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Big Ten releases men's soccer schedule

The Rutgers men's soccer team will begin their season with matchups against Michigan State and Penn State. – Photo by The Daily Targum

The Big Ten has announced a 10-game regular season for the Rutgers men’s soccer team starting on Feb. 19. It was only months ago, in August 2020, that the Big Ten released a statement announcing the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season.

The completion of the Big Ten football season allowed the conference to figure out how to manage and run a season during a pandemic while generating revenue for both the schools and itself.

With the completion of one condensed season this fall, the Big Ten has put together a shorter schedule with 10 games for the Scarlet Knights, with five on the Banks and five on the road.

Once the schedule was released, head coach Jim McElderry, who is in his second season coaching the team, said he was glad that his players would be able to compete.

“To have Big Ten games officially scheduled is the first step to actually playing a meaningful match. We are all well aware we are in a challenging time, but our players have sacrificed a lot to be here, and I am looking forward to having them compete together as Rutgers' men's soccer team," McElderry said, according to Rutgers Athletics.

Seniors such as forward Ritchie Barry, midfielder Vincenzo Pugliese and defender Vincent Borden, will play their final season unless they decide to exercise their extra year of eligibility that was given to fall athletes after their season was postponed. 

Players who led the team last year include junior midfielder Pablo Ávila, with 14 points and six goals, along with sophomore midfielder Jackson Temple, who accumulated 10 points and five goals in his freshman season.

Last season, Rutgers went 7-8-3 overall with a 1-6-1 record against Big Ten opponents. This year, they are looking to improve upon that season with a young team consisting of 11 freshman players.

The Knights start the season on Feb. 19, at Michigan State. The rest of its away games are at Wisconsin (Feb. 27), Penn State (March 15), Maryland (March 23) and Ohio State (March 27).

The team's home opener is against Penn State on Feb. 23, with its other home games being against Maryland (March 3), Michigan (March 7), Indiana (March 19) and Northwestern, who they will play on April 4 to end the regular season.

For updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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