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No. 8 Rutgers women's soccer starts season-ending road trip at Michigan

The Rutgers women's soccer team travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for one of its final games of the regular season.  – Photo by RUTGERS WOMEN'S SOCCER / Twitter

Following a Senior Day victory at home against Wisconsin, the Rutgers women’s soccer team will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Thursday to take on Michigan. The No. 8 Scarlet Knights (13-1-2, 5-1-2) begin a two-game road trip to end the regular season against the Wolverines (6-7-3, 1-5-2) in a rematch of last year’s Big Ten Championship game.

As Rutgers battles with the defending Big Ten champions for the first time since November 2021, the Knights come in with three wins in their last four games, with wins against Wisconsin, Purdue and Indiana and a tie to Minnesota.

Junior midfielders Becci Fluchel and Sara Brocious carried Rutgers to its most recent win to end regular season play at Yurcak Field on Busch campus. Fluchel scored her 3rd goal of the season off a penalty kick while Brocious tapped home her 4th goal of the season off a feed from junior forward Allison Lowrey and sophomore midfielder Kylie Daigle.

With the Knights downing a Badgers (10-4-2, 6-0-1) team that was ahead of them in the Big Ten standings, Rutgers currently stands in third place behind Northwestern and Michigan State. 

Meanwhile, Michigan enters the matchup on a three-game losing streak, with the most recent defeat at home against Penn State. In those three games, the Wolverines have been outscored 8-0, with their last goal coming in a 1-1 tie against Iowa on October 2. 

The Knights have been solid on the road this season with a record of 4-1-1 while holding a 9-0-1 record in Piscataway. Michigan, on the other hand, has been a much better team away from U-M Soccer Stadium with a 5-3-1 record on the road.

The home field seems to be an issue for the Wolverines, as they currently stand at 1-4-2 on home ground. The only home win for the team this season came on August 18 against Washington State to begin the season. 

As Rutgers continues to be led by the likes of Brocious, Lowrey and Daigle, Michigan has its own offensive leaders that are putting up similar statistics. Forward Sammi Woods has a team-high 7 goals and is tied for the team lead in points with Meredith Haakenson

In addition to her 15 points, Haakenson currently has 5 goals and five assists. This is two fewer assists than Daigle, who leads the Knights in the assist category.

Graduate student goalkeeper Meagan McClelland enters the week with more than 9,000 career minutes played, which is an all-time record in the history of college soccer. The Kearny, New Jersey, native has a record of 13-1-2 in 2022 and has recorded eight shutouts. Wolverines goalkeeper Izzy Nino has started in all of her team's games and has recorded a 5-6-3 record with three shutouts in 2022. 

Rutgers will look to avenge its Big Ten Championship loss this Thursday against Michigan on the Big Ten Network with kickoff at 7 p.m. Following that, the Knights will battle the No. 15 Spartans (12-1-3, 7-0-1) in East Lansing, Michigan, to end the regular season on Sunday. 

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

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