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Rutgers women's soccer faces Southeastern Louisiana in first round of NCAA Tournament

Senior back/midfielder Gabby Provenzano received Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors in March. – Photo by

For the ninth straight season, the Rutgers women’s soccer team has clinched a spot into the NCAA Tournament. The Scarlet Knights (8-3-3, 6-2-3) will begin their national tournament run tomorrow in Buies Creek, North Carolina, against Southeastern Louisiana.

Rutgers, who last saw action in its Big Ten Tournament semifinals loss to Wisconsin nearly two weeks ago, looks to rebound after falling short of a chance to play for the conference championship for the second straight season. 

The Knights are coming off an 11-game in-conference season record of 6-2-3, while racking up back-to-back 1-0 wins against Michigan State and Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament regional weekend from April 8 to April 11. Rutgers has scored 16 goals this season while only conceding 10 all year. 

Senior forward/midfielder Amirah Ali leads the team in goals with 6 this season while also being nominated for the Senior Class Award and MAC Hermann Trophy. Three of Ali’s goals were registered as game-winners this season. 

Freshman midfielder Sara Brocious has totaled 1 goal and three assists this season. Freshman midfielder Julianne Leskauskas had a game-winning goal this season that came against Minnesota on March 21.

Freshman forward Allison Lowrey and freshman back Emma Misal have provided defensive and playmaking abilities throughout the campaign. Lowrey has totaled 1 goal and two assists on the season while Misal saw an increase in play due to her contributions on the defensive line. 

Senior back/midfielder Gabby Provenzano also has had a solid season, playing every second this year while also registering a game-winning goal at Purdue on Feb. 28 and receiving Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors in March.

Sophomore back Allison Lynch also has played every second this season, registering an assist on Ali’s game-winner versus Iowa on March 18. Lynch also received Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors in March. 

Junior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland has started every game this season. She has recorded six shutouts, posting eight wins and 36 saves.

The Knights will be 1 of the 4 Big Ten teams represented in the NCAA Tournament, with Penn State, the Buckeyes (7-2-3, 6-1-3) and Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa also entering the mix. Rutgers faces the Lady Lions (8-2-4, 6-2-3), who won the Southland championship this season. The team scored 5 goals and allowed none during its conference title run. 

The winner of the first-round matchup gets a date with Clemson on Friday.

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

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