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Women’s Soccer: Rutgers ranked No. 6 in preseason coaches poll

The Scarlet Knights will return one of the top teams in the nation.

Rutgers Athletics

The Scarlet Knights proved to be one of the best teams in the nation last season and will enter 2022-2023 in a similar position.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Rutgers is ranked sixth in the nation in the preseason coaches’ poll. This marks the 11th time in 13 years that the team has been ranked or received votes in this national poll.

Rutgers is the highest ranked Big Ten team, with Michigan coming in at No. 9 and Penn State at No. 14.

In 2021, the Scarlet Knights were ranked 25th in the preseason poll. Rutgers was able to make a run to the College Cup following a Big Ten Championship. The team finished No. 3 in the nation, which was the highest ranking in program history.

The Scarlet Knights finished 10-0 in conference play a season ago and earned nine All-Big Ten selections. This year, Rutgers will enter with high expectations once again.

It will not be easy to replace four-time All-American Amirah Ali but head coach Mike O’Neill has plenty of experience to fall back on. The Scarlet Knights will also be losing All-Americans Frankie Tagliaferri and Gabby Provenzano.

Rutgers will return nine starters from last year’s team. The sophomore class has the Scarlet Knights in a great position for the upcoming season and those to come. Riley Tiernan was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and earned All-region First Team honors, along with All-Region goalkeeper Meagan McClelland.

Kassidy Banks and Kylie Daigle were both named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team last season. Junior Becci Fluchel added to her list of honors by being named All-Big Ten Second Team as a sophomore.

The season will begin with a three-match road trip against New Mexico on Aug. 18. The home-opener will take place on Aug. 28 when the Scarlet Knights welcome Buffalo.