from the other captain, senior Tori Pager. This was the 14th season opener in a row that Rutgers has won.
Senior goalkeeper Alana Jimenez held Rider to just one goal, and had two saves in this match. This was her first start and first win as a Scarlet Knight. Rutgers moves past Rider 4-1 and looks forward to the rest of what will be a tough schedule. The next match for these ladies will be the home opener this Sunday August 21 at 7 pm, when they will host Providence University.