Rutgers moved up two spots to No. 18 in this week’s NFHCA poll. The Knights are the fifth highest ranked team in the Big Ten. Rutgers also now sits at No. 17 in the RPI.
Rutgers Field Hockey, ranked at No. 20, lost to No. 4 Michigan on Friday in Ann Arbor, 5-0. Oooph!
Ahh, but not so fast, my friend. While that loss stung and certainly wasn’t what was wanted, look what happened the very next day.
The Knights took the Cardinal into overtime where they won the game. When Stanford scored just four minutes into the game, the thinking might have been a little less positive. But Head Coach Meredith Civico felt her team was ready to respond.
"The team showed a lot of character to come back from a tough loss and have this performance against Stanford. I'm proud of our response and our effort. We played with grit and we played for each other. Every single player really gave their all for the team in this game."
It was the Dutch duo of Linde van Schaik and Daphne Groothius that put the Knights into the win column. van Schaik scored the tying goal with just under five minutes remaining in the first half. Freshman goalie Gianna Glatz held serve after the opening goal, recording seven saves in the contest. Groothius scored 11:25 into OT for the victory.
The Knights are now 8-5 (2-2 B1G) and Stanford sits at 7-4.
RU - ranked last week at No. 20 - now has three ranked wins on the season: Iowa, Old Dominion, and Stanford. They face Michigan State on Friday in East Lansing. Interestingly, MSU has won most of their six wins on the road. New rankings from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association should come out on Tuesday.
Down the line, Rutgers will be looking to position itself for a spot in the Big Ten Tournament, which is an eight team affair. As of today, they are positioned well to make it and, depending on seeding, pick up a win or two. Eighteen teams made the NCAA tournament in 2016, so RU finds itself on the bubble. The win over Stanford, though, should go a long way in the rankings and the RPI. Stanford was No. 8 in the latest NCAA RPI standings.