12 Nov Rutgers field hockey, women’s soccer build NCAA Tournament excitement
Top-seeded Rutgers opened the field hockey NCAA Tournament by defeating Delaware 2-1 on Friday. It was the Scarlet Knights’ first win in the tournament since 1986.
New Zealand native Lucy Bannatyne deflected in a goal from a penalty corner in the fourth quarter to put host Rutgers up 2-0, and the lead stood up.
Rutgers (19-3) will host a quarterfinal game Sunday at 1 p.m. against the winner of Liberty-Saint Joseph’s. If Rutgers wins Sunday, it will advance to the Final Four, which begins Nov. 19 and will be held at the University of Michigan.
Rutgers took the lead against Delaware in the second quarter when Liz Romano (Madison High School) scored her second goal of the year, the result of a penalty corner.
Rutgers has won seven in a row and is 11-1 over the past 12 games. The team has 13 victories over ranked teams this season.
“I’m really proud of the group for advancing,” coach Meredith Civico said via ScarletKnights.com. “That’s huge. They earned that. The team has been so consistent. Our backs and defensive group defended so hard. (Goalkeeper Gianna Glatz, a Medford native and Shawnee High School graduate) made some key saves. The defensive effort and grit was what won the game for us today.”
Rutgers trailed in shots (8-7) but led in penalty corners (5-3).
Historic season also for RU women’s soccer
The Rutgers women’s soccer team, a regional NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed, will go up against Bucknell on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the first round at Yurcak Field.
Mike O’Neill’s soccer team won the Big Ten regular season championship outright — the school’s first such title since joining the conference in 2014 — and made it to the conference tournament final before falling to Michigan, 1-0.
But now the Scarlet Knights, who went undefeated against conference competition during the regular season, have a new opportunity in their 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
“To earn a No. 1 seed is an incredible feeling and I couldn’t be happier for this team,” said senior Gabby Provenzano, a Hunterdon Central grad, via RU Athletics. “We have worked so hard since day one in captain’s preseason to get to where we are now. Being able to host at Yurcak in front of our families, friends, and Rutgers Nation is unbelievable. There’s no better feeling then knowing we get to play home.”
It’s been a historic season in many ways for the Scarlet Knights, who had a program-best 13-game winning streak heading into the Big Ten tournament final.
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