On a gorgeous fall Sunday afternoon with temperatures north of 70, No. 8 women’s soccer (13-1-2, 5-1-2) closed out the regular season home slate with a victory against Wisconsin (10-4-2, 5-3-0).
In the 14th minute, Rutgers was on the attack when Sam Kroeger left the ball for Sara Brocious and drew a foul as she was tripped up by the Badger defender. Rutgers was awarded a penalty kick and Becci Fluchel sent a shot easily past Badgers’s keeper Erin McKinney into the upper right back post for the 1-0 lead.
In the 40th minute, Brocious had a clear path to the net but was taken down from behind by Wisconsin defender Aiden McConnell, who drew a red card and was disqualified for the remainder of the match. The Badgers were forced to play a woman down for the final 50 minutes. Wisconsin was already short-handed to begin the match as Emma Jaskaniec, whose 10 goals in 2022 leads the Big Ten and ranks 15th in the country, was seen pregame on crutches and did not play.
After ample missed scoring opportunities throughout the match, the Knights would finally get that second goal and a comfortable 2-0 lead in the 50th minute of play. A crisp pass from Allison Lowrey led to an easy finish for Brocious, who tallied her 4th goal of the season. That would be more than enough scoring as the Knights cruised to a relatively easy victory.
The Knights outshot the Badgers 9-3 in the 1st half and 6-3 in the 2nd half. 7 of the Knights 15 shots were on net. The Badgers had 5 shots on net, all saved by keeper Meagan McClelland, who recorded shutout No. 43 of her career. McClelland is the NCAA active career leader in shutouts, and two away from tying Rutgers legend Casey Murphy’s program record of 45.
Meagan McClelland talked to the B1G+ crew post-match in the clip below.
The Race to the Top Four
With two matches left, there is plenty of drama remaining as the seeding shakes out for the Big Ten tournament. The top eight teams qualify for the tourney and the top four teams get to host a first round match before the final four travel to Lower.com Field, home of the MLS Columbus Crew, for championship weekend.
With the victory and 3 points, Rutgers currently sits tied in 3rd place with Ohio State, behind Michigan State and Northwestern. The Knights own the tiebreaker over OSU thanks to their 2-0 victory at Yurcak Field back on September 18th.
A big game in Ann Arbor versus the Michigan Wolverines. A victory and 3 points would go a long way to ensuring Rutgers finishes in the top 4 and hosts a first-round game at Yurcak. The Knights then finish up against top seed and undefeated Michigan State in East Lansing on Sun., Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.