While many of us were enjoying our coffee and brunch, the Knights and Tigers kicked off an early 11 a.m. match of the Route 1 rivalry between undefeated teams on a partly cloudy, warm Sunday morning at Yurcak Field.
It didn’t take long for Rutgers to strike first. Less than two minutes into the match, off a set piece, Kylie Daigle beautifully fed Sam Kroeger on the left wing and she snuck one in past Princeton keeper Tyler McCamey for an early 1-0 lead.
A little over a minute later, Becci Fluchel caught the Tigers off guard with a beautiful quick free kick to Kroeger, who controlled the ball with her thigh and then sent a rocket into the net for a quick 2-0 Rutgers lead just three minutes into the game. With opponents focusing so much attention on Riley Tiernan, Kroeger has stepped up and taken on a larger offensive role this season.
As is common in these rivalry games, things got chippy and physical throughout with a total of 25 fouls being called in the match - 14 against the Tigers and 11 against the Knights.
In the 82nd minute, Sara Brocious played a beautiful ball ahead of Allison Lowrey in open space and Lowrey was able to track it down and finish, burying the third and final goal of the match past Princeton keeper McCamey. Final Score: 3-0 Rutgers.
“We always talk about the first five minutes and how it’s one of the most important parts of a game, so we wanted to get a few goals to get ahead. Kylie Daigle played a perfect ball to me and I took my chance. Then Becci Fluchel had great awareness on the free kick, I saw the goalkeeper come out, and that left the backdoor open.”
Sam Kroeger (Courtesy Rutgers Athletics)
Megan McClelland hauled in 5 saves and notched her 38th career clean sheet, holding her position as the NCAA’s active leader.
The 2022 Knights join the 2017 and 1996 squads as the only ones in program history to start 6-0-0. The program has never started 7-0-0 since it began play in 1984.
The Knights have allowed a total of 2 goals in 6 games.
Next Up: The Scarlet Knights continue the five-match homestand on Thurs., Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. against La Salle at Yurcak Field.