The #23 Rutgers women's soccer team suffered its second defeat of the season, both of which have occurred in the last week, dropping a 1-0 decision at Iowa (6-5-1; 1-3-1) on Thursday night. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy tied her season high with six saves, but the Hawkeyes were able to find the back of the net in the 60th minute and the Scarlet Knights couldn't find an answer.
Here is the blast from Devin Burns of Iowa that just escaped the diving Murphy.
It was just the fourth goal allowed by Rutgers and Murphy all season, who now has a 0.30 goals allowed average and 0.909 save percentage on the year.
Rutgers did have a goal disallowed in the 52nd minute due to an offsides call. They continued to fight throughout and Amanda Visco's shot in the 89th minute off of a corner kick went just over the top of the crossbar. Iowa outshot Rutgers in the match 11 to 7 and held a 7 to 5 edge with shots on goal.
The Scarlet Knights are now 9-2-2 overall and 3-2-1 in Big Ten play. After suffering its first loss last Friday at home to Minnesota in a rematch of last season's Big Ten Championship, Rutgers knocked off then #12 Wisconsin with a dramatic 1-0 win in the first minute of overtime on a goal from freshman Amirah Ali. Despite that win, Rutgers dropped seven spots in the United Coaches Poll this week.
In the latest RPI rankings released earlier this week, Rutgers was the highest rated Big Ten team at #12. That's likely to change after the loss to Iowa, who were ranked #147th.
One thing to remember is that while Rutgers is extremely talented, they are also a very young and a mostly inexperienced team, as 21 of the 28 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores. Head coach Mike O'Neill has said before how much of a grind the season can be, which is why they established "The Edge" mantra. The reality is the freshmen class is still adjusting to road trips and while the loss to Iowa is disappointing, it should serve as a good learning experience for the team with postseason play soon approaching.
Rutgers stays on the road to take on Nebraska (8-3-2; 2-1-2) this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on ESPNU.