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Rutgers women’s soccer named 12th best program of past five years

The Soccer Wire included the Scarlet Knights as one of three Big Ten schools in the top 25.

Rich Graessle/Rutgers Athletics

Despite the fall season postponed for now, the Rutgers women’s soccer team continues to receive accolades. The Soccer Wire recently ranked the best 25 programs of the past five years and listed Rutgers 12th nationally during that time span. Per the publication, rankings were based on a combination of United Soccer Coaches Polls and Rating Percentage Index (RPI).

Under head coach Mike O’Neill, the Scarlet Knights have amassed a cumulative record of 70-19-22 over the previous five seasons. This includes a College Cup appearance (Final Four), five NCAA Tournament appearances, two Big Ten Championship game appearances, and two Big Ten regular season second place finishes.

Only three Big Ten schools were included in The Soccer Wire’s Top 25 from the past five seasons, which were Penn State (4), Rutgers (12), and Wisconsin (16).

No team at Rutgers has achieved what women’s soccer has over the past five years. No other program on the banks has produced multiple second place finishes in Big Ten play, which they’ve achieved the past two seasons. In addition, they’ve now accomplished eight consecutive double digit win campaigns which have resulted in eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

The future remains bright for Rutgers women’s soccer. After earning the most regular season wins in school history in 2019 with 14 victories, O’Neill and his staff added a recruiting class ranked 8th nationally by Top Drawer Soccer. In addition, the reigning Gatorade Girls Soccer National Player of the Year Emily Mason is verbally committed to the 2021 recruiting class.

Whenever the next season does take place, Rutgers returns two-time All-American Amirah Ali, as well as Second Team All-Big Ten selections in leading score Nneka Moneme and goalkeeper Meagan McClelland. A young core behind them is led by Allison Lynch (20 starts), Emily Harrigan (10 starts), and Julia Aronov (5 starts). A notable new addition to the roster is Syracuse transfer Abby Jonathan.

O’Neill appeared on the On The Banks podcast in late August to discuss the season on hold due to COVID-19, the current state of the program, recruiting, and more. You can listen to the episode here.