For the first time since 2007, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights women’s soccer team has started the season 4-0. Head coach Glenn Crooks has seen his team play excellent defense and continuously put pressure on opposing goalkeepers.
It’s been a complete team effort. Junior star Jonelle Filigno returned from the Olympics, where she was a member of Team Canada, to score two goals in Rutgers’ season opening 3-0 win over Monmouth. Shannon Woeller scored the other goal for the Scarlet Knights while goalkeepers Emmy Simpkins and Jessica Janosz held Monmouth scoreless.
Rutgers needed overtime to get their second win of the season, a 1-0 win over Ohio State. Filigno once again led Rutgers, scoring the match’s only goal. Simpkins and Janosz combined to make five saves in the win.
Bucknell was the first team to get on the scoreboard against Rutgers this season, taking a 1-0 lead into halftime. The Scarlet Knights, however. battled back, scoring two goals in the second half, both by Filigno. Rutgers would win this matchup 2-1 for their third straight victory.
On Sunday, Rutgers constantly pressured the Siena defense and goalkeeper Taylor Booth. The Scarlet Knights outshot Siena 26-1. The one shot marks the lowest for an opponent since Stony Brook in August of 2010. Meanwhile, the 26 shots were the most by Rutgers since October of 2010 against Cincinnati.
Despite the 26 shots, Rutgers was unable to put any in the net. The game’s only score was an own goal by Siena’s Lisa Valenziano. Gabby Moreno hit a cross that would get into the box. Valenziano tried to head it away, but the ball instead went into the net, giving Rutgers the lead and eventual game winner.
The win not only gave Rutgers it’s best start since 2007, but it was also their first four-game win streak since Oct. 11-23, 2009. Rutgers has outscored opponents 7-1 so far this season.
Filigno leads the team with five goals and Maria Gerew leads with two assists. The goalie partnership of Simpkins and Janosz has been solid behind the defense. Simpkins has started all four games this season, while Janosz comes in later.
Rutgers, currently ranked No. 24, will travel to College Station, Texas, to play two games this weekend. Friday night they will battle No. 12 Texas A&M, followed by a Sunday morning match with Sam Houston State.
The next home game for the Rutgers women will be Friday, September 7, when they host Stony Brook. Big East play will not begin until the following Friday (14th) when Rutgers hosts Villanova.