The Rutgers women’s soccer team found out what it will take to compete with the elite teams in college soccer.
The Scarlet Knights faced No. 4 Virginia in Charlottesville Friday night (September 6) and lost, 6-0, in the opening round of the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic before 1,638 fans at Klockner Stadium.
It was the first loss of the season for Rutgers (4-1) who entered the match looking to secure their first win over a top-ranked opponent. Ironically, it was a pair of New Jersey natives for Virginia that caused the defensive-minded Scarlet Knights the most difficulty on the offensive end. UVA junior midfielder, Danielle Colaprico (Freehold,NJ,Red Bank Catholic), scored twice, and sophomore forward and Virginia’s leading scorer, Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown,NJ,Paul VI), added another.
Colaprico scored both her goals in the second half; the first coming on a rocket from 25-yards, and the second on a pretty volley off a ball from fellow teammate and USA national team member Morgan Brian.
“I’ve been looking to take the initiative in the attacking area,” said Colaprico, a junior psychology major. “It feels good to play well against Rutgers. Little extra incentive, as I’ve played with and against many of the girls on the other side.”
Colaprico’s teammate, Ratcliffe, had similar emotions as she scored her team-high 5th goal just before the half on a beautiful trap and turn that whistled past the outstretched reach of Rutgers’ keeper Jessica Janosz (RingwoodNJ,Lakeland).
“Being from south Jersey, it was a little extra incentive to play well tonight,” said Ratcliffe. “We work hard on playing quick and aggressive. It was a great effort for us. Rutgers played tough defense, but we have been working hard and it paid off tonight.”
For Rutgers, it was a match of frustration on the offensive end. The Scarlet Knights found themselves in a defensive mode for most of the evening. Rutgers was only able to get off two shots all evening, both in the second half. In contrast, Virginia had 19 shots.
Rutgers senior forward and Canadian national team player, Jonelle Filigno, was thwarted on a counter-attack.
Sophomore forward Rachel Cole (Teaneck,NJ, Dwight Englewood) had a free kick which was handled easily by Virginia’s keeper, Morgan Stearns.
“We defended very well in the first half,” noted Filigno, who expects to continue playing for the Canadian national team as well as a professional after her final season. ”It was a frustrating game for me. I had very few opportunities to create. Virginia is so tough.”
The Scarlet Knights will return to the soccer pitch on Sunday, September 8, when they face William and Mary in their final match of the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic.