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No. 8 Rutgers women's soccer defeats Michigan 2-1, improves winning streak to six games

 Senior back Gabby Provenzano scored the opening goal for the Knights against Michigan. – Photo by Olivia Thiel

The Rutgers women’s soccer team defeated Michigan 4-1 on Wednesday afternoon. With the win, the No. 8 Scarlet Knights (10-2-0, 5-0-0) picked up their sixth consecutive win and second win against a ranked opponent this season.

The first half of play saw both teams score goals. Senior back Gabby Provenzano was the first to find the back of the net near the 26-minute mark while Hannah Blake got the No. 16 Wolverines (8-2-3, 2-1-2) on the scoreboard less than 10 minutes later.

Coming out of halftime at a 1-1 tie, Rutgers took control of the game by scoring 3 goals over the course of the second half while holding Michigan off the scoreboard. The goal to break the tie came at the 54-minute mark when freshman forward Riley Tiernan scored on an assist from senior midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri, who also scored later in the half to go along with a penalty kick from senior forward/midfielder Amirah Ali.

The Knights were able to put up 16 shots including eight shots on goal, both of which heavily outnumbered the Wolverines’ numbers for the game. Tiernan led the way with five shots while Ali and Tagliaferri each had two shots on goal.

These numbers are emblematic of a Rutgers team that has scored its fair share of goals this season. Through 12 games, the Knights have scored 36 goals and have averaged more than 3 goals per game, good enough for the top spot in the Big Ten and top 10 nationally.

On the opposite side of the field, senior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland accumulated two saves. This season, McClelland has saved 32 shots with a save percentage of approximately 76 percent.

In addition to having a sizable lead in the conference in goals, Rutgers also is on top in the Big Ten standings. Sitting at a perfect 5-0, the Knights are the only unbeaten team remaining in conference play. This includes wins over previously-ranked Penn State as well as Ohio State, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Rutgers will stay at home to face off against Iowa on Sunday at Yurcak Field. The game is set to start at noon and will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+.

“I'm just so proud of this team. There's fight. There's grit. We talked about Jersey pride. We don't quit,” Provenzano said after the game. “We knew from the start that it was gonna be a battle. Two undefeated teams left in the Big Ten. We knew that we wanted to come out on top. You could see we put in all the work, and there was no one who was stopping us today.”

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

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