23 Oct No. 9 Women’s Soccer Completes Undefeated Big Ten Season
CHAMPAIGN, ILL. – No. 9 Rutgers women’s soccer capped its Big Ten slate undefeated with a 3-0 win at Illinois on Saturday afternoon. The 2021 Big Ten Champion Scarlet Knights extended their program record win streak to 11 straight, closing the regular season with a 15-2 record, the most regular season victories in program history.
Senior forward and MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Amirah Ali led the way with two goals, while sophomore forward Allison Lowrey added a goal in the win. Sophomores Sara Brocious and Sam Kroeger, and freshman Emily Mason added assists. Senior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland posted the ninth shutout of the season, also recording her first career assist in the victory.
The Scarlet Knights came out of the gates strong with a shot on target from senior midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri in the fourth minute, immediately followed by back-to-back corner kicks. Rutgers posted a total of eight shots and five corner kicks in the first 13 minutes of play.
In the 36th minute, RU broke through with a goal from Lowrey. Mason sent a pass from the right side to Brocious near the top of the box. Brocious would set up Lowrey, who would shoot from the center of the box a few yards out to put the Scarlet Knights in front, 1-0.
RU maintained its offensive momentum entering the second half. In the 56th minute, Riley sent in a cross to Ali in the box. Though a defender interfered on the pass, Ali regained possession and scored from six yards out to the center of an empty net, extending the RU lead to 2-0.
Minutes later, McClelland sent a goal kick to Kroeger at midfield. Kroeger headed the kick to Ali. Ali broke away for the goal, passed the keeper, and shot into an open net to set the score at 3-0 in the 61st minute. McClelland would go on to record a huge stop in the 67th minute to keep the advantage at 3-0.
It marks the first undefeated conference season in program history, becoming the first Big Ten women’s soccer team to complete the feat since 2005.
Up next, Rutgers opens the 2021 Big Ten Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 31. The Scarlet Knights, the 2021 Big Ten Champions, secured the No. 1 seed for tournament and await the final bracket following the conclusion of Sunday’s remaining league matches.
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– RU –
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