The Rutgers Field Hockey team, playing with its highest ranking in program history at #14, won a hard fought game by the score of 2-1 at #15 Northwestern on Friday. It was the fourth victory over a ranked opponent this season, which is a program record.
The Scarlet Knights scored first thanks to Linda van Schaik, who netted her seventh goal of the season.
GOAL! After a penalty corner and a scrum in front of the net, Linde van Schaik finds the ball and flicks it in for a 1-0 early lead for No. 14 #RUFH over No. 15 Northwestern pic.twitter.com/VzYhnspDCj— Rutgers Field Hockey (@RUFieldHockey) October 12, 2018
Rutgers continued to put pressure on the host and Daphne Groothuis scored after forcing a turnover and converted to take a 2-0 first half lead. It was Groothuis’ ninth goal of the season, which leads the team.
GOAL! Spectacular play by Daphne Groothuis, as she forces a turnover, carries through the defense and scores! #RUFH leads 2-0 in the first half at No. 15 Northwestern pic.twitter.com/Qr8OFriXxz— Rutgers Field Hockey (@RUFieldHockey) October 12, 2018
Northwestern answered with a goal of their own later in the opening frame However, the defense of Rutgers held strong in the second half as goalkeeper Gianna Glatz made three saves in the contest.
Rutgers is now 10-4 on the season and has the most wins in head coach Meredith Covico’s seven year tenure with the program. She had this say after the victory:
“I‘m so proud of the effort our team put forth today. We played front foot hockey for the first half and took our chances. But Northwestern is a very good team and we knew they would come out hard in the second half. It was a battle but we held strong and our defensive corner unit was outstanding when it mattered.”
It’s been a season of firsts, as the field hockey team has earned their highest ranking in program history and have beaten more ranked teams than ever before.
Rutgers will travel to Indiana (4-10; 1-5) on Sunday for senior day for the Hoosiers. With just three regular season games remaining. The Scarlet Knights are on the cusp of its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1986. They are ranked #11th in the latest RPI rankings that were released earlier this week. They’ll face #8 Iowa (12-3; 4-2) at home on October 19th in the last Big Ten match before ending the regular season against American (7-4) on October 21st.