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Rutgers men's soccer wins Big Ten opener over Northwestern

Senior defender Hugo Le Guennec recorded an assist as the Rutgers men's soccer team defeated Northwestern in its first Big Ten matchup of the season. – Photo by Rutgers Men's Soccer / Twitter

Yesterday evening, the Rutgers men’s soccer team opened up Big Ten play by defeating Northwestern 4-2. The win extended the Scarlet Knights’ (4-1-2, 1-0-0) unbeaten streak to five games and extended their win streak to three games.

Rutgers started the scoring in the 2nd minute of the game when a pass from junior midfielder Jason Bouregy found freshman midfielder Cole Cruthers way outside the box. Cruthers let a shot fly that found the bottom left of the net and gave the Knights a 1-0 lead.

Ethan Dudley found the back of the net in the 20th minute to tie the game at 1-1 for the Wildcats (1-4-2, 0-1-0). The tie did not last long though as senior midfielder Jackson Temple scored for Rutgers to give the team a 2-1 lead in the 27th minute. The goal marked Temple’s 3rd goal in his last two games. 

“We have been doing a great job of creating chances," Temple said. "We've been working a lot on ways to find the back of the net, and the past couple of games, it has really been showing.”

In the first period, the Knights had eight more shots than Northwestern. Both teams had two corner kicks, and the Wildcats’ goalkeeper Paul Walters had four saves compared to Rutgers’ sophomore goalkeeper Aurie Briscoe’s one save in the first period. 

The second period started off quick for the Knights again. This time it was Bouregy who took a pass from senior defender Hugo Le Guennec, turned his body toward the goal and curled a shot into the bottom right corner to give Rutgers a 3-1 lead in the 50th minute.

The Knights would widen the lead to 4-1 in the 65th minute after a cross to the back post from junior forward Ola Maeland found the feet of Le Guennec who shot the ball over Walters and into the net.

Northwestern midfielder Eric Smits scored a consolation goal in the 79th minute to cut the Rutgers lead to 4-2 and that was all the goals that either side would score. The game ended in a 4-2 victory for the Knights and marked the second straight year that they won their Big Ten opener.

Rutgers took 23 shots overall with nine of them on target. For comparison, the Wildcats had 11 shots with seven on target. Each team had six corner kicks, and Northwestern committed 11 fouls whereas the Knights committed only eight fouls. 

Briscoe had a very strong game with five saves for Rutgers. Bouregy had a goal and an assist in the 56 minutes he played while Le Guennec also had a goal and an assist in the 90 minutes he played.

The Knights will look to extend their winning streak to four games when they head to Madison, Wisconsin, to take on Wisconsin on Friday.

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

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