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Rutgers men's soccer falls to Princeton in rivalry match

The Rutgers men's soccer team is still winless after three games with their loss to Princeton on Friday. – Photo by Kim Montuoro /

The Rutgers men's soccer team traveled roughly 19 miles to take on in-state rivals Princeton on Friday. The Scarlet Knights (0-2-1, 0-0) suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Tigers (1-0, 0-0) and remained winless to start the season.

Princeton started the game with the majority of the possession. Rutgers was forced to sit deep in its half and try to counterattack to generate shots.

The Tigers would eventually break the deadlock in the 11th minute off a corner kick. Nico Nee swung the ball into the box to Daniel Ittycheria, who headed it past sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton.

The Knights had their best chance of the game approximately 12 minutes later when sophomore forward Ian Abbey forced Khamari Hadaway into a strong save.

Rutgers trailed 1-0 but carried some attacking momentum heading into the second half, but the Knights couldn't find an equalizing goal. Princeton would double its lead in the 68th minute after winning a penalty kick. Nee stepped up to the spot and placed his penalty kick in the bottom left corner to give the Tigers a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Rutgers struggled to get back in the game and started to commit more fouls. As a result, junior defender Bryan Keating received a red card in the 82nd minute and was sent off the field. The Knights would play the final 10 minutes of the game with only 10 players on the pitch.

Despite the momentum swinging toward Princeton, Rutgers got on the scoreboard just 2 minutes after the red card. Junior midfielder Matthew Acosta found space just outside the box and shot the ball into the bottom left corner to cut the deficit back to 1 goal.

With approximately 8 minutes remaining, the Knights battled to level the game but were ultimately unsuccessful.

Despite the loss, Rutgers had the majority of the shots in the game. The Knights attempted 26 shots, while the Tigers took 15 shots.

Hadaway played a crucial role in Princeton's win, making six saves between the posts.

The physicality of a rivalry game was on full display as both sides committed more than 10 fouls and received four disciplinary cards each.

Rutgers will return to Yurcak Field on Busch campus when they face Saint Peter's tomorrow. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big Ten Network+ and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

For more updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on X.

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