On a rainy Sunday night at Yurcak Field, Rutgers women’s soccer (4-2-2) completed non-conference play with 1-0 victory over UMass (3-2-2). Allison Lowrey scored her team leading sixth goal to give RU momentum entering Big Ten play.
The game was scoreless two-thirds of the way through until Allison Lynch’s rebound shot was defended by UMass with a handball in the box. A penalty kick was awarded to Rutgers. Lowrey calming executed the chance to give RU a 1-0 lead.
— RUTGERS WOMEN’S SOCCER (@RUWSoccer) September 11, 2023
The defense held strong and goalkeeper Olivia Bodmer recorded her fourth solo shutout and fifth overall for Rutgers this season. She only made one save early in the game, but it was a critical one to keep the score even.
— RUTGERS WOMEN’S SOCCER (@RUWSoccer) September 10, 2023
Rutgers outshot UMass 19-5 overall including ramping up the attack in the second half with a 13-2 advantage. RU held a 6-2 edge with shots on goal while both teams had 4 corner kick opportunities.
“(In) the second half we had a mentality to attack and go after them, where maybe in the first half, they kind of bossed the game a little bit,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “So, we talked about it at halftime, what we needed to do, and we needed to be aggressive. I think in the second half we did exactly that. So that’s a step forward, but we’ve had a lot of games in a short period of time, so now the biggest thing is to get some rest and get ready for our first Big Ten game on Sunday.”
The Scarlet Knights finish non-conference play with a 4-2-2 record. Wins include Holy Cross, FDU, Providence and UMass. A loss to a ranked Georgetown squad was disappointing, but the early season loss to Hofstra was a concerning defeat. Surrendering a late goal to NC State on the road resulted in a hard fought tie, as did a scoreless draw at Princeton.
Overall, it was a disappointing non-conference performance for a program with championship aspirations. However, it may benefit this team long term. Shifting Riley Tiernan two games ago to an attacking midfielder and converting to a 4-4-2 formation could lead to better results for this team. The non-conference slate also was critical in getting Sam Kroeger and Emily Mason back into form.
Rutgers opens Big Ten play on the road against undefeated Indiana (6-0-2) on Sunday, September 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The game will stream live on B1G+. RU was picked to finish third in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll while the Hoosiers were picked in a last place tie with Illinois. It’s critical for the Scarlet Knights to start league action on a positive note.
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