The Rutgers field hockey team is entering its final weekend of regular season play. The Scarlet Knights (15-1, 6-1) will travel to face off against Iowa on Friday in its home state.
After last week's games, No. 3 Rutgers holds its highest ranking of the season. The Knights fell in a penalty shootout to Northwestern in their last match. Rutgers is looking to bounce back against a tough Hawkeyes (12-4, 3-4) team this week.
No. 8 Iowa has taken a slight dip in the rankings after losing to Maryland and Penn State last weekend.
Dionne van Aalsum has been the driving force behind the Hawkeyes' success this year. The freshman leads the entire NCAA with 25 goals this season. Van Aalsum has scored approximately 61 percent of Iowa's goals on the year.
While the Knights are having one of their best seasons, they have historically struggled against Iowa. Rutgers has a 3-10-1 all-time record against the Hawkeyes and has not beaten Iowa since 2018.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Sophia Howard will look to continue her dominant form and stifle Van Aalsum and the rest of the Hawkeyes attack on Friday. Howard currently ranks sixth in the nation in save percentage. She has saved 81 percent of the shots she has faced and has a stellar .90 goals-against-average, which ranks fifth in the country.
With a win on Friday, the Knights would be three victories away from tying their program's record for wins in a season. It could also earn them a partial share of the Big Ten regular season title if the Wildcats (15-1, 7-0) lose to Maryland on Thursday. But if No. 1 Northwestern wins, it will take the regular season title regardless of Rutgers' outcome.
Friday's match will begin at 5 p.m. and be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.
After closing out the regular season against Iowa, the Knights will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to compete in the Big Ten Tournament from November 2 to November 5.
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