As Rutgers women’s soccer starts the 2022 season undefeated with eight straight non-conference victories, the No. 4 Scarlet Knights (8-0-0, 0-0-0) will face their first in-conference test on Sunday against Ohio State. At Yurcak Field on Busch campus, Rutgers will look to end a six-game homestand against the No. 21 Buckeyes (5-1-1, 0-0-0) with a ninth straight victory.
In eight games, the Knights have outscored opponents 27-5 with four victories coming via shutout. Junior midfielder Sam Kroeger and junior forward Allison Lowrey have led the charge with a combined 11 goals, four assists and 26 points.
Kroeger has a team-leading 6 goals and two assists through the beginning portion of the year. The West Milford, New Jersey, native is also coming off a 2-goal game against LSU this past Sunday. Kroeger scored the first and last goals in Rutgers’ comeback victory against the Tigers (5-1-2, 0-0-0).
Lowrey, who has 5 goals and two assists so far this season, is coming off a game-tying goal against La Salle on Sept. 8. The Bridgewater, New Jersey, native also scored the team’s 1st goal of the season on Aug. 18 at New Mexico.
Lowrey’s 5th of the season came against the Explorers (5-2-0, 0-0-0) and led to 3 answered goals for the Knights in the come-from-behind victory.
Along with Kroeger and Lowrey comes sophomore forward Kylie Daigle. Daigle, who has started in 7 of the 8 games this season, has 4 goals, two assists and 10 points.
Daigle has complemented Lowrey and Kroeger as an underclassmen scoring threat to go along with two junior playmakers.
“I have been playing with (Lowrey and Kroeger) for years before college and playing against them. I kind of have a good idea of how they play — they have a good idea of how I play,” Daigle said. “I think we just have really good chemistry.”
Rutgers is not only delivering offensively, but the Knights’ defensive line is also paying their fair share.
Senior back Allison Lynch is leading the way with nearly 700 minutes of gameplay this season. Lynch, along with sophomore backs Kassidy Banks and Emily Mason, have allowed fewer than 10 shots per game and a 28.6 shots on goal percentage.
The backline has assisted graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland with four shutouts this season. McClelland, along with her shutouts, has a goals against average of 0.65 and a save percentage of .737. The Kearny, New Jersey, native has faced 68 shots, with 14 saves and 5 goals allowed in nearly 700 minutes of play.
Rutgers comes into this matchup against a nationally ranked Ohio State team. Entering Piscataway this weekend, the Buckeyes are currently on a two-game winning streak with wins at Brown and at home against Kent State.
The Knights look to start Big Ten play with a ninth straight win overall. The game will start at 1 p.m. and will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+.
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