The No. 22 Rutgers women’s soccer team waited ten days between it’s season opening win over FDU and its second game due to the cancellation of the Temple contest due to weather. The wait was well worth it, as the Scarlet Knights delivered a dominating performance in defeating Providence 5-1 on Sunday night at Yurcak Field.
All-American and Penn State senior transfer Frankie Tagliaferri scored twice and added an assist. Both of her goals were assisted by a pair of heralded freshman, Riley Tiernan, who had three total in the game, and Emily Mason. A trio of sophomores all scored their second goals of the season in Sara Brocious, Sam Kroeger, and Emily Sapienza. Senior Nicole Binkley notched the first assist of her career as well.
Rutgers got on the scoreboard just five minutes into the game as Tiernan calmly handled the ball in the box before finding a wide open Brocious, who delivered a powerful shot to the top right corner of the net for the first goal of the night.
Just two minutes later, Tagliaferri delivered a beautiful through ball that Kroeger one timed over the Providence keeper into the back of the net.
The score remained 2-0 until midway in the second half when Mason started a fast break with a well placed runner for Tiernan. She sprinted to the ball and composed herself before making a perfectly placed pass splitting two defenders that Tagliaferri put away from 8 feet out.
Soon after the same combination of Mason to Tiernan to Tagliaferri produced a second goal just seven minutes later.
After Providence broke the shutout, the Scarlet Knights closed the game on a beautiful shot from Binkley that hit the post and went right to Sapienza, who promptly scored off the rebound.
All-Big Ten senior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland made three saves in the contest and Rutgers has now held opponents to single digit shot attempts 19 games in a row.
For a team with championship aspirations, Rutgers has started off strong this season. The difference so far has been the dynamic offense with many players contributing to the attack. Eleven players have registered at least one point in two matches, including six players scoring and four with multiple goals.
“We have a lot of talent this year individually, but I think that when you play together it’s a whole other level. Today we finally found our rhythm. As the season goes on, we’re just going to build more and more chemistry and we’re going to get so much better,” said Tiernan.
“On the attacking side today we were really strong and had a lot of chances,” said Binkley. “The first two games it’s been really good that we’re finishing a lot of our chances. Of course we want more and we’re definitely growing from every game that we play. “On the defensive side, our standard is no service, no shots, no goals. We’re going to learn from today’s game, move forward and keep the focus on getting clean sheets. We’ll definitely take away a lot from this one and every game that we play this year. In practice this week, we’re going to build off of it, get ready for our next game on Friday, and keep moving forward.”
Rutgers (2-0) is back in action against undefeated Monmouth (4-0) on Friday, September 3 at 7 p.m. ET at Yurcak Field.