The Rutgers men’s soccer team remained unbeaten on the season with a 2-1 victory over St. Joseph’s (1-5-0) on Monday night at Yurcak Field. Freshman Nico Rosamilia scored twice and both goals were assisted by sophomore Ola Maeland. They Scarlet Knights improved to 5-0-1 in non-conference play this fall.
It was a scoreless game near halftime when Maeland passed back from the end line to set Rosamilia up for a one timer that went into the back of the net in the 45th minute.
#RUMS leads SJU 1-0 at the half thanks to this!— Rutgers Men's Soccer (@RUMensSoccer) September 13, 2021
The freshman Nico Rosamilia gets his first collegiate goal in the 45th minute on an assist from Ola Maeland, his second in as many matches.#GoRU! pic.twitter.com/L4m8rUXMaI
After the break, the same scoring combination produced a similar play but this time Maeland’s pass set up an easy tap in for Rosamilia in the 47th minute.
Déjà vu! The Maeland➡️Rosamilia connection works again for the 2-0 lead over SJU in the 47th minute!— Rutgers Men's Soccer (@RUMensSoccer) September 14, 2021
The rook gets his first two collegiate goals within 2:19 of each other pic.twitter.com/Vedzg1jjHs
It was the first two goals of Rosamilia’s career and both he and Maeland came off the bench to change the game.
St. Joe’s added a goal late in the 88th minute, but RU was able to close out the victory.
The Scarlet Knights were outshot 14-13 but held a decisive 8-3 advantage in shots on goal. They also had a 10-8 edge in corner kicks.
21 players saw action in the game and Oren Asher made two saves to earn the win in goal.
“I don’t think we played our best soccer tonight, but was proud of the fight,” said head coach Jim McElderry. “We were able to keep our legs fresh and generate some great offensive chances with Nico and Ola coming in as substitutes in the first half. We were able to disrupt enough of their momentum in the second half to gut out the win. Plenty to work on this week ahead of a tough one at Indiana.
Rutgers is now 11-1-3 in non-conference games under McElderry since he took over the program in 2019.
With a 5-0-1 record, the Scarlet Knights next travel to Bloomington to face Big Ten defending champion and last season’s national runner-up Indiana in the conference opener. They’ll square off on Friday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. on Big Ten+. The Hoosiers are ranked No. 9 nationally and are 3-1-1 to start the season. It’s a huge test for Rutgers and will certainly give them a better understanding of where they are at this point in the season. Making the NCAA Tournament is the goal and how they do against a national power could help boost their confidence the rest of the way this season. Following Friday’s Big Ten opener, RU will wrap up non-conference play on Monday, September 20 at home against Penn (2-1-1).