Piscataway, N.J. – The Rutgers women’s soccer team went into last night’s game against the Villanova Wildcats with a 7-1 record, a new 16th place ranking in the NSCAA, and two players on the Big East Honor Roll. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, that was not enough to guarantee a win in their Big East opener.
The game went largely in favor of Rutgers. In the first half, the Scarlet Knights out shot the Wildcats 6-5, but unfortunately Villanova sophomore Stephanie Myers was able to beat Rutgers’ goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins. The first half was fast, aggressive soccer for both teams although there was only one goal scored. Emmy Simpkins made three saves, while Villanova goalkeeper Kelsey Quinn made two.
The second half was dominated by Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights out shot the Wildcats 20-1, with both goalkeepers making excellent saves. A rocket shot from freshman Rachel Cole went off the crossbar, and Gabby Moreno took a shot that “we all thought would go in”, in the words of coach Glenn Crooks.
A yellow-card was delivered to Villanova sophomore Kathryn Rayner at 11:31 after she took down junior Jonelle Filigno in the box. The resulting penalty shot allowed Filigno to tie the score at 1. However, neither the Scarlet Knights nor the Wildcats were able to score during the remainder of the half and the game went into golden goal overtime. Villanova freshman Renee Hart was able to chip the ball into the net from ten yards out after Rutgers’ goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins came out of the net.
Coach Glenn Crooks was disappointed by the loss, and said “That’s soccer. I’ve been on both sides of it; every coach has. You have the run of play, but you don’t win the match, and sometimes you win against the run of play, and that’s the way it was tonight. But that doesn’t matter. Villanova has three points and we have a big zero in the Big East.”
However, the coach was incredibly proud of the team’s performance in the second half. “The second half was fantastic and we got the equalizer; well deserved. We put pressure on them…you can’t be unhappy with their effort in the second half and how we went at it. I think we have to figure out why we can’t do that in the first half and not give up set piece goals.”
Giving up set piece goals is something that the coach believes is a weak spot in his team. In regards to the set piece goal that gave the Wildcats their first goal, Crooks said “It’s the second game we’ve lost off a set piece goal and we’ve only lost two games, so there you have it.”
When asked what the team needed to take out of the loss against Villanova going into Sunday’s game, Crooks said “they better hold their heads high, and they better recover, and they better do everything properly with their bodies and nutrition and their training tomorrow. We will be ready to go on Sunday.” The Scarlet Knights take on Georgetown on Sunday, 09/16/12, at 12:00 PM.