The Rutgers women’s soccer team has performed its best all season when the pressure was at its highest and Thursday night was no exception. Playing its third consecutive road game, Rutgers produced a program record sixth overtime victory on the season, topping Michigan State 1-0.
With less than a minute to play in the second extra session, Nneka Moneme found Nicole Whitley, who took advantage of open space in the middle of the field. She dribbled it all the way into the box and delivered the game winning goal with a shot to the far post.
Rutgers outshot Michigan State 14-8 in the contest. Give credit to Spartans goalkeeper Reilly Ott, who had nine saves on the night. Scarlet Knights goalkeeper Meagan McClelland made three saves of her own for her eighth shutout of the season and fifth in Big Ten play. The true freshman has allowed just two goals in the past seven games.
This was the eleventh overtime contest for Rutgers this season, which has tied an NCAA record. They are 6-0-5 in overtime and have played into extra time in ten of the last eleven games.
The Scarlet Knights wrap up the regular season on Sunday at home against Purdue. The senior day contest kicks off at 1 p.m. and captain Kenie Wright, Adora Moneme, Madison Pogarch, and Brianna Scarola will be honored in their last regular season home game.
Rutgers (10-2-5; 6-1-3) is currently ranked #23 in the latest United Coaches Poll. Despite being the highest rated Big Ten team in the latest RPI rankings at 27th, they sit tied for second place in the conference with Wisconsin. They trail Penn State, who Rutgers suffered its first defeat to in conference play last Sunday, falling in Happy Valley by the score of 1-0. The Nittany Lions clinched a share of the Big Ten title with a 4-1 win over Indiana on Thursday night. The Scarlet Knights can gain its first ever share of the conference regular season title with a win over Purdue and a Penn State loss at home against Minnesota. The eight team Big Ten Tournament begins October 28th.