No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer earned a share of the Big Ten regular season title on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Michigan State (9-3-3; 4-3-1) at Yurcak Field. It’s the first Big Ten title in program and school history. The win coupled with Purdue losing to Penn State put the Scarlet Knights six points ahead in the conference standings with just two games remaining. One win or tie by RU or one loss or tie by Purdue in the final two matches would clinch a full share of the Big Ten title.
The Scarlet Knights dominated the game, holding a 33-4 advantage in shots including 10-0 with shots on goal. However, they were unable to break through until Allison Lowrey scored off an assist from Riley Tiernan in the 61st minute to take the lead. Tiernan once again attacked from the sideline and found a teammate open in the middle of the box. Lowrey was able to get a quick shot off that deflected into the net for the game winner.
It was Lowrey’s fourth goal of the season and Tiernan’s team leading tenth assist.
Credit reigning Big Ten goalkeeper of the week Lauren Kozal for keeping Michigan State in the game score wise as she made nine saves on the day.
Rutgers dominated possession the entire way and also held a 8-5 advantage in corner kicks. The Scarlet Knights defense delivered the team’s seventh shutout of the season.
“There was a lot of emotion here today,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “These 11 seniors have made an incredible contribution to the program, and you want to make sure we honor them the right way and at the same time, not lose focus. Their energy was unbelievable and it was special to get the 1-0 victory on Senior Day. I can’t thank this group enough.”
It was appropriate that the Scarlet Knights clinched their first ever Big Ten title on Senior Day, as this class has meant so much to the program. Three-time All-American Amirah Ali and All-Big Ten performer Gabby Provenzano have been great leaders. They came back for a fifth season due to COVID-19 and led a group that will be remembered forever.
Rutgers also set a program record on Sunday with nine consecutive victories to improve to 8-0-0 in Big Ten play and 13-2-0 overall this season. While the program has already earned a share of the first Big Ten title for Rutgers Athletics, they are just one point away from the first outright championship with two games to play. They will finish the regular season on the road this weekend at Indiana (9-3-4; 3-2-3) on Thursday, October 21 and at Illinois (5-9-1; 1-6-1) on Sunday, October 24. We will have complete coverage here at On The Banks.