PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Dec. 2, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s soccer team wrapped up its 2013 on Saturday, Nov. 16 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, playing No. 12/9 West Virginia to a scoreless tie before falling, 3-0, in penalty kicks.
The Scarlet Knights’ (13-4-5, 5-3-1) lone season in the American Athletic Conference brought with it RU’s second-straight 13-win season and NCAA Tournament at-large bid, its first conference finals appearance since 2006 and the third NCAA Tournament bid in the last five seasons.
Head coach Glenn Crooks reached a pair of plateaus in 2013, reaching the 150-win mark in his Rutgers career on Sept. 27 against Cincinnati (1-0) and the 200-win mark on Sunday, Nov. 3 against Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference Quarterfinals (2-1 2OT).
Crooks, just the second head coach in the program’s 30-year history, has guided RU to seven NCAA at-large appearances and is 11 wins (156) shy of tying Charlie Duccilli for the most wins by a head coach “On the Banks.”
The Scarlet Knights finished 11-1 at home in 2013, setting a new single-season wins record at Yurcak Field. Since 2006, RU is 63-15-8 (.779) at home, with a 24-6-2 record in Piscataway since 2011.
RU says goodbye to four seniors this season – redshirt seniors Tricia DiPaolo (Sparta, N.J.), Jonelle Filigno (Mississauga, Canada) and Jess Janosz (Ringwood, N.J.) and fourth-year senior Maria Gerew (Toms River, N.J.).
DiPaolo, Filigno and Janosz all end their collegiate careers in the RU records books, having made significant contributions in their careers “On the Banks.”
DiPaolo, a seventh-year senior, leaves Rutgers tied for third in career matches played. She played her first game on Aug. 31, 2007 and persevered from multiple knee surgeries to earn a pair of medical redshirts and the opportunity to play a seventh season.
Filigno posted eight goals and three assists in 2013, finishing second on the squad with 19 points. A member of the Canadian National Team, Filigno ends her career in first place with 17 game-winning goals, fourth with 33 goals and 79 points and sixth with 187 shots. Filigno tied the school’s single-season goal mark (15) as a junior and set the record for most game-winners in a single-season (seven) that same year.
Janosz closed the 2013 season and her career with 360:99 minutes of scoreless soccer, recording three-straight shutouts and ending the year with a 0.91 GAA and .804 save percentage. Janosz’s nine shutouts in 2013 are tied for the seventh-most recorded by an RU player in a single season. The Lakeland Regional product finishes her career sixth in save percentage (.814), seventh in GAA (0.89), eight in shutouts (12) and ninth in saves (118). She was named the American Athletic Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player for making 14 saves in a pair of shutouts.
With all but four players returning for the Scarlet Knights, the squad is built for a strong run in its inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference.
Junior Stef Scholz (South Hackensack, N.J.) led RU with 10 goals and 21 points in 2013, scoring four goals in one game on Sept. 15 against Princeton. Freshman Madison Tiernan (Voorhees, N.J.) finished third on the team with six goals and 17 points while leading RU with five assists.
Both players were selected to the American Athletic Second All-Conference Team, as Tiernan was also selected to the All-Rookie Team.
Sophomore Rachel Cole (Teaneck, N.J.), who scored the game-winning goal in 2OT of the American Athletic Conference Quarterfinals, will also return up top for the Scarlet Knights, as freshmen Jessica Puchalski (South Brunswick, N.J.) and Ali Ryan (Bowie, Md.) and junior captain Cassie Inacio (Manalapan, N.J.) will bolster the Scarlet Knights’ offensive third.
Puchalski tallied two goals in her rookie season, while Ryan notched an assist. Inacio missed a majority of the season due to injury.
In the midfield, RU returns starters and experienced players in freshmen Tori Prager (Mount Laurel, N.J.), Jennifer Andresen (Franklin Lakes, N.J.), sophomores Hayley Katkowski (Westford, Mass.) and Sam Valliant (Markham, Ontario, Canada) and junior Amy Pietrangelo (Laval, Quebec, Canada).
Katkowski started all 22 games for RU this season, making 44-straight starts to begin her career “On the Banks.”
Prager started 17 of 22 games for RU, tallying an assist in her rookie season and earning a spot on the American Athletic All-Rookie Team. Andresen tallied three assists, seeing action in 20 games and making six starts.
Pietrangelo and Valliant made five and seven starts, respectively. Pietrangelo tallied two assists.
Three-quarters of the Scarlet Knights back-line will return in 2014 – freshman Erin Smith (Medford Lakes, N.J.), sophomore Erica Skroski (Galloway, N.J.) and Brianne Reed (Tinton Falls, N.J.). Skroski and Reed led the team with 2028 and 2018 minutes, respectively, in 2013 while Smith started in 14 matches.
Nonconference Schedule | Aug. 23 – Sept. 20
The Scarlet Knights posted a 7-1-1 record in nonconference play this season, opening up the season on a four-game winning streak. RU’s lone blemish came against eventual No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, Virginia, which won 20-striaght games before falling in the ACC Semifinals.
Scholz scored four goals against Princeton on Sept. 15, the most goals for an RU player in a single game since 1984. She helped RU close nonconference play with an exclamation point, notching the game-winner with 31 seconds left to seal a 2-1 win in regulation.
Conference Schedule | Sept. 27 – Oct. 27
RU earned the No. 3 seed in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships with a 5-3-1 conference record. The squad topped Cincinnati, 1-0, on Sept. 27 to kickoff conference action and closed its league schedule with a 2-0 win against Temple on “Senior Day” (Oct. 27). Its other three wins came against Memphis (Oct. 4), Houston (Oct. 10) and SMU (Oct. 13).
Postseason Play | Nov. 3 – Nov. 16
A thrilling victory over Cincinnati with 16 seconds left in the second overtime sparked an American Athletic Conference Finals appearance and the program’s second-straight NCAA Tournament at-large bid. RU bested Memphis, 2-1, in penalty kicks (Nov. 8) to reach its first conference final since 2006, before falling to No. 17 UCF, 8-7, in nine rounds of penalty kicks (Nov. 10).
RU eventually fell, 3-0, to No. 12/9 West Virginia in penalty kicks, playing in its third-straight PK shootout for the first time in program history. It was the second-ever tie in RU’s series with the Mountaineers and first-ever PK shootout.
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