The No. 16 Rutgers women’s soccer team continued its strong start to the season with two blowout victories this weekend. The Scarlet Knights routed previously unbeaten Monmouth 6-0 on Friday night on the road before defeating LaSalle 5-0 at home on Sunday afternoon. RU has begun the season with a 4-0 record and has scored five or more goals in every game.
On Friday, freshman Kylie Daigle scored the first two goals of her career to lead Rutgers over Monmouth. Graduate senior Frankie Tagliaferri scored once and registered an assist. Sophomore Sam Kroeger, senior Gabby Provenzano and junior Maddie Brant all added a goal. Freshman Riley Tiernan and sophomore Giana Romano each had an assist.
On Sunday, eight different players were involved in the scoring. Tagliaferri and sophomore Sara Brocious each had a goal and an assist. Kroger, three time All-American Amirah Ali and sophomore Allison Lowrey added goals as well. Tiernan, as well as sophomores Emily Misal and Emily Sapienza all recorded assist in the victory.
Rutgers has now scored five or more goals in four straight matches this fall. It is the longest stretch of consecutive games with five or more goals in program history.
The offensive output by the Scarlet Knights has produced 22 goals from 14 different players. The fact that RU isn’t relying on just a couple of players as primary goal scorers as they’ve had to do in year’s past inspires hope that they can continue to be a force offensively once Big Ten play begins later this month.
“We have so many weapons and we really play off each other very well. We have good chemistry and we always find the last pass that’s going to make us more successful. We don’t try and force shots, we find each other and I just feel like we’re playing really well together,” said senior captain Amirah Ali.
“Everyone wants to get a ball in the back of the net and everyone wants everyone to get a ball in the back of the net. Our chemistry is awesome and every single player, whether it’s coming off the bench or starting, has an impact in the game. We all just want to get a goal, or an assist, anything. We all want to get on the scoresheet. Our chemistry is awesome and even if you don’t get that ball in the back of the net, you’re part of it. Everyone’s a part of it,” said Sapienza.
Seven players currently have five or more points this season, led by All-American Frankie Tagliaferri with 15 (five goals, five assists). Sara Brocious (3 goals, 2 assists) and Sam Kroger (4 goals) each have 8 points. Riley Tiernan is tied with Tagliaferri for the team lead with 5 assists and has seven points total. Kylie Daigle has 6 points (2 goals, 2 assists), while Amirah Ali and Emily Sapienza have 5 points (2 goals, 1 assists).
While Rutgers has improved offensively, they haven’t lost a step defensively. The Scarlet Knights have only allowed one goal all season and have held opponents to single digits shot attempts in 21 straight contests dating back to the 2019 season. All-Big Ten goalkeeper Meagan McClelland has three shutouts in four starts this season.
“We want more. We want more clean sheets. We want more goals. Five isn’t enough, we want seven, we want eight. These wins are going to motivate us and I can’t wait to see what the rest of season brings,” said Sapienza.
“For nonconference, We definitely have a goal for ourselves to continue to get shutouts. We had one step up with the one game, but we want to continue to get shutouts and as much goals as we can to make our presence known. And I think that’s going to definitely carry on with our confidence to in conference. We’re very excited for it,” said Ali.
Rutgers will look to continue its dominance on the pitch this season on Thursday, September 9 at 7 p.m against old rival Princeton. After a trip to Georgetown and a home game against Drexel, the Scarlet Knights will begin Big Ten play against defending champion Penn State at home on September 19.
There were high expectations on this program entering the season and they have met them so far. If they can continue such a high level of play on both ends of the pitch, they’ll have the opportunity to accomplish their championship goals this season.
#RUWS had a fun Labor Day Weekend of scoring, capping it with a 5-0 win over La Salle on Sunday! The Scarlet Knights' four straight matches posting 5 or more goals is the longest stretch doing so in program history! pic.twitter.com/QElmOG9ySV— Rutgers Women's Soccer (@RUWSoccer) September 6, 2021