The No. 1 seeded Rutgers women’s soccer team advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the third consecutive season with a 1-0 win over Wisconsin on Sunday. Playing in front of their home crowd for the first time since winning the Big Ten regular season title, the Scarlet Knights avenged two losses against the Badgers last spring, including one in the postseason. It extended a program record 12th straight victory and RU improved to 16-2-0 on the season.
Sara Brocious scored the decisive goal in the 33rd minute. After Big Ten Midfielder of the Year Frankie Tagliaferri made a brilliant pass in the box, Brocious scored off of a rebound of her initial shot to give the Scarlet Knights the lead.
Tagliaferri almost scored herself in the second half but it went off the post during a barrage of shots from RU. The Scarlet Knights held a 21-11 shot advantage and 11-7 edge with shots on goal. Despite not being able to score the rest of the game, Rutgers was able to advance behind a stellar defensive effort after taking the 1-0 lead. Goalkeeper Meagan McClelland made a season high seven saves to deliver a 10th shutout this fall, including six against Big Ten foes. She made some tremendous saves to preserve the clean sheet and victory.
“This one was a really good game. Two good teams. It was a great goal by Sara Brocious. We created a lot of chances, and their keeper made some good saves. We’ll figure out how we can be more efficient with the chances that we create. Defensively, we did a really good job and then we needed Meagan McClelland to make the big saves and that’s what she did. There’s nothing like playoff soccer and it was a great full team win at home. Thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting the team,” said Head Coach Mike O’Neill.
No. 1 seeded Rutgers will host No. 5 seeded Iowa (12-5-2; 5-4-1) in the Big Ten semifinals on Thursday, November 4 at 1:30 p.m. ET at Yurcak Field. The Hawkeyes defeated No. 4 seeded Michigan State 1-0 on Sunday to advance.The two teams met on the same field on October 10 with Rutgers winning 1-0 behind a goal from Becci Fluchel on a penalty kick. Iowa is the defending Big Ten Tournament champions and will look to spoil the chances of RU in winning it for the first time in program history. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network and we will have full postgame coverage.
To listen to our latest podcast episode with O’Neill, Amirah Ali and Sam Kroeger, click here.