After starting the season with a perfect 5-0 record, the Rutgers women’s soccer team continues to climb up the national rankings. Rutgers is now ranked #14th in the United Coaches Poll, eight spots better from where they started the season and two spots better than last week. In addition, Rutgers moved one spot to #16 in the Soccer America Poll and six spots to #14 in the Top Drawer Soccer Poll.
Rutgers ventures on the road for the first time this season in the coming days, taking on George Mason (0-5) on Friday and Georgetown this Sunday. The Hoyas (4-2) are ranked one spot worse than Rutgers in the United Coaches Poll and one spot better in the other two polls. After losing to Georgetown twice last season, including a second round exit in the NCAA Tournament, the Scarlet Knights will be looking for payback this weekend.
In terms of conference recognition, highly touted freshman Amirah Ali was honored for the first time in her career for her recent performance.
Amirah Ali of @RUWSoccer and Lauren Rice of @BadgerWSoccer are the #B1GWSOC Co-Freshmen of the Week pic.twitter.com/PmUN66toyK— Big Ten Soccer (@B1GSoccer) September 5, 2017
Amirah Ali, last year’s National High School Player of the Year, was named as the Co-Freshman Player of the Week. Ali scored twice in a 7-0 win last Thursday over Mount St. Mary’s. In five games this season, Ali leads the Scarlet Knights with four goals and is tied for the team lead with eight points, along with senior forward Colby Ciarrocca and sophomore forward Carina Hendley, who both have 3 goals and 2 assists.
Ali is living up to expectations already this season and is well on her way to becoming a star for Rutgers. Her development the rest of the way could prove to be a major factor in how successful this team ultimately becomes this season.
Of course, Rutgers isn’t just scoring goals this season at a high pace, 18 in total, which is best for sixth in the nation. They haven’t allowed a goal all season with star Casey Murphy back in net after spending last year in the US National team system. Rutgers is one of five programs in the nation that have not allowed a goal this season. Murphy is tied for second in the NCAA with five shutouts as well and tied for second all-time at Rutgers with thirty-four for her career so far.