It’s going to be a big Sunday for the Rutgers women’s soccer and field hockey teams.
Only one school is preventing every program from winning their first Big Ten Tournament title – and doing it at home.
The third-ranked Rutgers field hockey team (17-3) will face second-ranked Michigan (15-3) at noon at the Bauer Track & Field Complex. At 2 p.m., the Scarlet Knights (17-2) women’s football team faced 13th-ranked Michigan (14-3-3) just two miles from Yurcak Field. Both competitions will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Unexplored waters for field hockey
Field hockey Rutgers advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 victory over seventh-placed Penn State. Rumson-Fair Haven High School graduate Bridy Molyneaux and Kassidy Shetler (Ramsey) scored for the Scarlet Knights, and All-America contestant Gianna Glatz (Shawnee) dominated the goal, making three saves. Kerrie Burns made a defensive save in the last minute to preserve the triumph in front of a crowd of 1,241.
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“I told the team, I can’t stop smiling. I can’t believe it,” Burns said. “But I can believe it. The hard work that this team has done, even in the last five years since I’ve been here. Today was amazing. The feeling of the fans, the noise they made helped us. to cross that line, so kudos to Rutgers Nation for that. It was amazing. “
It was another huge victory for head coach Meredith Civico, who claimed her 100th career victory with Rutgers’ 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Indiana on Thursday.
“I am so proud of this team and this program,” said Civico. “We knew this game was going to be a battle. Playing back to back in this tournament is so tough. Penn State played great, but I’m so proud of our team for the way we defended, how we were able to take advantage of it. our opportunities and to qualify for the championships. It’s amazing. I had a real vision for this program and we put all our heart and soul into it. “
Although the Civico team is ranked higher and higher, Michigan has beaten the Scarlet Knights 4-1 in their only meeting this season. This took place last month in Piscataway. Sunday’s winner will be the first overall seed at the upcoming NCAA tournament.
Epic race for women’s football
Women’s football Rutgers have won 13 straight games. In a sport where ties occur regularly, that’s an incredible achievement and it’s four games longer than the 2015 Scarlet Knights’ longest streak to win the College Cup.
The latest triumph was a 2-0 shutout for fifth-seeded Iowa in Thursday’s semifinal. It was the fifth consecutive shutout and the 11th overall. Allison Lowrey (Bridgewater-Raritan) and Amirah Ali (Voorhees) scored for the Scarlet Knights. Meagan McClelland (Kearny) made three saves in goal.
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Rutgers will make his third appearance in the Big Ten Tournament championship game and his first in five years. These Scarlet Knights won the conference regular season crown, becoming the first Rutgers program to win a Big Ten banner since college joined the league in 2014. They enter the final as a big favorite, having won defeated Michigan 4-1 at Piscataway on Oct.6.
“It’s been a while since we reached the final,” Ali said. “So being here is everything for us. Being able to do it at home with our family, our friends, other programs here that support us, just means the world to us. We’re very excited.”