The Rutgers women’s soccer team continued its perfect start to the season today with a 2-0 win over Ohio State. With the win, the preseason favorites to win the Big Ten became the only team in program history to start the season 9-0-0.
The first score of the afternoon came early when junior forward Allison Lowrey found the back of the net in just the 5th minute. The goal marked the 6th of the season for Lowrey, which is tied for the team-high with junior midfielder Sam Kroeger.
Lowrey’s goal was the only score of the first half in a half where the No. 21 Buckeyes (5-2-1, 0-1-0) outshot the No. 4 Scarlet Knights (9-0-0, 1-0-0) 6-5. In addition, Rutgers had two corner kicks to Ohio State’s zero while graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland had the period’s only save.
The Knights upped the pressure in the second half with 15 shots to the Buckeyes' six. This amounted to the game-sealing goal from Rutgers in the 54th minute from junior midfielder Sara Brocious. The rest of the game featured no goals thanks in part to one more McClelland save.
“It's a great feeling,” Brocious said. “We set these goals at the beginning of the year. We were proud of going undefeated out of conference, but we always say conference play is a new slate.”
The shutout marked McClelland’s 39th career shutout, which is the most among active players in the NCAA. In combination with McClelland, the Knights' defense has held its first nine opponents to five shots on goal or less.
Three players that were heavily responsible for the stout Rutgers defense were junior midfielder Becci Fluchel, senior back Allison Lynch and sophomore back Emily Mason, who all played for the full 90 minutes.
On the other side of the field was sophomore midfielder Kylie Daigle. While she did not score a goal, the Millville, New Jersey, native recorded a point for the seventh consecutive match thanks to her assist on Brocious’ goal.
Looking at the team as a whole, the Knights accumulated 20 shots on the afternoon, with five of those coming on goal. The program also had one less corner kick than Ohio State but did commit four fewer fouls.
With a six-game homestand now in the rearview mirror, Rutgers will travel to University Park, Pennsylvania, to take on Penn State on Thursday. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.
“We came out knowing what we did last year, knowing how much more we can do, and we have so much faith in ourselves,” Brocious said. “We are proud but excited to see what else we can do."
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