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No. 14 Rutgers women's soccer collapses late in loss at Michigan

The No. 14 Rutgers women's soccer team suffered a second-half collapse in a road loss to Michigan. – Photo by

Following a 2-0 win on Senior Day, the Rutgers women's soccer team dropped its second game this season against a Big Ten opponent. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the No. 14 Scarlet Knights (13-2-2, 5-2-2) were defeated by Michigan 3-2 at U-M Soccer Stadium.

Even though Rutgers lost to the Wolverines (7-7-3, 2-5-2) for the first time since last year's Big Ten championship game, the Knights are starting to pick up their offense yet again. With three Big Ten wins in the last five games, Rutgers has scored 10 goals in five in-conference matchups against not only Michigan but also Purdue, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

For the fifth straight game, the Knights scored the opening goal. Within the first 85 seconds, junior midfielder Sara Brocious scored her 5th goal of the season off a feed from fellow junior midfielder Sam Kroeger. Brocious found the back of the net for the second straight game, registering her 5th point in six games.

Nearly 9 minutes later, sophomore forward Riley Tiernan scored for the third time this season by blasting a shot on the right side of the goal. For the second time in three matchups, Tiernan scored in the first half. Before these last 2 goals, the underclassman totaled 1 goal in 14 games. 

After one half of play, Rutgers led 2-0. The Knights outshot the Wolverines 7-3, with Rutgers putting five of its shots on goal. 

The second half saw the Knights continue controlling the pace of play until Michigan cut the deficit in half. 

At 64:15, Sarah Bridenstine scored her 3rd of the season to make it 2-1. The junior scored the 1st strike for the Wolverines in the game and her 1st goal since September 11 at Toledo. 

Following the 1st goal, Michigan scored the equalizer before the 80th minute. At 77:29, Jenna Lang tied up the match at 2-2. With assists from Vickie Jones and Kacey Lawrence, the Wolverines created a brand new ball game.

After the equalizer, Michigan grabbed its first lead. Lawrence registered her second assist off Lang's 2nd goal in 2 minutes. Lang's 2 goals in 121 seconds gave the Wolverines a lead, solidifying 3 unanswered goals to mount a comeback.

Rutgers scrambled in the last 10 minutes to tie the game but fell short as 90 minutes expired.

The Knights play No. 6 Michigan State next on Sunday at 2 p.m. to conclude the regular season in East Lansing, Michigan.

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

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