Starting XI: Women’s Football #4 vs. Maryland

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers Women’s Football No. 4 (9-1-0, 1-1-0) hosts Maryland (2-5-5, 1-1-0) Sunday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. at Yurcak Field and live on the Big Ten Network.

The first 250 fans at Yurcak Field on Sunday will receive a Rutgers mini soccer ball, and each child wearing a Disney costume will be entered into a raffle to win a Rutgers prize pack.

HOW TO FOLLOW: Watch on the BTN/Fox Sports app | Live Statistics | WRSU | @ruwsoccer on Instagram


Rutgers suffered its first loss of the season Thursday night at No. 17 Penn State (6-1-2), losing a final score of 2-0 at a rainy and windy Jeffrey Field. The loss ended a 20-game regular-season winning streak for the Scarlet Knights.

“Credit to Penn State,” the head coach said Mike O’Neill. “They’re a good team, and these are the games you learn the most from. The most important thing is that we stick together and learn everything we can from this game.”

SEARCH FOR LANDS: Maryland started their season with four straight 1-1 draws before beating George Mason, 3-0. The Terps also earned their first-ever win over Michigan in their Big Ten opener, a 1-0 home win at College Park. In its only chance against a ranked team this season, Maryland suffered a narrow 1-0 loss to No. 24 Wake Forest on September 8.

The first nine games of 2022 have been low-scoring affairs for Maryland, which outscore opponents 10-8 after conceding three goals in a 3-2 loss to Illinois on Thursday night. Alina Stahl leads the group with eight points on three goals and two assists, while Mikayla Dayes added six points on two goals and two assists. Madeline Smith has a 1.00 goals-against average, .765 save percentage and two shutouts in goal. Smith won the Big Ten Goalie of the Week award this season, as well as a mention on College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week.

HISTORICAL START: The 2022 Scarlet Knights are the only team in Rutgers women’s soccer history to start a 9-0-0 season. They overtook the 8-0-0 start of the 2015 College Cup team, which lost its ninth game. Before the setback at Penn State, the Scarlet Knights had won 20 straight regular season games since Sept. 16, 2021. Prior to Thursday, the team’s last regular season loss was on Sept. 12, 2021, at Georgetown.

RUTGERS RANKED: RU have been ranked No. 4 in the latest national United Soccer Coaches poll for the second week in a row. The Scarlet Knights started at No. 6 in the preseason poll, marking 11 of the last 13 seasons Rutgers received votes in the national preseason vote, before moving to No. 3 in Week 1 after a 2-0-0 start – corresponding to the highest ranking in the program’s history.

  • In games on Sept. 22, Rutgers is among the nation’s leaders in goals (11th, 29), assists (8th, 28) and points (8th, 86). The 2.9 goals per game rank 14th in the country.
  • Sam Kroeger and Allison Lowrey each has three game-winning goals to rank 9th in the NCAA.
  • Riley Tiernan has six assists, ranking 11th in the NCAA.
  • Big Ten coaches voted to have Rutgers repeat as conference champions, tying for first place with Penn State in the annual preseason poll. The poll marks the first time in Rutgers Athletics history that a Scarlet Knight team has been selected No. 1, and it’s also the first time in conference history that the football preseason poll Women results in a tie for first place.

FAMILY STYLE: The Scarlet Knights’ early attack was fueled by an unselfish passing style and an unpredictable source of origin through five games. Twenty-three of their 29 goals have been assisted, and the total number of assists (28) follows the total goals (29) thanks to a single assist crediting double assists.

Fourteen different Scarlet Knights have recorded a point so far in 2022, including 11 different goalscorers. Nine goals spanning wins over Buffalo and Temple were all scored by different players, including all seven against Temple on September 1.

PATROL WITHOUT OBJECTIVE: Led by reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Emily Mason, who has played all 90 minutes in seven of his eight games this season, the Rutgers defense allows a 0.70 goals-against-average thanks to a miserly shooting defense. The Scarlet Knights have allowed six or fewer shots on goal in 10 games, including six with three or fewer shots on target allowed.

CLEANEST SHEET: With four shutouts in the first 10 games, the graduate student goaltender Meagan McClelland opens the 2022 season as the NCAA Division I career leader in shutouts with 39. With 8,582:27 minutes played in his career, McClelland is aiming for the NCAA’s all-time career record for minutes played of 8,998:07 established by Laurel Ivory of Virginia in 2021.

The Kearny goaltender has 13 shutouts and 83 saves on the year in 2021, including five clean sheets against league opponents in the hunt for the conference title. She maintained a GAA of 0.67 in net, helping RU extend their streak of eight consecutive seasons by registering a GAA of 0.77 or less.

THE HOLDING CHAMPIONS: The 10-0 Big Ten record in 2021 marked the first undefeated conference season in Rutgers women’s soccer history, becoming the first Big Ten team to accomplish the feat since 2005. RU topped conference competition 23 -6 en route to the school’s first Big Ten title. The 10-0 run was part of a program-record 13-game winning streak that continued into the Big Ten tournament.

GUESS WHO’S BACK?: Rutgers is returning nine starters (15 or more starts) and 17 letter winners from the 2021 College Cup team.

Returning “On the Banks” this fall, Riley Tiernan (an NCAA Division I preseason player to watch) and all-around goaltender Meagan McClelland. Junior midfielder Becci Fluchel (All-Big Ten Second Team) also returns with All-Conference honors from last fall.

Returning graduate student Adriana Kuryla celebrated his birthday in the season-opening win at New Mexico by playing the full 90 minutes in the shutout after playing just two games last season due to injury.

NEW CHILDREN “ON THE BENCHES”: Coach Mike O’Neill signed five freshmen to the 2022 roster (Hannah Blodget, Olivia Bodmer, Mallory McGuire, Allied postand Naila Schofberger) and welcomed five transfers into the mix (Niamh Cashin – Rider, Hailey Gutowski – Temple, Jessica Schildkraut – Colombia, Emily Smith – American, and Naya Vialva – The room).

Allied post and Mallory McGuire scored their first collegiate goals against Temple on September 1, while Hannah Blodget picked up his first point with an assist in the win. Hailey Gutowski leads the newcomers with five points on two goals and an assist, while Post had four points on a goal and two assists.

Stay up to date with the latest news and schedule updates by following Rutgers Women’s Soccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Download the Scarlet Knights app for Apple or Android today.

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