The Rutgers women’s soccer team began its 2021 campaign with a 3-2 win against the defending Big Ten champions, Penn State.
This contest versus the Nittany Lions (0-1-0, 0-1-0) was the first game the Scarlet Knights (1-0-0, 1-0-0) took part in since the 2019 season. This was also the first game between these two rivals, dating back to a Rutgers victory in double overtime on Oct. 3, 2019.
Penn State started the scoring early, striking 73 seconds in when Kristin Schnurr opened things up for the Nittany Lions, giving them a 1-0 lead. Penn State would hold this early lead for the rest of the half.
Getting the start in net for the season opener were goalkeepers junior Meagan McClelland for the Knights and Katherine Asman for the Nittany Lions. McClelland recorded three saves while Asman had five saves for the match.
Rutgers, with three scoring chances after one half of play, finally converted with freshman midfielder Sam Kroeger tying things up at one off a free kick opportunity. The goal was the freshman’s first career goal as a Knight.
Although the Knights tied the game up at around the 62 minute mark, Penn State broke the tie as Ally Schlegel scored her first goal of the season at the 72:37 mark, giving the Nittany Lions another one-goal lead.
Less than 2 minutes later, Rutgers tied things up once more, as senior forward Amirah Ali turned the game into a 2-2 affair. Ali’s first goal of the season was her 63rd career point with the Knights.
At 86:18, Ali scored for the second time in the game, giving the Knights the go-ahead score and a 3-2 lead, their first of the entire contest. Ali’s 64th career point was enough for Rutgers to hold on in the final minutes and begin the new season with a 3-2 victory.
The Knights will take part in their first road game of the season on Feb. 25 when it travels to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers (0-1-0, 0-1-0).
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