After picking up their first victory of the season with a 5-3 win over Oral Roberts last Friday, Rutgers (1-2-1) played UMKC (2-0-1) to a scoreless draw on the road on Sunday. Goalkeeper Rafael Pereira made five saves in the game, including a huge stop on a penalty kick from the reigning WAC Player of the Week Eric McWoods in overtime. Head coach Dan Donigan spoke about the effort of his team and how they battled:
"For our guys to play a tough game Friday night and then come out here with a short turnaround on a hot turf, I felt that we outplayed them and should've won the match. In past times, we were going to walk away with a tough loss on the road. Our guys gave a tremendous effort this whole weekend and in particular today, with the conditions being difficult, having a short turnaround, having a team that didn't have to play on Friday and then it being so hot. I'm proud of the fight and the battle our guys showed today."
UMKC had just beaten fellow Big Ten foe Northwestern (1-3) by the score of 2-0 in their last game a week ago. For Rutgers to play UMKC to a tie on short rest and in their fourth consecutive road match to start the season is a step forward for a team that won just once a year ago.
Rutgers posted 16 shots in the game, one more than UMKC, and held an edge of 7-5 for shots on goal. UMKC had 8 corners, while Rutgers had 6.
The Scarlet Knights had two chances at the end of regulation to win the game, but they couldn’t finish. Ethan Vanacore-Decker attempted a penalty kick in the 84th minute, but it was saved by UMKC goalkeeper Errico Flippo. Then in the closing minute, Kyle Galloway’s shot hit the post in what would have been a dramatic game winner. Still, after Pereira saving the day in overtime, the result could have been worse.
Rutgers opens Big Ten play in their first home game of the season this Friday, September 8th against Michigan State, who are 3-0 and play Cleveland State on Monday afternoon.