The Scarlet Knights (6-0) faced their toughest test of the season to date, squaring off down the road against a battle-tested Princeton squad (1-3) that opened the season against three ranked opponents, dropping a 2-1 match against No. 5 Louisville and losing in OT to No. 1 UNC. The Tigers notched their first victory this past Friday against No. 19 Delaware. For Rutgers, this was their sixth consecutive match on the road.
The Knights had a chance to score in the 8th minute of quarter one, as senior Bridy Molyneaux put a shot on goal that Tiger keeper Robyn Thompson safely blocked. Then in the 18th minute, Rutgers had another opportunity as Lucy Bannatyne put one on goal, but Thompson made the kick save.
Princeton had their first promising opportunity to score midway through the second quarter, but Rutgers keeper Sophia Howard aggressively came out to corral the loose ball in the striking circle. The teams would head to halftime scoreless with the Tigers not having a shot on net.
In the third quarter, Rutgers struck first in the 41st minute. Nolle Leaf raced after a pass into the Princeton circle. Tigers keeper Robyn Thompson raced out, and the two collided just after Leaf popped the ball into the air. Bridy Molyneaux batted the pop up into the open net to give the Knights a 1-0 lead. Play was paused for about 25 minutes as Thompson lay injured on the field, and the Tigers’s medical staff attended to her injury and had to cart her off the field.
Princeton would regroup quickly after the break on a penalty corner. Liz Agatucci would redirect a shot by teammate Ottilie Sykes past Knights’ net-minder Sophia Howard in the 44th minute for the equalizer, knotting the match 1-1.
With less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Puck Winter navigated through traffic in her own circle a person down and safely steered the ball upfield, leading to a Rutgers penalty corner. Winter rocketed a shot into the Princeton goal, but as explained by the announcers, because the first shot did not touch another stick and was hit above the goal baseboard, it was not a goal. Regulation would end with the teams tied 1-1.
In the first overtime period, Princeton would fire wide on a penalty corner opportunity in the 63rd minute. Then Knights’ Guillerm Causarano would get two shots on goal in the 67th minute, both saved by backup Tiger keeper Olivia Caponiti. After Causarano’s attempts, the teams would remain tied, heading to the second overtime period.
Rutgers had the first dangerous opportunity in the second overtime, with Lucy Bannatyne having an opportunity to put one on the net that went wide. Moments later, Ava Cickavage dumped a pass off Tigers defender Grace Ann McCooey, setting up a penalty corner for the Knights. Guillerm Causarano would insert the ball, and Puck Winter would steer it into the circle, calmly set it up, and drive a slapshot into the goal, this time off the baseboard, giving the Knights a hard-fought victory on the road against their in-state rivals.
- Rutgers outshot Princeton, 15-2, including an 8-1 advantage on net.
- Rutgers improved to 6-0, a first under head coach Meredith Civico and the first time since 2008.
- Winter has a team-leading 6 goals, and Causarano now has four assists.
The seventh straight road game as conference play begins against the No. 11 ranked Nittany Lions of Penn State at 5 pm on Friday in State College, streaming on B1G+.