Starting XI: No. 4 Women’s Soccer vs. Maryland

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Yeah. 4 Rutgers women’s soccer (9-1-0, 1-1-0) hosts Maryland (2-5-5, 1-1-0) on Sun., Sept. 25 at 1 pm at Yurcak Field and live on Big Ten Network.

The first 250 fans at Yurcak Field on Sunday will receive a mini Rutgers soccer ball, and every child dressed in a Disney costume can be entered into a raffle to win a Rutgers prize pack.

HOW TO FOLLOW: Watch on BTN / Fox Sports App | Live Stats | WRSU | @ruwsoccer on Instagram

PREVIOUSLY ON …

Rutgers suffered its first setback of the season on Thursday evening at No. 17 Penn State (6-1-2), dropping a 2-0 final score at a rainy and windy Jeffrey Field. The loss snapped a 20-match regular season winning streak for the Scarlet Knights.

“Credit to Penn State,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “They’re a good team, and these are the games you learn the most from. The most important thing is we stick together and learn everything we can from this game.”

SCOUTING THE TERRAPINS: Maryland began its season with four consecutive 1-1 draws before defeating George Mason, 3-0. The Terps also scored its first-ever win against Michigan in its Big Ten opener, a 1-0 victory at home in College Park. In its lone chance against a ranked team this season, Maryland suffered a tight 1-0 loss to No. 24 Wake Forest on Sept. 8.

The first nine matches of 2022 have been low-scoring affairs for Maryland, which is outscoring opponents 10-8 after conceding three goals in a 3-2 loss to Illinois on Thursday night. Alina Stahl leads the group with eight points on three goals and two assists, while Mikayla Dayes has added six points on two goals and two assists. Madeline Smith has a 1.00 goals-against average, a .765 save percentage, and two shutouts in net. Smith has won a Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week honor this season, as well as a mention on College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week.

HISTORIC START: The 2022 Scarlet Knights are the only team in Rutgers women’s soccer history to start a season 9-0-0. They surpassed the 8-0-0 start by the 2015 College Cup team, who lost their ninth match. Before the setback at Penn State, the Scarlet Knights had won 20 consecutive regular season games dating back to Sept. 16, 2021. Prior to Thursday, the team’s last regular season loss came on Sept. 12, 2021 at Georgetown.
RUTGERS RANKED: RU has been ranked No. 4 in the latest United Soccer Coaches National Poll for the second consecutive week. The Scarlet Knights began at No. 6 in the preseason poll, marking 11 of the last 13 seasons Rutgers received votes in the national preseason vote, before rising to No. 3 in Week 1 after a 2-0-0 start – matching the highest rank in program history.

  • Through matches on Sept. 22, Rutgers is among the nation’s leaders in goals (11th, 29), assists (8th, 28), and points (8th, 86). The 2.9 goals per match comes in at 14th in the nation.
  • Sam Kroeger and Allison Lowrey each own three game-winning goals to rank 9th in the NCAA.
  • Riley Tiernan has six assists, ranking 11th in the NCAA.
  • The Big Ten coaches voted Rutgers to repeat as conference champions, coming in a first-place tie with Penn State in the annual preseason poll. The poll marks the first time in Rutgers Athletics history a Scarlet Knight team has been picked No. 1, and it also marks the first time in conference history the women’s soccer preseason poll resulted in a tie for the top spot.

FAMILY STYLE: The Scarlet Knights’ early offense has been powered by a selfless style of passing and an unpredictable source of origin through five matches. Twenty-three of their 29 goals have been assisted, and the total assists (28) are keeping up with the totals goals (29) thanks to one-time passing crediting double assists.

Fourteen different Scarlet Knights have registered a point thus far in 2022, including 11 different goal scorers. Nine goals spanning wins over Buffalo and Temple were all scored by different players, including all seven against Temple on Sept. 1.

NO GOAL PATROL: Led by reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Emily Mason, who has played all 90 minutes in seven of her eight matches this season, the Rutgers defense is allowing a 0.70 goals-against average thanks to stingy shot defense. The Scarlet Knights have allowed six or fewer shots on goal in all 10 matches, including six with three or fewer shots on target allowed.

THE CLEANEST SHEET: With four shutouts in the first 10 matches, graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland opens the 2022 season as the NCAA Division I career leader in shutouts with 39. With 8,582: 27 minutes played in her career, McClelland is aiming for the NCAA all-time career record for minutes played of 8,998: 07 set by Virginia’s Laurel Ivory in 2021.

The Kearny keeper recorded 13 shutouts and 83 saves on the year in 2021, including five clean sheets against league opponents in the run to the conference title. She maintained a 0.67 GAA in net, helping RU extend its streak to eight straight seasons registering a GAA of 0.77 or less.

THE REIGNING CHAMPS: The 10-0 Big Ten record in 2021 marked the first undefeated conference season in Rutgers women’s soccer history, becoming the first Big Ten team to accomplish the feat since 2005. RU outscored the conference competition 23-6 on its way to the school’s first Big This title. The 10-0 run was part of a program-record 13-match winning streak that carried into the Big Ten Tournament.

GUESS WHO’S BACK ?: Rutgers returns nine starters (15 or more starts) and 17 letterwinners from the 2021 College Cup squad.

Returning “On the Banks” this fall are Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Region First Team performer Riley Tiernan (an NCAA Division I Preseason Player to Watch) and All-Region goalkeeper Meagan McClelland. Junior midfielder Becci Fluchel (All-Big Ten Second Team) also returns with All-Conference honors from last fall.

Graduate student back Adrian Kuryla celebrated her birthday in the season-opening win at New Mexico by playing all 90 minutes in the shut out after playing in just two matches last season due to injuries.

NEW KIDS “ON THE BANKS”: Coach Mike O’Neill signed five freshmen to the 2022 roster (Hannah Blodget, Olivia Bodmer, Mallory McGuire, Allie Postand Naila Schoefberger) and welcomed five transfers to the mix (Niamh Cashin – Rider, Hailey Gutowski – Temple, Jessica Schildkraut – Columbia, Emily Smith – American, and Naya Vialva – La Salle).

Allie Post and Mallory McGuire scored their first collegiate goals against Temple on Sept. 1, while Hannah Blodget picked up her first point with an assist in the victory. Hailey Gutowski leads the newcomers in scoring with five points on two goals and an assist, while Post has totaled four points on a goal and two helpers.

Stay up to date on the latest news and schedule updates by following Rutgers women’s soccer on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Download the Scarlet Knights App for Apple or Android today.
-RU-

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