Rutgers saw three of its fall programs represented in the national rankings that were released on Tuesday afternoon. Both soccer teams and field hockey were recognized in the polls this week as Big Ten play approaches.
Women’s soccer completed non-conference play in dramatic fashion on Sunday, as Amirah Ali delivered her team best 5th goal of the season on a penalty kick in overtime to defeat Delaware. Rutgers is 6-0-1 and moved up quite a bit in the polls ahead of Big Ten play beginning this weekend. They moved up six spots and are now ranked no. 13th in the latest United Coaches Poll, while they moved up five spots in Top Drawer Soccer’s poll and are ranked 8th in the country. They open Big Ten play Friday, hosting Minnesota (1-5-2) on Friday, September 20th at 7 p.m. ET. Wisconsin (4-2-1) visits on Sunday, September 22nd at noon in a match that will be shown live on BTN.
Men’s Soccer has been a major surprise this fall under first year head coach Jim McElderry, as they’ve begun the season undefeated at 5-0. Two wins last week, including a late goal to beat Manhattan on Saturday catapulted them into the national rankings for the first time since 2015. They are ranked 24th in the United Coaches Poll and 25th by Top Drawer Soccer. They’ll play its third road game of the season tonight in Philadelphia, taking on Penn (2-1) at 7 p.m. ET.
Field Hockey remains at no. 21 in the NFCHA Coaches Poll this week. After a one goal loss to a top ten team in Delaware last week, they defeated Monmouth (4-2) on the road to hand the Hawks its first home loss in four seasons. Rutgers is 3-3, having gone 1-3 versus ranked foes, and will face another in-state rival on the road this Friday, September 20th vs. no. 6 Princeton (3-1). The Tigers own three ranked wins this season and will be looking to avenge last season’s upset loss to the Scarlet Knights. The game begins at 6 p.m. ET.
In addition to national rankings, the Rutgers volleyball team has won six straight matches, including two consecutive tournament titles.
It’s been great to see these Olympic fall sports programs start off their 2019 seasons with a certain level of success. Hopefully all of them can continue to excel in Big Ten play.