After a ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the return of several key seniors for next season, the Rutgers women’s soccer team have now made a blockbuster addition to the roster. The program announced on Thursday evening that All-American and four time All-Big Ten selection Frankie Tagliaferri was transferring from Penn State to Rutgers.
The Colts Neck, New Jersey native was the Big Ten points leader this past season with 29, finishing second in both goals (10) and assists (9). She earned First Team All-Big Ten honors as well as Second Team All-American honors for this past season.
Tagliaferri comes to the banks as the NCAA active leader in games played (90), eighth in assists (25) and 16th in points (79). She is also a member of the United States Women’s National team pool and has played at various levels beginning with the U14 team as youth player.
In addition, Tagliaferri is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Selection and she graduated this month with a degree in Kinesiology. She’ll now attend graduate school at Rutgers.
“We are excited for the addition of grad transfer Frankie Tagliaferri to this year’s class. She will help make an already very talented incoming class even better. To be able to add a quality player and quality person like Frankie is a testament to our culture that has been built by past and present players both on and off the field. Frankie’s success and experience at the highest level will have an impact on the program. We are excited to welcome her back home to New Jersey,” said Head Coach Mike O’Neill.
Tagliaferri led the Nittany Lions to two Big Ten regular season titles, two conference tournament titles and two NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal appearances in her four year career in Happy Valley. The NCAA’s decision to award an extra year for student-athletes due to the global pandemic paved the way for Tagliaferri to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
“This past year has been tough on everyone, but the one thing it has blessed us with was time at home with our families. Which is why after a lot of thought I’ve decided that I want to come home for my 5th year. Home to my family, friends, and past teammates. To have the opportunity to play for my state University, a place that has great academics, and a nationally ranked soccer program,” said Tagliaferri.
Adding a player as decorated as they come to an already deep and talented roster raises expectations for next season. Last week, Rutgers announced the return of three seniors who were also taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling for an additional year of eligibility. They include starter/key reserve Adriana Kuryla, First Team All-Big Ten selection Gabby Provenzano and three-time All-American Amirah Ali.
Having Tagliaferri and Ali work together up front will be a nightmare for every opponent next season. There is plenty of other talent on the roster to complement this all-star duo as well.
Other key returning players include goalkeeper Meagan McClelland, who earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors, as well as three players who made the All-Freshman team in San Kroeger, Becci Fluchel and Emma Misal. Another nationally ranked recruiting class will be joining the program ahead of next fall as well.
Rutgers women’s soccer has set the standard for the entire athletic department over the past decade. Under O’Neill, the program continues headed in the right direction and the 2021 fall season could be its most successful yet.