The Rutgers field hockey team defeated the University of California Berkeley and UConn this week to remain undefeated this season. The Scarlet Knights (4-0, 0-0) also picked up their first ranked win of the season by defeating the Huskies (1-3, 0-0).
Rutgers kicked off the week with a 2-1 win against the Golden Bears (1-3, 0-0) on Monday.
The Knights evened the score later in the first quarter when sophomore back Puck Winter scored off a penalty corner. Junior midfielder Guillermina Causarano and sophomore midfielder Vicky Jure picked up the assists.
The second quarter was more defensive as Rutgers only attempted three shots, and the Bears managed one. The Knights headed into halftime with the score tied 1-1.
Rutgers went back on the offensive in the third quarter, and its efforts paid off late in the quarter when Causarano got a rebounded pass and shot it into the back of the cage. It was Causarano's 2nd goal of the season.
Berkeley started pressing for an equalizing goal in the fourth quarter, attempting four shots in the final quarter. The Knights' defense and Howard were able to stand strong, though, as Howard made three crucial saves in the last 15 minutes to keep Rutgers' 1-goal advantage.
The win meant the Knights went undefeated during their three-game California road trip.
Rutgers went back on the road to Storrs, Connecticut, to take on No. 15 UConn on Friday. The Knights kept their positive momentum going with a 2-1 shootout win over the Huskies.
The game was evenly matched in the first two quarters as Rutgers took one more shot, but neither team could find the back of the cage.
The Knights got the breakthrough goal just less than 7 minutes into the third quarter when Causarano buried the ball into the back of the cage.
Rutgers' lead was short-lived, though, as Julia Bressler scored the equalizer for UConn at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams took three shots in the fourth quarter but failed to find the back of the cage, so the game went into overtime.
The Huskies held the shot advantage in both 10-minute overtime periods, but Howard stayed strong in front of the net, making two saves in overtime. Her two overtime saves capped off an outstanding day for Howard, where she made nine total saves.
After two 10-minute overtime rounds, the score remained deadlocked, so the game went into a shootout.
The shootout lasted a lengthy 10 rounds, but the deadlock was finally broken in the final round after junior midfielder Paulina Niklaus scored her attempt, and Howard saved Madi Herb'shot. Niklaus was credited with the game-winning goal that gave the Knights a 2-1 victory.
Rutgers will continue its road trip and head down to Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, to take on Villanova on Friday. The game will start at 6 p.m. and will be broadcasted on FloSports.
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