The Rutgers men’s soccer team improved to 3-0-1 on the season with a 2-0 victory over Mount St. Mary’s at Yurcak Field on Monday night. Sophomore Ola Maeland came off the bench in the 33rd minute to score a first half goal to put the Scarlet Knights in the lead. He followed up with an assist on a goal from senior captain Pablo Avila in the second half. Junior Goalkeeper Oren Asher hasn’t been scored on all season and made two saves for the eleventh shutout of his career. Rutgers started the season with four consecutive shutouts for the first time since the 1990 team that made the national championship game,
After some back and forth, Maeland made an impact soon after head coach Jim McElderry put him into the game. He scored in the 37th minute on a powerful and well placed header after a beautiful cross from senior captain Thomas DeVizio.
In the 59th minute, Maeland crossed it into the box and Avila fielded the ball in the air before juggling with his foot and sending a rocket into the top left corner of the net. It was Avila’s seventh goal of his career but first since the 2019 season. He missed the first two games of this season but appears to be rounding into form. Avila has the potential to be one of the best attacking midfielders in the Big Ten.
The Scarlet Knights held a 16-6 shot advantage including a 6-2 edge with shots on goal. They also held a 9-6 advantage with corner kicks.
“Our guys take it personally to not concede goals, and it’s been impressive,” said head coach Jim McElderry. “We have a lot of guys contributing, starting with Oren and then with guys like Tommy, Vincent Borden, Hugo Le Guennec, Joey Zalinsky, Cole Sotack, and Chris Tiao. It’s a real team effort. We still have some work to do in the final third of the field, but I was happy with the performance today and getting through the Friday-Monday turnaround with our depth.”
This is the second time that Rutgers has started a season unbeaten through the first four games under McElderry after they started 4-0 in his 2019 debut campaign.
The Scarlet Knights are back on the pitch at Yurcak Field against Lehigh on Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m. The match will air live on Big Ten+. The Mountain Hawks are 0-3 but played No. 3 Pitt extremely tough last weekend, falling 2-1 on the road.