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Rutgers women's soccer set to start 2022 spring schedule

Sophomore forward Riley Tiernan looks to build off of her impressive freshman season as the Rutgers women’s soccer team begins its spring schedule this weekend.  – Photo by Steve Hockstein / Scarletknights

The Rutgers women’s soccer team opens its 2022 with a slate of spring games starting on Friday. The No. 3 Scarlet Knights' (19-4-2, 10-0-0) first opponent is FC Laval, a semi-professional soccer club based in Laval, Quebec.

Rutgers is coming off its most successful season to date. Last fall, the Knights traveled to Santa Clara, California, to play in the NCAA College Cup Final Four for the first time in program history. The program lost to eventual-champion Florida State in the semifinal round.

Their semifinal placement marked the longest bout in the College Cup since the 2015 squad’s first-round knockout.

Before the College Cup, Rutgers finished with a perfect conference record for the first time in program history and the best since any other Big Ten team since 2005. The perfect record resulted in the first Big Ten regular-season title in program history. 

As a No. 1 seed in the College Cup, the Knights breezed past Saint Louis in the second round after beating Bucknell in the first. Rutgers then edged two consecutive penalty-kick victories against TCU and Arkansas in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight before ultimately seeing its luck run out in the Final Four against the Seminoles (22-1-2, 7-1-2).

The Big Ten champions had accolades across the roster last fall. Led by Big Ten and ECAC Coach of the Year Mike O’Neill, the Knights will return eight starters from last fall’s starting lineup against Florida State.

One of those players is sophomore forward and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Riley Tiernan, who was the team leader in assists and third in goals in 2021. Along with Tiernan, junior forward Allison Lowrey and junior midfielders Sam Kroeger and Sara Brocious return to help fill the void left from departing stars Frankie Tagliaferri, Amirah Ali and Gabby Provenzano.

Filling the void of Tagliaferri will be a tall task. Tagliaferri and Ali were the top two goal and point scorers while Provenzano was second on the team in minutes and was the Big Ten Defender of the Year.

Tagliaferri was also named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and joined Ali and Provenzano as All-Americans.

Rutgers' 2022 spring schedule will consist of three home games at Yurcak Field on Busch campus against FC Laval, Temple and Columbia and three games away from Piscataway against Villanova, Monmouth and Drexel.

“We preach 28 strong, and we're definitely a family. We go through everything together,” said Ali after the College Cup. “We don't leave anyone out to dry. We're always there for each other."

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

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