The 2023 season didn’t open on a positive note for Rutgers men’s soccer as they suffered a 3-2 loss on the road to Delaware. It was the first loss in program history to the Blue Hens in five all-time meetings (3-1-1).
Delaware scored in the 18th minute on a goal from Carlos Fernandez that was assisted on by Sam Donnellan. Rutgers was able to tie it in the 44th minute as Cleveland State transfer Saahb Kular scored with a header off an assist from Ian Abbey that came from a set piece.
First start, first goal ⚽️
Saahb Kular ties the game, 1-1, just before halftime!
— Rutgers Men’s Soccer (@RUMensSoccer) August 24, 2023
While Rutgers came out strong after the break, Delaware held on and scored twice in the span of four minutes late into the second half. Cristobal Grenada scored in the 75th minute and then assisted on Jordan Miller’s backbreaking goal in the 79th minute.
RU didn’t give up as Cole Cruthers scored in the 88th minute with Luciano Sanchez and Jackson Temple tallying assists.
Cole Cruthers finds the back of the net to put the match within one score, 3-2.
— Rutgers Men’s Soccer (@RUMensSoccer) August 25, 2023
Despite holding a 17-9 shot advantage and 8-6 edge in shots on goal, Rutgers was unable to avoid a season opening defeat. The Blue Hens held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton made 3 saves in the loss.
Kular was among three Rutgers players making their first starts for the program. The senior defender was joined by Syracuse transfer midfielder Curt Calov and freshman defender Devon Stopek. In addition, freshman forward Luciano Sanchez and sophomore defender Sawyer Koza made their Rutgers debuts on Thursday night.
Rutgers will next host St. John’s on Monday, August 28 at 7 p.m. Kickoff at Yurcak Field will follow the conclusion of the Rutgers women’s soccer game against FDU.
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