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No. 16 Rutgers field hockey starts season off strong

Senior halfback Iris Langejans scored a goal and registered two assists in the Rutgers field hockey team's first two games of the season. – Photo by Rich Graessle/

The Rutgers field hockey team's season got off to a fast start last week. The Scarlet Knights (2-0, 0-0) won both their opening week games and did not allow a single goal in either game.

No. 16 Rutgers started its season on the road and is in the midst of playing three games in California. The Knights started their California road trip by defeating UC Davis 2-0 on Friday.

Rutgers took control of the game from the opening minute and dictated the pace of play throughout the contest. The Knights were on the offensive for most of the game as they attempted 16 shots, 8 of which were on target. The Aggies (0-2, 0-0) were only able to muster 5 shots all game, only 2 of those shots being on target.

Rutgers broke through late in the second period on a penalty corner opportunity when senior forward Bridy Molyneaux received the ball from senior halfback Iris Langejans and found the back of the goal. That would be the last shot of the second period by either team, sending the Knights into halftime with a 1-0 advantage.

Rutgers continued pressuring UC Davis in the third and fourth periods, drawing four more penalty corners and taking eight more shots. In the third period, the Knights' offensive efforts were not rewarded, but early in the fourth period, a goal from junior midfielder Guillermina Causarano doubled Rutgers' advantage.

Causarano's goal came right in front of the cage on a redirection from a shot from sophomore midfielder Vicky Jure.

Junior goalkeeper Sophia Howard did not have much to do but saved both of the Aggies' shots on target and recorded her seventh career shutout.

The Knights kept their positive momentum going against Stanford, earning another 2-0 victory on Sunday.

Rutgers struck early in its game against the Cardinals (0-2, 0-0), as sophomore defender Puck Winter put the Knights ahead just less than 9 minutes into the first period. Rutgers scored 53 seconds later, as it got a penalty stroke opportunity where Langejans stepped up to the dot and scored. The Knights would be on the front foot throughout the game, but those were the only two goals they scored.

Rutgers dominated the scoring opportunities as it took 12 more shots than Stanford and seven more shots on goal. The Knights also attempted three more penalty corners than the Cardinals throughout the game.

Howard once again had very little to do between the pipes. She made one save on Stanford's only shot on goal and earned another shutout.

Langejans had a particularly strong game against the Cardinals as she not only converted her penalty stroke opportunity but also picked up an assist on Winter's goal.

Rutgers will look to stay undefeated on its California road trip as it takes on University of California Berkeley at 4 p.m. today. The Knights game against the Golden Bears (0-2, 0-0) will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

For more updates on the Rutgers field hockey team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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