Happy Monday everyone. As the world unravels, I continue to turn to exercise and Rutgers athletics to lift my spirits and brighten my day. While the football team came up short this past weekend, other Rutgers fall programs took notable steps forward. We begin with volleyball.
Volleyball Makes History
The women’s volleyball team upset No. 16 Minnesota this past Saturday at Jersey Mike’s Arena, three sets to one. The rapid rise of the program under head coach Caitlin Schweihofer, now in her third season, has been nothing less than impressive.
The Scarlet Knights won the first two sets, 25-20 and 25-22. The Golden Gophers dominated the third set, 25-14, but the Scarlet Knights returned the favor in the fourth set, 25-14, to collect their first Big Ten victory of the season. Rutgers moves to 9-7 (1-5) on the season, while Minnesota drops to 6-8 (2-4).
Volleyball hits the road for its next three games, visiting No. 1 Wisconsin on Friday, Oct. 13, Illinois on Sunday, Oct. 15, and Minnesota on Friday, Oct. 20. The Scarlet Knights will return to Jersey Mike’s Arena on Sunday, Oct. 22 to meet up with Illinois.
No. 6 Field Hockey Moves to 12-0
The Scarlet Knights took on No. 15 Michigan this past Friday afternoon and came away with a hard-fought 2-1 victory in OT. Unstoppable junior Guillermina Causarano would score the winning goal three minutes into the overtime period to give RU its 6th ranked win of the season. Rutgers moves to 3-0 in a conference with seven Top-20 teams.
On Sunday, Rutgers took on local rival Monmouth and would prevail, 4-2. The Knights pulled out to a 2-0 advantage on goals from Causarano and Marique Dieudonne, but a stout Hawks squad would fight back, scoring two goals in the third period to knot the match 2-2. Bridy Molyneaux and Julianne Kopec would score less than two minutes apart halfway through the fourth period to salt the game away. Causarano now has 10 goals and 26 points on the season.
Rutgers moves to a historically best 12-0 (3-0) on the season with five regular season conference matches remaining. It will be interesting to see the first RPI ratings released this week as Rutgers looks to solidify the resume for the tournament selection committee. The Scarlet Knights will travel to No. 7 Ohio State on Friday and then play at Michigan State on Sunday.
Here's the game-winning OT goal from Guillermina Causarano as RU wins 2-1 in overtime over Michigan pic.twitter.com/pv3kK38hFK— Rutgers Field Hockey (@RUFieldHockey) October 6, 2023
Women’s Soccer Scores Late to Defeat the Terrapins, 1-0
This past Saturday, the Scarlet Knights defeated the Maryland Terrapins, 1-0, at Ludwig Field in College Park. RU controlled play throughout, dominating in shots (19-5) and shots on goal (5-2). Rutgers had ample opportunities to put the game away early, but it took a Kylie Daigle penalty kick in the 85th minute to break the scoreless tie. The win improved Rutgers’s record to 6-5-3 (2-3-1) overall, while Maryland dropped to 3-6-5 (0-5-1). The three points were crucial as RU looks to climb back into the top eight of the conference standings and qualify for the Big Ten tournament in what otherwise has been a down year for a typically consistent program.
The women host No. 14 Michigan this Thursday night on the Big Ten Network in a tremendous opportunity to boost their postseason odds.
Men’s Soccer Falls to Northwestern, 2-0
The men’s team continued a disappointing fall, dropping a 2-0 result to Northwestern on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Wildcats remain unbeaten, moving to 9-0-3 (3-0-1) on the season, while the Knights drop to 3-6-2 (1-3-1). RU has a big opportunity to jump back into the middle of the Big Ten standings with a match under the lights this Friday night against the Wisconsin Badgers.