Field hockey No. 23 Rutgers earns huge win over No. 3 Northwestern
The Rutgers field hockey team completed a game-changing upset for the season at home yesterday, beating Northwestern 2-1. The #23 Scarlet Knights (7-6, 3-3) sealed victory over the #3 Wildcats (10-3, 1-3) after to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
Rutgers entered this game with a three-game losing streak and ready for a well-deserved victory at home. The victory became the Knights’ highest win of the season and the fourth victory against Northwestern in the past five meetings.
Second year goaltender Sophie Howard started in net for Rutgers. Howard had three saves in 60 minutes, allowing the Wildcats just 1 goal.
The Knights opened the scoring in the first quarter on a shot from the freshman midfielder Indy van Ek. The Deventer, Netherlands native gave the program the lead, scoring just 5 minutes into the first half for her 3rd goal of the season.
Towards the end of the first, Rutgers nailed another goal to extend their lead. A penalty stroke was awarded to the junior defensive back Iris Langejansgiving the Knights a 2-0 lead to close out the first quarter.
Northwestern recovered 1 goal in the third on a penalty stroke by Peyton Halsey, but it wasn’t enough for the Wildcats to regain the upper hand. Rutgers eventually won the game in a 2-1 final.
Northwestern must be one of the most popular opponents this season with their high ranking and All-American Bente Baekers. The win couldn’t have come at a better time for the Knights, allowing them to prove themselves against a fierce competitor after struggling in recent games.
This victory is not only a huge morale boost but also a defining moment for this team, proving that the program can keep up in both the Big Ten and the national rankings.
This latest series of games is tough for Rutgers. The final four opponents on the regular season schedule are all nationally ranked, with both conference opponents ranked in the top five.
The Knights will be back in action next Sunday as they travel to College Park, Maryland to take on No. 2 Maryland. The match kicks off at 4 p.m. and will air on the Big Ten Network.
“This team has really grown game after game,” said head coach Meredith Civico. “We had a difficult weekend last weekend and we didn’t live up to our abilities. We took a look and learned from that and made some adjustments. We knew if we put on a full performance today, we could do anything.
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