For the first time since 2008, Rutgers field hockey found themselves in the national rankings. The Scarlet Knights are ranked No. 22 in the nation in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Coaches Poll which was released on Tuesday.
The current 4-0 start is their best since that 2008 season. In addition to shutout victories over Penn (1-0) and Towson (9-0) to go with a 4-1 win over defending MAC champion Kent State, the Scarlet Knights defeated No. 23 Old Dominion on Sunday, by a score of 5-1.
Head coach Meredith Civico has developed a unique roster mix with local and international talent. Despite losing Alyssa Bull to graduation, the Scarlet Knights roster if full of talent from some returning experienced players as well as many newcomers.
One newcomer that has been a major plus so far this season is freshman Daphne Groothuis. She leads the team with six goals and 15 points and has twice been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
Another key freshman has been goalkeeper Gianna Glatz who currently boasts a 0.57 goals-against-average and .895 save percentage. The Scarlet Knights have outscored their opponents 19-2 thus far this season.
Of the returning players, junior Linde Van Schaik and redshirt sophomore Austyn Cuneo have each tallied three goals through the first four games.
Rutgers field hockey has put itself of the national landscape, joining perennial New Jersey powerhouse, Princeton. The Tigers, ranked 12th nationally, host the Scarlet Knights, Friday at 4pm.
Rutgers joins other Big Ten foes Penn State (No. 3), Michigan (No. 7), Maryland (No. 11), and Ohio State (No. 23) in the Top 25 rankings. The Scarlet Knights first Big Ten contest is Sept. 22 against Indiana.