After coming into the Big Ten Tournament as the sixth seed, the Rutgers men’s soccer team was eliminated after dropping its quarterfinal game 1-0 to the third-seeded Indiana. The Scarlet Knights (9-6-2, 3-4-1) now have to wait until next Monday when the field of 48 teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament is announced.
Rutgers dealt with bad luck early in the game, as junior midfielder Jackson Temple, the team’s leading scorer this season, suffered an injury in the 6th minute and was not able to return to the match.
The Knights had their best chance of the game in the 23rd minute, when junior defender Chris Tiao found himself inside the 18-yard box with just the keeper to beat, but his shot on goal was saved by Roman Celentano, the Big Ten’s Goalkeeper of the Year this season.
Despite having less shots in both halves, the Hoosiers (13-4-1, 5-3-0) scored the only goal of the match in the 26th minute, when Samuel Sarver finished a shot in the bottom left corner of the net off of a through ball from Herbert Endeley.
Rutgers had two more shots on goal through the rest of the match, but Celentano kept a clean sheet to advance Indiana to the semifinals, where it will face off against the seventh-seeded Northwestern, who upset the second seed in its quarterfinal matchup.
The Knights failed to defeat the Hoosiers after claiming victory over them in the regular season, beating the then-No. 11 Indiana 2-1 in Bloomington, Indiana on Sept. 17.
The loss marks the second consecutive year that Rutgers bowed out of the Big Ten Tournament in the first round, losing to Maryland on penalty kicks in last year’s quarterfinals.
Freshman midfielder Matthew Acosta was a unanimous choice for the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and joining him on the freshman team is defender Joey Zalinsky. Sophomore forward Ola Maeland was named the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner for Rutgers.
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