No. 6 Rutgers field hockey had its season end in a 2-1 loss to No. 9 Harvard on Friday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The first round defeat was a difficult result after a program best 15-0 start to the season.
The Scarlet Knights held a 16-6 shot advantage in the game but held only a 7-6 edge in shots on goal. RU also had a 6-4 advantage in corners. Unfortunately, Rutgers was unable to finish around the net.
Harvard scored in the second quarter and then again with less than seven minutes to play in the game. The Scarlet Knights went down swinging with Marique Dieudonne scoring from an assist by Lucy Bannatyne with just under four minutes to play.
Rutgers had one last chance with just over a minute to play. On a corner, they had two shots but were unable to tie the game. Harvard (16-3) advances to the Elite Eight to face No. 1 North Carolina.
Puck Winter and Olivia Beattie each had defensive saves while goalkeeper Sophia Howard made two saves.
The Scarlet Knights finish the 2023 season with a 16-4 overall record, second best in program history. RU was second place in the Big Ten and have seven wins over ranked foes. Rutgers will likely have a top ten national ranking in the final coaches poll.
“I’m proud of the team’s effort and the fight they showed,” head coach Meredith Civico said. “We’re disappointed in the result, but this group definitely had a great season. We had great consistency all season. These players want to compete for championships, and we proved that ability to ourselves and everyone this year. We want to celebrate this group of seniors and veteran players who did so much for this program.”
This was the third NCAA Tournament appearance for Rutgers since 2018 under Civico and second in the past three seasons. RU had only two NCAA tournament appearances prior to this recent stretch. It was a disappointing end to a very good season as Civico’s program continues to prove it’s one of the best in Rutgers athletics.
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Rutgers finishes the season with 16 wins, the second most in program history. RU made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six years and second in the last three years.