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No. 8 Rutgers field hockey set to start season in Battle on the Banks

The Rutgers field hockey team looks to continue its success from 2021 as the program hosts the Battle on the Banks to open up its 2022 campaign. – Photo by Rutgers Field Hockey / Twitter

The Rutgers field hockey team will open up its 2022 season this Friday. The No. 8 Scarlet Knights will first face Duke tomorrow as part of the Battle on the Banks. Rutgers will host this tournament this weekend at the Bauer Track and Field Complex on Livingston campus.

The Knights are coming off a record-breaking 2021 season, where they set multiple new records and made history for their program. Rutgers bested its previous program record for wins with a new high of 19 wins to only four losses, with 13 of those wins coming against ranked opponents. Among those ranked wins, the Knights defeated six top-10 teams, including their highest ranked team ever defeated in No. 2 Michigan.  

To top off the program's 2021 successes, Rutgers was crowned Big Ten Tournament champions, giving the University its first-ever Big Ten Tournament title since joining the conference and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

After a year of firsts and major successes, the Knights are ready to take 2022 by storm. With some returning players and a large incoming class of athletes, Rutgers is set up for another successful year under head coach Meredith Civico. 

Although the program lost 11 players, including a talented senior class, two of the top scorers for the Knights will be returning for 2022. Junior forward Bridy Molyneaux will return to her slot on the team where she collected 13 points in 23 games. Sophomore forward Lucy Bannatyne is also returning following her 17-point, 8-goal season in 2021. 

Rutgers is welcoming eight new student-athletes to the field this season with four New Jersey natives and four international students. Each of the newest Knights will be looking to pick up where last season left off. 

Some of the new student-athletes include freshman goalkeeper Erica Babitts. The Ramsey, New Jersey, native was a four-year starter at Ramsey High School and will look to fill the shoes of former Rutgers star Gianna Glatz, who graduated last year.

“(Babitts) is a talented goalkeeper who we know will thrive in a high-performance environment. An excellent shot-stopper, she will push the rest of the team to be their very best," Civico said.

Among the new international students is graduate student midfielder Marique Dieudonne by way of Asten, Netherlands. She will earn her master’s degree in Piscataway while playing for the Knights.

“It's really exciting to have so many newcomers on the team. Early in the preseason, every day was a pleasant surprise. I've been so impressed with all of the new players," Civico said.

The team will open up its season this Friday against the Blue Devils at 1 p.m. and then face Saint Joseph’s on Sunday at 4 p.m. Both games will be available to watch on Big Ten Network+. 

“We have a new group. We lost 11 players, but you walk into the locker room, and you still feel that same culture and that desire to be great in everything we do. I'm really excited about this season and really looking forward to it," Civico said.

For more updates on the Rutgers Field Hockey team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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