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Rutgers Women’s Soccer Atop Big Ten Standings After Third Straight OT Victory

The Scarlet Knights defeated Illinois 1-0 on Sunday


This is not a rerun. The Rutgers women’s soccer team continued its amazing run in Big Ten play with its third straight overtime victory on Sunday, defeating Illinois 1-0. Sophomore forward Amirah Ali scored the golden goal once again and the Scarlet Knights took over sole possession of first place in the conference with the victory.

Rutgers held a 15-2 shot advantage in regulation, but was unable to find the back of the net. The Illini then had a key chance in extra time to stun the Scarlet Knights, but freshman goalkeeper Meagan McClelland made a fantastic save to keep her team in the match.

The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week pitched her second straight shutout and third in her last four games.

As the first overtime session was winding down, Nneka Moneme penetrated the 18 yard box from the right side and slipped in a crossing pass in stride to Ali, who delivered the ball to the bottom right corner of the goal for the game winning score.

It was Ali’s tenth goal of the season, which leads the Big Ten, and her fifth game winner in 2018. Four of those have come in overtime, including Thursday’s victory over Northwestern. With Moneme’s assist, she and Ali have now been a part of 8 of the 9 goals Rutgers has scored in conference play this season.

The Scarlet Knights have now played in eight straight overtime matches, the longest stretch in program history. They are 5-0-3 during this period and 5-0-4 overall this season in extra time.

With Nebraska losing to Iowa on Sunday, Rutgers (9-1-4; 5-0-2) is now alone atop the Big Ten standings with 17 points and just four regular season games to play. The next three contests are on the road, including a crucial trip to Ohio State (7-5-1; 4-2-1) on Friday night and Penn State (9-5; 5-2) this coming Sunday. The match against the Nittany Lions, who are in second place in the conference, will be shown live at 2 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.