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Rutgers women's soccer sweeps weekend series

The Rutgers women’s soccer team remains undefeated for the 2021 season after two wins this weekend.  – Photo by Rutgers Women's Soccer / Twitter

The Rutgers women’s soccer team cruised to a 6-0 victory against Monmouth and a 5-0 win against La Salle on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

The matchup against the Hawks (4-2, 0-0) marks the Scarlet Knights' (4-0, 0-0) first match away from Piscataway, giving Monmouth its first loss of the season. The Friday game was supposed to be played at Yurcak Field at 7 p.m. but was moved to 3 p.m. in West Long Branch due to the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Even though the game was played at Hesse field, Rutgers was referred to as the home side. Sunday’s game against the Explorers (1-3-1, 0-0-0) was played at Yurcak as scheduled.

The Knights dominated the pitch against the Hawks with 62 percent of possession and five players contributing to scoring on Friday. The highest point scorer of the match was freshman midfielder Kylie Daigle, who scored her first 2 career goals.

Sophomore midfielder/forward Sam Kroeger opened the scoring with an assist from senior midfielder/forward Frankie Tagliaferri, who also found the back of the net that afternoon. This goal marked the 12th point of Tagliferri's career here at Rutgers, the highest in the Big Ten. Kroeger has scored a goal every match this season, averaging two points per game.

Junior back Maddie Brant and senior back/midfielder Gabby Provenzano scored their first goals of the season against the Hawks, adding two points to their seasons. The Knights' offense also added three assists to their seasons, including one each from both freshman forward Riley Tiernan and sophomore forward/midfielder Giana Romano

Rutgers' defense added 2 goals to this game and held Monmouth to three shots the entire game with none being on target, an uneventful game for senior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland

"Rutgers is a very talented team. We stayed very organized for the first 20 minutes and then started to make some mistakes, which they punished us for,” said the Hawks' head coach Krissy Turner after their loss this Friday.

The Knights scored at least 5 goals in the past four matches, which hasn’t been done since their inaugural season in 1984.

On Sunday, Rutgers' game against the Explorers got off to a slow start but ended with 5 goals for the Knights. Eight Rutgers players contributed to goals on Sunday, keeping their win streak alive.

The team saw assists from sophomore midfielder Sara Brocious, sophomore back Emma Misal, sophomore forward/midfielder Emily Sapienza and Tiernan. At the same time, Kroeger kept her goal streak alive as she bagged her fourth goal of the season.

Senior forward/midfielder Amirah Ali got back on the score chart after the game against La Salle, with a now 5-point season. Sophomore forward Allison Lowery also scored her first goal of the season following Sunday’s game. 

The tough start was prompted by the Explorers’ strong goalkeeper Michela Auguadro, who stopped 14 of the Knights' 19 shots on goal, 11 coming from the first half.

In terms of conference standings, Rutgers leads in assists, goals and points. The Knights achieved this stat line with the fewest games played in the Big Ten. Rutgers is also second in goals allowed in the conference, holding their opponents to single-digit shots since 2019.

"For nonconference, we definitely have a goal for ourselves to continue to get shutouts 一and as much goals as we can to make our presence known. And I think that's going to definitely carry on with our confidence to in conference. We're very excited for it," said Ali.

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

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