No. 3 Rutgers field hockey earned the program’s first ever Big Ten Tournament victory on Thursday in a 3-1 win over Indiana. The Scarlet Knights, hosting the event for the first time, are the No. 2 seed and advanced to the semifinals for the first time ever. In addition the win marked 16 victories for the season, the most in program history. It was also head coach Meredith Civico’s 100th career victory at Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights fell behind early as the Hoosiers took a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute of action as Jes McGivern scored her first goal of the season off an assist from Hailey Couch. However, RU responded in the 17th minute as Milena Redlingshoefer scored her seventh goal of the season. It came on a penalty stroke.
The game was tied 1-1 at the half before Bridy Molyneaux scored off of a rebound from Rachel Houston, who was credited with the assist, in the 37th minute.
After Indiana pulled their goalkeeper late in the game, captain Katie Larmour found Lucy Bannatyne and she delivered her seventh goal of the season in the final minute of the game.
Rutgers held a 12-6 shot advantage and a 4-2 edge in corners. Big Ten Co-Player of the Year Gianna Glatz made three saves in the victory.
“This is a moment of incredible pride,” Civico said upon reaching 100 career wins. “I love Rutgers. I love this program. It means so much to me and the team. To have so many people - players, alumns, people that work at Rutgers, other coaches out here support at the game wanting this for me and the team, that’s the ultimate moment. That’s why I coach and I love what I do. I’m really grateful.”
— Rutgers Field Hockey (@RUFieldHockey) November 4, 2021
Postgame celebrations honoring our head coach, Meredith Civico, on her career wins! pic.twitter.com/qCfyl70akv
Rutgers moves on to play in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the first time in program history. The Scarlet Knights will face 3-seed Penn State, who they have beaten three times in a row, including a 1-0 victory in Happy Valley this season. The rematch is Friday at 4:30 p.m.
“This is really special,” head coach Meredith Civico said. “It is a testament to this group of players, all the players that came before them and what we have been able to build here at Rutgers. I’m so proud of this group. We had to settle in, but the team wasn’t shaken early. The team was confident in what we needed to do and how we needed to play. We started possessing the ball well, passing and connecting with each other. I was happy with how we finished out the game. We have to rest and then prepare for what’s next.”
This team continues to rewrite the history books and there is more to be written this season. Friday’s semifinal is another chance to do just that.