Hamilton, N.Y. (November 10, 2012) – An early goal by sophomore Amy Pietrangelo (Laval, Quebec, Canada) and a strong defensive effort lifted Rutgers women’s soccer over Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night at Van Doren Field. The Scarlet Knights (13-7-1) advance to the second round, where they will take on No. 2 seed Virginia.
“We beat a very good team tonight,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “We had a lot of resolve tonight - on the road, in a tough environment. The goal was great and came at a time in the match where we were controlling the game very well. There were moments after that where the game was escaping us, but that is part of our unity.”
RU rises to 5-0-1 all-time in NCAA first round matches under head coach Glenn Crooks, advancing all six times.
“That was a collective team effort,” said senior goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins (Concord, N.C.). “We were so strong. Everyone was working to get behind the ball and when you have good defensive shape, that leads to good attacking.”
The Scarlet Knights got on the board in the 17th minute, as sophomore forward Cassie Inacio (Manalapan, N.J.) corralled a loose ball, flicking it to Pietrangelo. From 24 yards out, the Laval, Quebec native blasted a strike into the top right corner of the net.
Redshirt junior forward Jonelle Filigno (Mississauga, ON, Canada) had a strong opportunity in the 59th minute. On a breakaway streaking down the far side, Filigno blasted two shots on frame, but CU netminder Ashley Walsh was able to make the grabs.
The Scarlet Knights had a goal called back in the 60th minute. Pietrangelo dished to Inacio, who was able to flick the ball into the net, but it was ruled offside.
Simpkins made the a game-saving grab in the 63rd minute. Jillian Kinter took a shot from point-blank range, but the netminder was able to make a save to her left. Simpkins made five saves in the shutout.
The Scarlet Knights will face No. 2 seed UVA on Nov. 16. Duke and either Tennessee or Miami of Ohio will be on the other side of the bracket.
* This marks the seventh NCAA Tournament appearance for Rutgers women’s soccer. RU holds a 5-0-1 all-time NCAA first round record under head coach Glenn Crooks, advancing all six times.
* Four players (Tricia DiPaolo, Maura McLaughlin, April Price and Shannon Woeller) started vs. the Raiders that had also started in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
* Rutgers moves to 26-1 since 2008 when taking a lead into halftime. It marked the third time this season RU has taken an advantage into the locker room (3-0).
* Amy Pietrangelo scored the third goal of her career and her first goal of postseason play. It marked her second game winner this season.
* Cassie Inacio dished out her third assist this season and the sixth of her career.
* The score came in the 17th minute, the fourth-fastest goal of the season.
* Simpkins moves to fifth all-time with 16.4 shutouts in her career. RU has shut out 11 opponents this season.
Head Coach Glenn Crooks
Opening statement: “We beat a very good team tonight. I don’t know what people nationally think of Colgate, but they were outstanding. We had a lot of resolve tonight – on the road in a tough environment. I thought the goal was great. At the time, we were controlling the match very well. What happened was that there were moments after that where things were escaping us a little bit, but that is part of our unity here. We stuck together and you could see how hard everyone was working for each other. That is what you would expect in a game of this magnitude. It was evident from start to finish. It’s very satisfying. You think back to the UConn loss and we weren’t sure if we were getting in and now we are on to the second round.”
On the early goal: “Normally, I think we find a flow and a rhythm – and that was there at times – but it was an extremely physical match and they were able to take us out of a lot of the rhythm that we would desire based on how physical it was. Normally, that might settle us down. The game was a bit ragged. A lot of times after we score, we knock it around a little better, but that didn’t happen. At the end of the day, that’s OK.”
On moving forward: “We are going to be the decided underdog (against UVA). Virginia is historically one of the best programs in the country and this year they are just smoking. In the past, they were always so good and they play a great brand of soccer, but this year they are scoring goals in bunches. They have great players in the midfield and up top, so the challenge will be great. The opportunity to go there is something special. We feel that when we are on, we can certainly compete with anyone.”
Senior Goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins
On shutout: “This was a collective team effort to get the shutout. Defensively, we were so strong. I think everyone was working so hard to get behind the ball the entire game. When you have good defensive shape, it turns into good attacking shape. It was a joy to be out there today.”
On key save in 63rd minute: “That is what we train for. I’m going to tell my coaches that that is the 3v3 game in the box. That is our favorite drill in practice. It’s great for goalkeeper reaction. It was being in the right place at the right time.”
On momentum heading into next weekend: “Obviously, it was a very physical match. At times, there wasn’t a lot of soccer being played. Virginia will play soccer next weekend. All this week (practice) will be about possession and connecting passes and scoring goals. It is an exciting time to be a part of this program and I am so happy.”
Sophomore midfielder Amy Pietrangelo
On goal: “There was a scrap in front of the net. They were trying to clear it and we were keeping it in. I just saw the ball pop out. The goalie was off her line, so I just hit it and it went in.”
On importance of early goal: “I think we came out ready and the goal really added to our confidence, our momentum. We were able to keep the pressure on and it feeds more positive energy to the team.”
On momentum heading into next weekend: “I think the whole team is really excited. We have a whole week to prepare for Virginia. We are excited, we’re going to celebrate the win tonight, but tomorrow it is back to work and we are going to focus on winning our next game.”
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