The Rutgers women's soccer team came from behind at Nebraska on Sunday afternoon to salvage a 1-1 tie on the second game of their road trip this past weekend. After being upset at Iowa last Thursday in a 1-0 loss, the Scarlet Knights needed at least a point in the decision and they were able to battle back to accomplish that. The match was televised nationally on ESPNU.
The Cornhuskers (8-3-3; 2-1-3) took the lead in just the 7th minute of action, as forward Haley Hanson scored her 8th goal of the season on a breakaway. It was the earliest goal scored against Rutgers this season and Hanson finished it in the bottom right corner, just past the diving Casey Murphy. The star goalkeeper wouldn't allow another shot find the net the rest of the day and she finished with 5 saves in the game.
Rutgers trailed 1-0 at the half but were able to break even when coach Mike O'Neill subbed in freshman Nneka Moneme, who rewarded him with a booming strike from 20 yards out that found the upper left corner of the back of the net to tie the game. Fellow rookie Amirah Ali registered an assist on the play and is tied for the team lead with four.
The Scarlet Knights outplayed Nebraska in the second half, but were unable to put together a deciding goal. Both teams had limited opportunities in overtime and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The Cornhuskers outshot Rutgers 18-6 in the game, but the visitors held a 5-4 edge on corner kicks.
"Every game in the Big Ten is a battle and this weekend proved that", said senior forward Colby Ciarrocca. "I'm really proud of our team's mentality and fight against Nebraska today. We have a huge week ahead of us at home so we're looking to continue to battle as a team and get points in the Big Ten."
#23 Rutgers is now 9-2-3 on the season and 3-2-2 in conference play. Their next match is the highly anticipated contest against #14 Penn State (9-3-1; 5-1-1) Thursday night at Yurcak Field. The game will be broadcast live on BTN at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions have won 18 of the past 19 Big Ten titles and beat Rutgers in the 2015 Final Four on their way to winning a national title. However, Rutgers tied Penn State in their last regular season meeting in 2016, before beating them in last year's Big Ten Tournament a couple of weeks later. Thursday's matchup should be another battle between the two programs.