Since an 0-2 start, Rutgers’ Men’s Soccer have played rather average soccer as they face their first conference opponents coming to town at the end of the week, compiling a 1-1-1 record in their past three games. Rutgers Men’s Soccer tied against Hartford on Saturday, their last out-of-conference opponent before they face Michigan at home on Friday night.
After dropping their first two games on the road in late August, the men won their last road game against Mount St. Mary’s of Maryland, lost their home opener against Elon, and tied Hartford this past weekend.
The Scarlet Knights broke into the win column on August 31 against Mount St. Mary’s when they shut out “The Mount” 2-0. With the win, Rafael Pereira recorded his third shutout with Rutgers, and the 23rd of his collegiate career. Miles Franklyn, a sophomore transfer, recorded his first goal as a Scarlet Knight, as did sophomore Kyle Galloway, whose first goad was insurance goal to seal the win for Rutgers.
Unfortunately, the home opener on September 2 did not end as positively. Elon came to Yurcak Field, and walked away with an 8-1 decision over the Scarlet Knights. Down 4-0 to Elon at the half, first year transfer student Jordan Hall scored the only Rutgers goal just as the second half got underway, making the score 4-1.
However, that was the only scoring by the home team, and Elon added another four goals in the second half. The Phoenix are 3-1 so far this season, including one win over a ranked opponent in Florida International.
This past Saturday, Rutgers hosted Hartford, and they played to a 2-2 double overtime tie. Hartford took a 1-0 lead, and moments later Jordan Hall tied it up with his third goal of the young season. The goal was a penalty kick was a result of freshman Nick Cruz being taken down as he moved toward the Hawk’s goal. Coming out of halftime with a 1-1 tie, only 32 seconds into the half, redshirt senior Kyle Goodwin gave Rutgers a 2-1 lead. Hartford tied it again with a goal in the 68th minute of play. Overtime ended with no scoring, and so Rutgers and Hartford had to settle for a tie in the match. Rutgers goaltender Rafael Pereira had four saves in goal to keep Hartford to only two goals.
While Rutgers heads into conference play with a 1-3-1 record, there are several players who have been injured that will be returning to play. Vincent Borden, Zeno Mazzucato and Bryce Washington have been sidelined but the coaching staff are hopeful all will be available to play in the first conference game against Michigan (0-0, 3-1) on Friday evening under the lights at Yurcak Field. This is the second half of a double-header. The initial match pits Rutgers Women’s Soccer against Nebraska for their conference opener at 5:00 PM. We’ll have more on Mike O’Neill’s team before they take on the Cornhuskers.
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