The No. 12 Scarlet Knights took on Villanova in Conshohocken, Pa, on a steamy, humid Friday evening in which the game was delayed one hour at the start due to weather. This was the fifth consecutive road match to start the season, all resulting in happy recaps, as former Mets announcer Bob Murphy would say.
The offense was led by the Netherlands duo of Puck Winter, who scored three goals, and Marique Dieudonne, who added two of her own. West Long Branch native Julianne Kopec added the 6th goal.
The Knights would take an early 1-0 lead in the 5th minute on Dieudonne’s first goal off an assist from Wake Forest impact transfer Ava Cickavage. The Wildcats would find an equalizer in the 9th minute off a penalty corner goal by Sabine Vu De Ruuter. Rutgers would grab the lead on their own penalty corner 45 seconds before the end of the quarter on Winter’s first goal, aided by assists from Paulina Niklaus and Guillerm Causarano.
Puck would add her 2nd tally off a penalty corner a little over a minute into the second quarter, once again off assists from Niklaus and Causarano. The teams would head to the half with Rutgers leading 3-1.
Coming out of halftime, Dieudonne would notch her second goal of the match less than two minutes into the third quarter, with Carly Snarski getting credit for the assist, pushing the lead out to 4-1. The Wildcats would answer quickly three minutes later with a goal by Amanda Vu Middleman. In the closing seconds of the third quarter, Kopec would add the Knight’s 5th goal off an assist by Lucy Bannatyne, increasing their lead, 5-2.
With under five minutes remaining in the match, Winter would add the icing on the cake, netting her third goal and the hat trick, off assists from Bannatyne and Iris Langejans, and Rutgers would cruise to a 6-2 victory. Rutgers improves to 5-0 for the first time since the 2018 season, all road wins, while Villanova drops to 2-2.
Courtesy Rutgers Athletics
- Rutgers dominated the match in shots, 16-7.
- Winter now has five goals on the season, surpassing last year’s total of three, and looks primed for a special season
- Winters was the first RU player to score three goals in a game since Bridy Molyneaux had all three RU goals in a 3-0 win over Michigan State on Oct. 29, 2021.
- Causarano, Nikalus and Bannatyne each had their first career game with two assists.
- Sophia Howard added three more saves.
A top-15 matchup as the Knights stay on the road, playing just down the highway at local rival, No. 15 Princeton, on Sunday at noon. The game will stream on ESPN+.