Rutgers men’s soccer ended a four game winless streak (0-3-1) with a 2-1 victory over Northwestern (4-7-2, 1-5-0) on the road on Friday night. The Scarlet Knights are now 8-3-2 overall and 2-3-1 in Big Ten play. The eight victories are the most for the program since winning 12 games in 2015, the last time RU advanced to the NCAA Tournament. That was also the last time Rutgers won at Northwestern before Friday.
In the 21st minute, Matthew Acosta found Jackson Temple, who was able to deliver a tremendous finish from the top of the box for his third goal of the season.
The Scarlet Knights held a 1-0 lead at the half before Northwestern tied up the game as Rom Brown scored in the 52nd minute.
The game remain tied until the 81st minute when Ritchie Barry headed home the winning goal from a beautiful cross from Nick Cruz.
Barry bangs home his second of the season, and it's a B1G one! pic.twitter.com/OCNYeSgj72— Rutgers Men's Soccer (@RUMensSoccer) October 16, 2021
It was the second straight win for Rutgers over Northwestern and the all-time series is now even at 5-5. The Scarlet Knights held a 12-6 shot advantage, including 5-3 for shots on goal. The Wildcats held a 8-5 edge in corner kicks.
“So proud of our team,” said head coach Jim McElderry. “I thought we played well, but it’s not easy to win in this league. We scored on two great goals tonight, and we needed both of them. We will enjoy this one and then shift focus to Michigan.”
After opening conference play with a stunning road win over Indiana, RU lost to Wisconsin at home. While then earning the program’s first point against a top ten team at Maryland, the Scarlet Knights lost back to back home games against Penn State and Michigan State. Winning on the road on Friday is a huge boost for McElderry’s team.
Rutgers will have a week off until facing Michigan (6-5-2; 2-2-1) in Ann Arbor on Friday, October 22 at 7 p.m. ET on Big Ten+. It’s a crucial game for both teams, as they are currently tied in fifth place in the Big Ten standings with seven points. RU will then close out the regular season with a road non-conference matchup against UConn (5-4-1) followed by a home game against last place Ohio State (4-7-1; 0-4-0)