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No. 15 Rutgers field hockey faces pair of ranked in-state rivals this weekend

The Rutgers field hockey team faces a challenging weekend against two in-state rivals. – Photo by Rutgers Field Hockey / Twitter

The Rutgers field hockey team has a busy weekend ahead, facing two ranked opponents today and Sunday. The No. 15 Scarlet Knights (2-2, 0-0) will travel to Long Branch, New Jersey, to face Monmouth before returning home to host Princeton. Rutgers will recognize Military Appreciation Day on Sunday.

The Knights face a weekend against two New Jersey schools after having hosted their first four games at home. Rutgers went 2-2 in its first two weeks of gameplay, falling to now-No. 16 Duke and No. 12 Saint Joe’s.

The Knights are hitting the road for the first time this season to meet with the No. 25 Hawks (2-1, 1-0). Monmouth is coming off of an overtime conference win at home against Delaware. Aylin Aufenacker leads the Hawks with two assists, and Annick van Lange paces the program with 2 goals. Aufenacker was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the NFHCA.

Phileine Hazen is in goal for Monmouth, a freshman with a 1.65 goals against average (GAA) on the season so far. Hazen was named the Colonial AA Rookie of the Week after her first week of action. 

Last time the two teams met, Rutgers took the win with a close 3-2 final. The Knights have a 6-4 advantage over the Hawks in all-time meetings, having won three consecutive matches in the series. 

Rutgers will head back home on Sunday to play the Tigers (0-2, 0-0) at Bauer Field on Busch campus at 3 p.m. Princeton awaits a match with No. 7 Syracuse on Friday before the team faces the Knights. That game will mark three-straight contests against top-10 ranked teams for the Tigers.

In this week’s NFHCA poll, 13 of Rutgers’ scheduled opponents are ranked, eight of those opponents being in the top 10. 

Knights sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Howard is coming off of a nice week with two shutout saves against La Salle and UConn, averaging five saves per game with a 1.33 GAA. She also collected a career-high of 10 saves in her first game of the season against the Blue Devils (2-2, 0-0).

Game time will begin for Rutgers at noon today in Long Branch, with the game available to stream on FloSports. The Knights will return to Big Ten Network+ on Sunday at 3 p.m. when they face off against Princeton at Bauer Field. Both games will have live stats available alongside their streams.

For more updates on the Rutgers field hockey team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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