The No. 5 Rutgers field hockey team lines up this weekend looking for its first program victory on the road against No. 2 Penn State. Approximately a third of the way into the regular season, the Scarlet Knights (9-2, 2-1) have faced numerous ranked opponents.
The Nittany Lions (8-2, 3-1) are the second highest-ranked opponent Rutgers has faced this year. The Knights have only lost twice this season, with one loss against the highest-ranked team in the nation, Iowa.
Penn State dropped two games to the Hawkeyes (12-0, 4-0), getting outscored 5-0. The Nittany Lions are in the middle of a four-game homestand. In the first two games, Penn State beat Indiana and Northwestern, who are now ranked No. 6.
Overall the Nittany Lions are outscoring opponents 28-16 while the Knights are doing so 26-13. Rutgers is outshooting opponents by nearly twice as much 145-76, leading opposing goalkeepers to make 61 saves while Knights’ goalkeepers made only 21.
After scoring 3 goals in the first two games of the homestand, Sophia Gladieux was crowned the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. Gladieux leads Penn State with 10 goals and 26 shots on goal (SOG). Anna Simon played in only nine games but notched 8 scores. With a team-high seven assists, Mackenzie Allessie is also third the Nittany Lions with 5 goals and 14 SOG.
Getting all 10 starts between the pipes for Penn State has been Brie Barraco. She has given up 16 goals while making 43 saves.
Coming off its lowest scoring weekend of the season, Rutgers engaged in a 0-0 tie before the team was saved by Mancini in double overtime, making the score 1-0. Mancini is now tied with three teammates with a team-high 4 goals.
For the second time this season, Lucy Bannatyne was crowned Big Ten Freshman of the Week after recording her first collegiate assist on Mancini’s game-winner. She earned the honor in the first weekend of the season, after helping the Knights in two victories with a goal in each.
Another one of the leading goal scorers is senior midfielder Milena Redlingshoefer. Her last goal came in late September.
Rutgers’ last line of defense is senior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz. She has surrendered 10 goals and made 20 saves through nine starts.
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