Story Links EVANSTON, Illinois – Women’s Soccer with No. 20 and 7-seed Rutgers (13-3-2) to begin play in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals after the season at No. 12 and 2-seed Northwestern (13-3-2) on Sun, October 30 at 1 p.m. ET and streaming live on B1G+. The winner will advance to the semifinals and face the winner of (3) Wisconsin and (6) Penn State on Thursday, November 3 at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio. HOW TO FOLLOW: Check out B1G+ | Live Statistics | Listen on WRSU HOW THEY GET HERE Rutgers is the No. 7 in the conference tournament after finishing the Big Ten slate by 17 points (5-3-2) in a four-way tie for fourth, but went to the bottom of the tiebreaker with Nebreska, Ohio State, and Penn State due to common opponent results between the four tied teams. Rutgers placed six on the All-Big Ten Awards list (Emily Mason, Sara Brocious, Sam Kroeger, Allison Lowrey, Riley Tiernan and Emma Misal).
Northwestern finished its Big Ten schedule in second place with 22 points (7-2-1).
SCOUTING THE WILD CATS: Northwestern is having one of its most successful seasons in its history. At 13-3-2, the Wildcats placed eight players (Caterina Regazzoni, Meg Boade, Aurea del Carmen, Rowan Lapi, Emma Phillips, Mia Raben, Josie Aulicino and Danika Austin) on the All-Big Ten accolade, the most in program history , and more than any other school this year. Seven ‘Cats (Josie Aulicino, Aurea del Carmen, Meg Boade, Rowan Lapi, Ella Hase, Caterina Regazzoni and Emma Phillips) have scored at least three goals this season.
Rutgers and Northwestern played in the regular season on September 29 to a 1-1 draw at Evanston, when both programs were in the Top 10 nationally. Allison Lowrey scored the equalizing goal in the 48th minute on assists from Sara Brocious and Emily Mason, while Meagan McClelland made five stops as Northwestern led RU in shots on goal. 6-2.
The all-time series stands at 4-2-2 in favor of Rutgers with the Wildcats’ last win in 2015.
FAMILY STYLE: The Scarlet Knights’ attack is driven by a selfless style of passing and an unpredictable source of origin. Thirty-one of their 35 goals over the course of the game have been assisted, and total assists (39) keep pace with total goals (41) thanks to one-time passing double assists. Four of Rutgers’ 41 goals were scored from the penalty spot.
Fourteen different Scarlet Knights have registered a point so far in 2022, including 11 different goalscorers and 12 different assists. Nine goals spanning victories over Buffalo and Temple were all scored by different players, including all seven against Temple on September 1.
With the team’s offense in the Nation’s Top 15, no player tops 100 in scoring (Sam Kroeger and Allison Lowrey’s seven goals).
ROAD WARRIORS: Rutgers started the 2022 season on the road with the intention of training for post-season races away from Piscataway, New Jersey. The two wins at the Lobo Invitational over New Mexico and UNLV, and the win over Providence marked the first time in program history that Rutgers played three games outdoors to start a season and won them all. The August 25 road date in Providence marked the first time since 2001 that RU played three games outdoors to kick off a season.
“To achieve our goals, we have to win at home and we have to win on the road,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “We wanted to challenge our comfort zone early on, and we loved the added benefit of bonding as a team and building team chemistry with some early time together on the road.”
RUTGERS GANG: RU is ranked No. 20 in the latest United Soccer Coaches National Poll. The Scarlet Knights started at number 6 in the preseason poll, marking 11 of the last 13 seasons. Rutgers got votes in the national preseason ballot, before rising to No. 3 in Week 1 after a 2-0-0 start – corresponding to the highest place in program history. In games on October 27, Rutgers ranks among the nation’s leaders in goals (16th, 41), assists (18th, 39) and points (17th, 121). The 2.3 goals per game comes in at number 20 in the nation. Sam Kroeger owns four winning goals, ranking 19th in the NCAA. Meagan McClelland’s eight shutouts are number 24 in the country. HISTORICAL START: The 2022 Scarlet Knights are the only team in Rutgers women’s football history to begin a 9-0-0 season. They topped the 2015 College Cup team’s 8-0-0 start, which lost their ninth game. Before the setback at Penn State, the Scarlet Knights had won 20 consecutive regular season games dating back to September 16, 2021. Prior to Thursday, the team’s last regular season loss came on September 12, 2021 in Georgetown. HUNTING HISTORY: Graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland already holds the school record in minutes played, becoming the all-time NCAA Division I leader in the sport of women’s soccer at 56:21 of the game in Minnesota with 8.998:08 ( and counting). She moves into the postseason with 9.302:27 minutes played.
Riley Tiernan and Sara Brocious each have six assists this season and are rising in the career helper record book at RU. Tiernan is in joint eighth place with 19 and needs four more to get into the Top 5. Brocious has 15 assists in his career and is two away from breaking into the Top 10. Rutgers’ all-time record for assists is 29, set by Gina DeMaio from 2006-10.
THE CLEANEST SHEET: With eight shutouts in 2022, graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland continues her reign as the NCAA Division I career leader in shutouts with 43. With 9.302:27 minutes played in her career, McClelland passed Virginia’s Laurel Ivory NCAA record for all playing minutes in 2021.
The Kearny goalkeeper recorded 13 shutouts and 83 saves on the year in 2021, including five clean sheets against league opponents in the run-up to the conference title. She maintained a net GAA of 0.67 and helped RU extend its streak to eight consecutive seasons with a GAA of 0.77 or less.
McClelland is the first the defense has credited her with allowing six or fewer shots on target in 17 of 18 games this season, including 10 with three or fewer shots on target.
GUESS WHO’S BACK?: Rutgers returns nine starters (15 or more starts) and 17 letter winners from the 2021 College Cup squad.
This fall, 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 return in “On the Banks.” Junior midfielder Becci Fluchel (All-Big Ten Second Team) also returns with All-Conference honors from last fall.
Graduate student Adriana Kuryla celebrated her birthday in the season-opening win in New Mexico by playing all 90 minutes into the shutout, having played only two games 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 Post and 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 September 1, while Hannah Blodget took her first point with an assist in the win. Hailey Gutowski leads the newcomers in scoring with five points on two goals and an assist, while Post has a total of four points on a goal and two helpers.
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