With the July 4th holiday weekend behind us, here are several Rutgers related stories that came out over the past week that are notable and were also easy to miss during the holiday news cycle. In no particular order:
Rowing has three named All-Americans
It was a tremendous spring season for the Rutgers women’s rowing program, as they finished in 11th place at the NCAA Championships after qualifying for the event for the first time in almost two decades. Senior Sarah Johanek completed her outstanding career by earning First Team All-American honors last week, in addition to also claiming the Big Ten Medal of Honor and being nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year. In addition to Johanek, sophomore Ella Toa earned Second Team All-American honors and junior Liz Kogan was named an Honorable Mention All-American.
Wrestling adds volunteer assistant
The Rutgers wrestling program continues to have a tremendous offseason after a breakthrough at the NCAA Championships last March. Recruiting is on the rise and the program added a big time wrestler to the coaching staff last week. Tyler Graff, a four-time All-American from Wisconsin and current member of the U.S. National Team has joined the program as a volunteer assistant. You can read about his addition here.
Men’s & Women’s Soccer Schedules Released
We are only weeks away from both the Rutgers men’s and women’s soccer teams from kicking off their respective 2019 campaigns. Under first year head coach Jim McElderry, the Scarlet Knights are in full rebuilding mode and face a challenging slate this year. They will begin the season with three consecutive road contests (Temple, Drexel, Elon) before hosting Binghamton in the home opener at Yurcak Field. Later on, Rutgers will play Michigan State, a national semifinalist from last season, at home to end September, before heading on the road to face defending national champion Maryland the following weekend. They’ll also face another national semifinalist from last season, Indiana, on the road at the end of October. For a look at the full schedule, click here or the tweet below.
For the Rutgers women, expectations will remain high with a strong core returning for this season. There are nine opponents on the schedule that made the NCAA Tournament last season and seven who finished 2018 nationally ranked. Notable non-conference games include home contests against Fordham, Tennessee, Providence, and Hofstra as well as a road battle against Princeton. The Big Ten slate ramps up quickly, as Rutgers faces defending conference regular season champion Penn State, Big Ten Tournament champion Minnesota, and third place finisher Wisconsin in three of the first four league contests. After a program best second place finish and seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, head coach Mike O’Neill looks for his team to continue to be one of the best within all of Rutgers athletics in the coming school year. For a look at the full schedule, click here or the tweet below.
Swim & Dive Sends Three to World University Games
The 30th World University Games are underway and Rutgers is well represented in the pool. 2019 graduate Vera Koprivova and rising sophomore Terka Grusova are representing their home country of the Czech Republic, while rising senior Federica Greco will swim for host country Italy. All three had great seasons last year, highlighted by Korpivova winning the program’s first ever Big Ten medal. Best of luck to all three athletes during this competition. For more on their participation, click here.
Women’s Golf continues to shine academically
The top Rutgers program this past year in the classroom earned more accolades, as six golfers were named academic All-Americans. Read about it below:
New Rutgers Baseball head coach Steve Owens Adds Staff
Owens, who was very successful at Bryant and was hired by Rutgers in late June, has reportedly brought two assistants with him per James Kratch of NJ Advance Media.
Bryant pitching coach/recruiting coordinator Brendan Monaghan and assistant coach Kyle Pettoruto have been added and confirm that fact via their twitter accounts. Rutgers has not announced the hires as of yet. Monaghan played at Wayne Hills. More on both assistants can be read here. This report from Kratch also confirmed that pitching coach Phil Cundari and assistant Jim Duffy were not retained by Owens.
Football over/under win total set at 2.5 for 2019 season
With college football kicking off in less than two months, Caesars out of Vegas released Big Ten win over/unders last week and no surprise, the bar is set pretty low for Rutgers.
Cesar's Palace just put out their over/under total win lines in College Football for 2019.— Greg Flugaur (@flugempire) July 2, 2019
The Big Ten West race is going to be wild! pic.twitter.com/UgVykhahxU
Hopefully, the positive changes that have occurred this offseason, most notably with the coaching staff and roster, will lead to major improvement this season. Rutgers will look to end the nation’s longest losing streak in the season opener against UMASS on the Friday night before Labor Day. With additional non-conference games against Liberty and Boston College, as well as other home games against Maryland and Minnesota, the Scarlet Knights can muster enough to exceed the 2.5 over/under for wins. Road games at Indiana and Illinois are potentially winnable as well. However, the program will need to take a big step forward on the field in head coach Chris Ash’s fourth season, particularly on offense. Let’s hope at a minimum that this team can at least win three games this season and prove Vegas wrong to some degree.
Also one more piece of football news coming out late Monday afternoon:
Steve Pikiell Throws Out First Pitch
Yesterday, Rutgers men’s basketball head coach Steve Pikiell threw a strike and hung with Scarlet Knight legend Todd Frazier at the Mets-Phillies game at Citi Field. Here is a video highlighting the day for coach Pikiell. Also, in case you missed it, here is my lengthy interview with Pikiell from mid-June about the current state of the program. I’ll have a full recruiting update later this week.
Carli Lloyd Wins Second World Cup with the U.S. National Team
We end on a big high note, as Rutgers legend Carli Lloyd made history once again in her illustrious career. She broke a World Cup record in June by scoring in a tournament record sixth straight game. While Lloyd came off the bench in all but one game this time around, she continues to add to her historic legacy and make all RU faithful proud!