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No. 24 Rutgers women's soccer begins NCAA Tournament at home against Brown

The Rutgers women's soccer team begins its quest for a trip to the College Cup on Saturday when it hosts Brown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  – Photo by Rutger's Womens Soccer /

Following a first-round exit to Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament, the Rutgers women’s soccer team earned its 11th straight NCAA Tournament berth Monday afternoon. This Saturday, the No. 24 Scarlet Knights (13-4-2, 5-3-2) will open the NCAA Tournament with a first-round matchup at Yurcak Field on Busch campus against Brown.

After starting the season 9-0-0, Rutgers finished up to this point with a 4-4-2 record including the Big Ten Tournament loss. With a loss to eventual Big Ten champion Penn State on September 22, the Knights took a step back after a nine-game winning streak that had Rutgers outscoring opponents 29-5.

In the upcoming NCAA Tournament, the Knights received a fifth seed, where Rutgers will host the first round but could play the rest of the tournament away from Piscataway if the program continues to advance.

The Knights enter Saturday led by their two leading scorers in junior midfielder Sam Kroeger and junior forward Allison Lowrey. Both players have scored 7 goals, with Kroeger having 19 points and Lowrey totaling 18 points on the season. Both players have a combined 7 game-winning goals this season.

Next on the stat sheet comes junior midfielder Sara Brocious and sophomore midfielder Kylie Daigle. Both players have 5 goals, seven assists and 17 points, and they have 3 game-winning goals combined. Sophomore forward Riley Tiernan also has contributed to the offense with 4 goals, six assists and 14 points. Tiernan scored the only goal for Rutgers in the team's 2-1 loss in the Big Ten Tournament.

Junior midfielder Becci Fluchel — who was the only Knight to be named to the All-Big Ten Tournament team — has totaled 3 goals, four assists and 10 points. Fluchel has registered 1 game-winning goal this season and has scored 2 of her 3 strikes off penalty kicks. 

The Bears (12-2-2, 5-0-1) enter the matchup after winning their third straight Ivy League Championship. With an in-conference title again, Brown outscored its opponents by a factor of four, 48-12. The Bears are led by two seniors, Brittany Raphino and Ava Seelenfreund, who each have 9 goals this season.

Raphino leads the team in scoring with 22 points, and the players have 7 game-winning goals and 41 points combined. Along with these two is Kira Maguire, who has registered 5 goals, five assists and 15 points.

Rutgers will begin its NCAA Tournament journey at 6 p.m. with the game being broadcasted on Big Ten Network+ and 88.7 WRSU-FM. The winner will move on to the next round to face either USC or UC Irvine.

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

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