The Big Ten announced postseason honors for field hockey on Monday and Rutgers was well recognized. Most notably, Meredith Civico was named Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year along with Iowa’s Lisa Celucci. In addition, a program best four players earned all-conference honors. Gianna Glatz and Katie Larmour were named First Team All-Big Ten, while Kerrie Burns and Milena Redlingshoefer were named Second Team All-Big Ten. The Sportsmanship Award was given to Liz Romano.
Rutgers finished the regular season with a 9-5 record and have been ranked in the top 12 all spring. They are currently ranked no. 8 in this week’s poll. RU earned four top ten victories by sweeping Penn State and Northwestern and were undefeated at home (6-0) for the first time since 1976. The wins over then no. 4 Northwestern are the highest ranked victories in program history.
What Civico has done in turning the field hockey program into one of the best teams in the Big Ten, the premier conference in the sport, is nothing short of phenomenal. She took over the program in 2012 coming off losing seasons in 11 of the previous 12 years. Immediate improvement resulted in her first three years, as Rutgers won at least nine games in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1999. By 2017, Civico had Rutgers in the national rankings and set a program record with three ranked wins that season. The next year, the Scarlet Knights made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 32 years in a season they set program marks for most Big Ten wins, highest ranked win at the time and five victories over ranked foes. RU had double digit victories in 2018 and 2019, while needing one more win this season to make it three consecutive years. In the past three seasons, Rutgers is 32-19 and own eight victories over top ten foes.
“This award goes to the entire coaching staff as this has been a true team effort both on and off the field,” head coach Meredith Civico said. “Maddy, Ajai and Joey have been incredible this season, leading the team through both successes and challenges. I couldn’t be more grateful for their hard work and I’m delighted this has been recognized by the entire conference.”
Civico also gave birth to her third child midseason and Jerry Carino details her journey here.
As for player honors, Glatz was named First Team All-Big Ten for a third straight season and has been a rock in goal as the program has climbed up the conference ladder. Glatz achieved career-bests in goals-against-average (1.41) and save percentage (.794) this season along with six shutouts. Larmour earned First Team honors for a second straight season, scoring twice and leading Rutgers with seven assists. Burns was selected for the first time in her career and the captain is key to one of the best defenses in the country. She scored a goal and had four assists as well. Redlingshoefer led the team with 17 points by scoring six goals and distributing five assists.
“We are incredibly proud to have Gianna and Katie both named First Team All-Big Ten and Kerrie and Milena named to the Second Team,” head coach Meredith Civico said. “These four student-athletes have been incredible leaders both on and off the field all season and they deserve every award they receive.”
The good news for the future is all four players are set to return next season for Rutgers. However, there is plenty of work to be done right now as the postseason has arrived. Rutgers finished in a four way tie for third place and due to tiebreakers, they will be the no. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. They face no. 3 Northwestern, a team they beat twice earlier this season. The two clubs will play on Wednesday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Iowa City, Iowa and the game will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
Rutgers currently has the third highest RPI ranking in the Big Ten at no. 16, so a win in the Big Ten Tournament would go a long way towards earning a second NCAA Tournament bid in the past three seasons.