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No. 1 Rutgers field hockey wins first NCAA Tournament game since 1986

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The Scarlet Knights advance to the second round for just the third time in program history.

Lucy Bannatyne is congratulated by captain Kerrie Burns in scoring her record breaking 8th goal of the season.
Mike Lawrence/Rutgers Athletics

No. 1 Rutgers field hockey defeated Delaware 2-1 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on a rainy early afternoon at Bauer on Friday. It was the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1986. This is the first appearance for RU since 2018 and fourth appearance overall, improving to 3-3 all-time in the NCAA’s.

The Scarlet Knights took the lead in the second quarter when Liz Romano scored her second goal of the season off an assist from Milena Redlingshoefer coming from a penalty corner.

In the fourth quarter, Rutgers made it 2-0 as Redlingshoefer found Lucy Bannatyne off of a another penalty corner. Bannatyne scored off the rebound for her 8th tally of the season, setting a record for most goals by a freshman for Rutgers since joining the Big Ten. With two assists in the game from Redlingshoefer, she improved her team lead of 12 helpers this season and a team high of 28 points. She is now 8th all-time in program history in assists and 10th in points for a season.

Delaware never stopped fighting and Grace Hoepfner scored in the 59th minute of the game. The Blue Hens were able to generate a penalty corner in the closing seconds but the Rutgers defense held strong. Despite Delaware holding an 8-7 shot advantage and 5-4 with shots on goal, RU prevailed 2-1 to advance. Co-Big Ten Player of the Year Gianna Glatz made four saves in the net for the win.

“I’m really proud of the group for advancing,” head coach Meredith Civico said. “That’s huge. They earned that. The team has been so consistent. Our backs and defensive group defended so hard. Glatz made some key saves. The defensive effort and grit was what won the game for us today.”

Rutgers earned a program record 13th ranked win of the season and are 19-3 overall, also a new program record for victories. The Scarlet Knights are now on a seven game winning streak following last week’s Big Ten Tournament Championship and are 11-1 in the past 12 games.

The Scarlet Knights will face No. 9 Liberty in Sunday’s Second Round after they defeated No. 13 St. Joe’s 2-0 on Friday. RU is now 19-1 in its last 20 games at Bauer and will host on Sunday.

“It’s one game at a time for us and this one was game one,” Civico said. “That’s our approach to Sunday. We’ll debrief, recover, and prepare for our next game on Sunday.”

You can hear more about this historic season from head coach Meredith Civico, as well as Gianna Glatz, Katie Larmour and Kerrie Burns in our latest podcast episode here.