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Rutgers men’s soccer opens up Big Ten play against Northwestern

Senior midfielder Jackson Temple and the Rutgers men's soccer team begin their Big Ten slate with a road matchup against Northwestern. – Photo by Ben Solomon /

Tomorrow night, the Rutgers men’s soccer team will open up Big Ten play against Northwestern. The Scarlet Knights (3-1-2, 0-0-0) are currently on a four-game unbeaten streak and a two-game win streak with their last win coming against Albany on Tuesday night.

Rutgers was able to get 5 goals past the Great Danes (1-4-1, 0-0-0) on its way to a dominant 5-1 victory. All 5 goals came in the second half, and 2 goals came off the boot of senior midfielder Jackson Temple, who had two assists as well.

Over the last four games, the Knights have bounced back defensively. In the first two games, Rutgers allowed 8 goals combined, but in its last four games, the team has only allowed 5 goals combined. The Knights will look to keep up the strong performances against the Wildcats (1-3-2, 0-0-0).

The attack has been a bright spot for Rutgers. The program is averaging 2.5 goals per game and 16 shots per game. In contrast, the Knights’ opponents average only 2.17 goals per game and 10 shots per game. 

Where Rutgers can improve upon is its shots on goal (SOG) percentage. Despite averaging six more shots per game than their opponents, the Knights' SOG percentage is only 35.4 percent while their opponents' shot-on-goal percentage is 48.3 percent.

Rutgers’ attack has been led by Temple and senior forward MD Myers. Myers leads the team with 6 goals on the season, with those 6 goals coming in only six games. Myers has also chipped in two assists, which gives him a team-leading 14 points on the season. 

Temple has also shined for the Knights. The Millville, Pennsylvania, native has a team-leading four assists and is second on the team with 3 goals. Other than Myers, he is the only Rutgers player with double-digit points. 

Temple and Myers often combine together on the right wing and will most likely look to do so again against Northwestern.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats have struggled to start the season with only one win on the season so far against Houston Baptist earlier this week. 

The main cause of Northwestern’s struggles has been scoring goals. The Wildcats are only averaging 11 shots per game and .83 goals per game. They have not scored a goal in 4 out of their 6 games and have only scored 2 goals in their last five games. The Northwestern backline is allowing 16.5 shots per game and 2 goals per game.

Rutgers will have to watch Justin Weiss, who is tied for the team lead with 3 points. Weiss has 1 goal and one assist on the season.

The game will kick off at 7 p.m. as the Knights looks to go undefeated in their first homestand of the season.

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

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