The no. 21/13 Rutgers women’s soccer completed a perfect five game homestand to open its 2019 season with a come from behind win over Hofstra on Thursday night. It was a total team effort as four different players scored goals, including two for the first time in their careers, resulting in a 4-1 victory.
The Scarlet Knights surrendered a goal in the 10th minute and trailed 1-0 at the half, having been outshot 7-6 in the opening frame. It could have been worse, but reigning Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week Meagan McClelland made four saves in the first half.
After weathering the storm, Rutgers came out of the break and took control of the game. In the 50th minute, Brittany LaPlant sent a long ball over the Hofstra defense and Nneke Monome was able to finish to tie the game at 1-1.
The score remained even before Shea Holland made a great individual play by splitting two defenders and delivered a booming kick outside the box for the first goal of her career in the 71st minute.
Less than a minute later, Emily Harrigan joined Holland with the first goal of her own career. LaPlant found Taylor Aylmer in the corner of the box and she quickly found Harrigan, who sent a shot past three defenders for the score.
Andddd another one! Less than a minute later Emily Harrigan joins in with her first career goal! Brittany LaPlant and Taylor Aylmer on the assist as #RFutbol now leads Hofstra, 3-1! pic.twitter.com/ufFl5sYM8y— RutgersWomensSoccer (@RUWSoccer) September 6, 2019
Not to be outdone, All-American Amirah Ali completed the scoring flurry as she and LaPlant had a 2 to 1 advantage on the break. Ali finished for the fourth goal of her season, which is tied with Monome for the team lead.
Rutgers outshot Hofstra 8-2 in the second half and 14-9 for the game. They also held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Credit the Rutgers defense for tightening up in the second half and to McClelland, who finished with five saves and kept the game close early on.
Also of note, LaPlant had three assists on the night, which are also the first assists of her career.
Rutgers has outscored opponents 13-2 on its way to a 5-0 start to begin the season. The Scarlet Knights now head on the road for the first time in 2019 for their last two non-conference games on the schedule.
After having beaten two reigning conference champions already in Central Connecticut State and Hofstra, they’ll face a third on Saturday night at RV/no. 25 Princeton (2-1) under the lights at 8 p.m. RU will then have over a week off before traveling to face Delaware (3-2) on Sunday, September 15th. They’ll then return home for the Big Ten opener on Friday, September 20th against Minnesota (0-3-2).