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No. 6 Rutgers field hockey prepares for showdown with No. 1 Iowa

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The Scarlet Knights are off to a great start this season and have a huge opportunity on Friday.

Milena Redlingshoefer has been one of the best players in the country this season.
Rutgers Athletics/Michael Cummo

The No. 6 Rutgers field hockey team has already made history this fall despite only being midway through the regular season so far. With an 8-1 record, the Scarlet Knights have set a program record with seven victories against ranked opponents. Another program high mark set has been five of those ranked wins coming on the road. In beating No. 3 Northwestern last week, RU also earned the highest ranked win in program history.

Playing in the Big Ten is a true gauntlet with six teams currently ranked in the top 8 of this week’s NFHCA Coaches Poll. A seventh team, Ohio State, is ranked No. 18. With an 1-0 start to conference play, the Scarlet Knights have another opportunity to make history this weekend.

No. 1 Iowa visits the Bauer Track and Field Complex on Friday, October 1 at 3:00 p.m. The showdown will air live on BTN+. The Hawkeyes are undefeated with a 10-0 record that include wins over then No. 1 North Carolina as well as winning its last three games against No. 5 Louisville and No. 6 Penn State (twice). Ellie Holley leads Iowa with eight goals, seven assists and 23 points while goalkeeper Grace McGuire has a league-best 0.40 goals-against-average.

Iowa owns an 8-3-1 all-time series lead against RU. In the last meeting between Rutgers and Iowa this past spring, the Hawkeyes scored a late goal in the fourth quarter for a 1-0 victory in Virginia Beach. The last time these teams met in Piscataway in 2018, Rutgers beat then No. 7 Iowa 1-0.

The Scarlet Knights will look to replicate that result on Friday. Milena Redlingshoefer leads the team with 16 points. She shares the team lead of four goals with Lucy Bannatyne and with team high 8 assists, is tied for a national best of 0.89 assists per game.

Kerrie Burns is second on the team with 3 goals, 3 assists, and 9 points. Gianna Mancini is tied with Burns with 3 goals, while Tayla Parkes, Carly Snarski and Kassidy Shetler have two goals apiece this season. All-American goalkeeper Gianna Glatz has a 1.14 goals against average after beginning the season with Team USA at the Junior Pan Am Games.

In our season preview, when asked about similarities between this Rutgers team and the national title team she played on at Maryland in 2005, head coach Meredith didn’t back down from making a comparison.

“It’s about what a team has off the field,” said Civico. “You obviously know when you have talent and have great players, which is an important piece to winning championships. But when you have that tightness, closeness, selflessness and that culture that wins championships, I see that at Rutgers and with this team. They might not have the experience of playing in a title game yet, but they have everything that it takes. They have all the ingredients. We just have to put it together the right way but I believe it is there. We are at the same level of talent as that team.”

No. 6 Rutgers has a tremendous opportunity to make a huge statement on Friday against No. 1 Iowa. A win would make even more history and put Civico’s team firmly in the conversation for a Big Ten and national title. Even if they don’t, it’s clear that the Scarlet Knights have set themselves up for the potential to have a special campaign after their incredible first half of the season.