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Rutgers women's soccer opens NCAA Tournament with win over Bucknell

Senior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland recorded her 12th shutout of the season as the Rutgers women's soccer team defeated Bucknell 2-0, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. – Photo by Olivia Thiel

The Rutgers women’s soccer team shut out Bucknell in a 2-0 win to secure a trip to the second round in the 2021 Division I NCAA College Cup. Its next game will host Saint Louis this Friday. Times will be released after the weekend games have concluded.

The No. 1 seed held true for the Scarlet Knights (18-3-0, 10-0-0) after they bagged their first win of the tournament. After inclement weather on Saturday postponing the game to Sunday, Rutgers still got the job done in its 10th straight NCAA Tournament appearance. 

The Knights never let up this match, putting 17 shots on target and posting their second-highest tally of shots on goal this season. Senior midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri’s opening goal of the game was first saved by Jenna Hall and then blocked again before finding the back of the net. 

Hall posted a staggering 15 saves in her most challenging match to date. A season-high for saves and shots faced for the keeper. Meanwhile, senior goalkeeper Meagan McClelland stopped six Bison (11-8-3, 5-2-2) shots and earned Rutgers' 12th shutout of the season.

Freshman forward Riley Tiernan scored the nail in the coffin in the 60th minute after rounding the 18-yard-box to net home her fifth goal of the season. On her birthday of all days, she netted the final goal of the game.

Bucknell came close to a consolation goal after Teresa Deda rattled the crossbar in the 76th minute. The Knights ended the Bison’s season and their previous four-game win streak in their fifth NCAA tournament appearance. This was their best performance defensively in the tournament after the previous three-goal conceding against 2001 squad Penn State and 2017 team West Virginia.

Bucknell’s previous game won it its fifth Patriot League title in a 1-0 defeat over Boston.

Rutgers hopes to rekindle its previous record-breaking win streak in the College Cup after yesterday's win. The Knights’ only losses this season have been against tournament teams, Princeton, Michigan and Georgetown. They all have a chance of facing the Knights once again in this bracket.

Rutgers now advances to the second round of the tournament against the Billikens (13-8-1, 7-3-0). A Kickoff time is to be announced.

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

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