It’s been a busy October as Rutgers’ sports squads jockey for postseason positions in their respective conference leagues. We start with Field Hockey.
No. 4 Field Hockey
The field hockey team played at No. 9 Ohio State this past Friday, with what the announcers deemed “still something to prove.” The Knights and Buckeyes would battle to a scoreless tie through the first 70 minutes, moving to a penalty shootout. Ohio State dominated the stat sheet through four quarters, with a 17-8 advantage in shots and 10-5 margin in penalty corners, but as the saying goes, defense wins championships.
In the second overtime, the Knights found themselves down two players at one point due to green cards, but their stout defense killed them both off. After the double scoreless OT, Rutgers would prevail 4-2 in shots as Sophia Howard made two key saves and continued to play at an elite level in front of the net.
Take a look at the deciding goal in the penalty shootout off the stick of Ava Cickavage! #RUFH scored on 4 of 5 attempts in the penalty shootout, and Sophia Howard stopped OSU twice pic.twitter.com/mgbfxO24vE— Rutgers Field Hockey (@RUFieldHockey) October 13, 2023
On Sunday, Rutgers would travel north to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans. The Knights would prevail 3-1, no overtime needed, thankfully. Bridy Molyneaux scored two goals, and Guillermina Causarano added her team-leading 11th goal. RU outshot MSU 14-10 on the day in a relatively comfortable win.
Rutgers returns home for a game this Friday against Indiana, followed by the possible match of the year in the conference, as they take on No. 1 Northwestern Sunday in Piscataway. With only three regular-season games left, Rutgers has likely punched their ticket to the 2023 NCAA tournament, no small feat, with a current RPI of No. 5. For the tournament, 10 conference winners receive automatic bids, including the Big Ten, and 9 teams are selected at large.
This past Thursday evening in front of a national television audience, the Women’s soccer team defeated No. 14 Michigan, 2-0 at Yurcak Field on a cool, pleasant fall night. Kylie Daigle hit a banger past the Wolverines keeper in the 69th minute to break a scoreless tie, with Becci, who is back from injury, picking up the assist. Less than a minute later, Riley Tiernan was tripped up in the opponent’s box and would rocket in a penalty shot for the 2-0 lead and victory. The Knights doubled the Wolverines in shots on goal, 6-3, as their defense played one of their better games this season. Freshmen Ashley Baran got her second consecutive start, playing an active role at forward and freshman Olivia Russomanno got the start in the backfield as Rutgers continues to adjust the roster.
On Sunday, Rutgers was outplayed by Michigan State and fell 2-0 to drop to 7-6-3 (3-4-1) on the season. There were only seven shots on goal, with MSU getting 4 and RU 3, but the Spartans got two past redshirt freshman keeper Olivia Bodmer. Rutgers is back on the road this Thursday at Ohio State and then returns home for the season finally against Northwestern at Yurcak field on Sunday. Rutgers is battling to make the conference postseason tourney and is tied for 8th with Michigan. Only the top eight teams make it, so RU must pick up points this week to not be left out.
The men’s soccer squad defeated Wisconsin at home this past Friday night, 2-1, under the lights at Yurcak. The physical, hard-fought win moved the men into sixth place in the conference with two regular-season games remaining.
Jackson Temple got RU on the scoreboard in the 21st minute to take a 1-0 lead. The Badgers would respond quickly after halftime as Thomas Raimbault scored in the 48th minute to knot the match up, 1-1. In the 70th minute, Curt Calov scored off a rebound of a shot by Ian Abbey to put the Knights ahead for good. Wisconsin outshot Rutgers 15-10 but the Knights put 8 on goal, to the Badgers’s 3.
Rutgers (4-6-2, 2-3-1 B1G) will square off against Penn State (7-2-3, 3-1-1 B1G) on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. for its final home game and a chance to move further up the standings as the postseason approaches. The match will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.