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Rutgers women's soccer falls to Clemson in round two of NCAA Tournament

Freshman forward Allison Lowrey provided a game-tying goal, but the Rutgers women's soccer team lost in penalties to Clemson, ending its season with the NCAA Tournament loss.  – Photo by

In a game that saw back-and-forth action and needed penalty kicks to solve its second-round NCAA Tournament matchup, the Rutgers women's soccer team saw its season come to a close against Clemson. The Scarlet Knights (9-3-4, 6-2-3) fell 5-3 in a shootout after a 1-1 tie through 110 minutes of play.

Rutgers, whose ninth straight NCAA Tournament bid began with a 1-0 win in the previous round against Southeastern Louisiana, found itself playing defense for the majority of the first half, especially through the opening 27 minutes.

The Knights would face five shots, with three of them facing junior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland. One of those shots went past McClelland at approximately 27 minutes, as Maliah Morris fired a shot that found the net, causing the Tigers (12-4-1, 6-4-0) to go up 1-0.

Rutgers, throughout the half, had three shots and three corners, though all their chances were turned aside by the defense as Clemson's Halle Mackiewicz faced no shots on goal.

The Tigers led 1-0 after 45 minutes, as the Knights had at least one more half to keep its season alive.

In half number two, Rutgers dominated ball possession with five total shots. The Knights also drew 6 fouls throughout the entire game against Clemson through regulation and drew a yellow card against Renee Guion at 81:33.

As Rutgers still looked for the equalizer, freshman forward Allison Lowrey made dividends once more, this time with a game-tying goal. Lowrey at 84:29 headed a ball into the back of the cage past Hensley Hancuff, who came in relief for Mackiewicz.

Lowrey's goal came off an assist from freshman defense backer Emma Misal, as the two freshmen connected for a game-extending goal. The Knights stayed tied with the Tigers at 1-1 after 90 minutes, and overtime was needed.

In overtime, both teams, through 20 extra minutes, had opportunities, though Rutgers had the majority of them throughout the two overtime periods.

Freshman midfielder Julianne Leskauskas, who totaled six shots in this game, rang a blast off the crossbar while also missing a shot in the first overtime. Leskauskas was also denied at 109:36, as her only shot on goal was swallowed up by Hancuff.

Penalty kicks determined the outcome, as no one was able to find the game-winner in two extra time periods. Clemson and the Knights went into penalty kicks, with the winner needing to score at least 3 goals to end this one.

The Tigers went on to score 5 goals off five penalty kick attempts, as Rutgers converted on 3 of the 5. Sami Meredith ended it by scoring the fifth goal, sealing the Knights' fates and ending Rutgers' season.

As the Knights' season ended in close corners, Rutgers finished the year with its ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and reached a top 25 ranking in the country during the regular season and Big Ten Tournament.

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


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