Fresh off its first Big Ten win of the season last weekend, the Rutgers men’s soccer team played its seventh road game this fall at Hartford on Tuesday night. The Scarlet Knights trailed 2-0 early in second half before coming back to tie the game, which ended in a draw 2-2.
Tommer Drimmer put Hartford in the lead with a goal in the 35th minute, as the hosts led 1-0 at halftime. Soon after the break the Hawks scored again as Connor Askoz put the ball into the back of the net off his left foot six yards out in the 47th minute. Both Hartford goals were set up and assisted on by Etienne Jovante.
Rutgers has proven its toughness all season and soon responded to get back into the game. It should be no surprise that the offense came from its two leading scorers Pablo Avila and Jackson Temple. In the 50th minute, Temple sent a cross into the box and it went off a Hartford defender into the able feet of Avila, who finished from six yards out with a strike into the left post to make the score 2-1. It was him team leading sixth goal of the season.
Temple found himself with a great opportunity midway through the second half, but sent the open shot over the post. However, he made up for it soon after, tying the game in the 67th minute with a rocket shot from 22 yards out into the right post. The goal, which was Temple’s fifth this season, was assisted by Brandon Golden who sent in a cross, as well as Anthony O’Donnell who deflected it to Temple.
The game remain tied and during the second overtime Hartford was relentless in attacking, producing six shots in the extra session. Two minutes into the second overtime they thought they won the game with a goal, but it was not allowed due to a foul called. Rutgers was able to prevent the Hawks from finding the net the rest of the way and the game ended in a tie.
After the overtime flurry, Hartford (7-2-4) held a 13-11 edge in shots in the game and a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. The Hawks extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games.
RU goalkeeper Oren Asher made one save on the night.
Head coach Jim McElderry said, “We challenged the guys at halftime to not only play well, but to fight for a result, and they responded well. To come back from down 2-0 is excellent. We were close to a third, too, but in the end we have to be ok with the tie. Now we focus everything on Northwestern which we know will be another difficult match.”
Rutgers (7-3-3; 1-3-1) remained unbeaten in non-conference games this season at 6-0-2. The Scarlet Knight’s will remain on the road this Sunday at Northwestern (5-7-1; 1-3-1) in a game televised live on BTN at 2 p.m. Both teams are currently in a three way tie for sixth place with Ohio State, so it’s a pivotal contest for the two sides.