PISCATAWAY, N.J. (August 21, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s soccer team is set to kick off its inaugural Big Ten campaign, as the squad welcomes Stony Brook to Yurcak Field for a 7 p.m. matchup Friday. The Scarlet Knights then face SEC foe Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both matches will be broadcast live on RVision, presented by AT&T, with Danny Breslauer and former women’s soccer head coach Glenn Crooks on the call.
First-year head coach Mike O’Neill leads Rutgers into the 2014 season with eight returning starters and 24 returning letterwinners, including 2013 All-American Athletic Conference Second Team members Stef Scholz (South Hackensack, N.J.) and Madison Tiernan (Voorhees, N.J.).
O’Neill took charge of the program this summer after serving under Crooks for 14 seasons, including 10 as associate head coach. As associate head coach, O’Neill was credited with three RU wins (Seton Hall, Sept. 18, 2009; Stony Brook, Aug. 14, 2010; Colgate, Aug. 27, 2010).
The Scarlet Knights aim to get off to another fast start in 2014, as the team is 21-5-4 (.733) on opening night all-time in the program’s 30-year history.
• Rutgers made its first conference finals appearance since 2006 and tallied its second consecutive 13-win season in 2013.
• In the past five seasons, RU has qualified for three NCAA Tournaments.
• The Scarlet Knights finished 2013 11-1 at home with their win over Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference Quarterfinals, a new home wins record.
• RU scored 35 goals in 2013. It was the fifth time since 2005 that the Scarlet Knights scored at least 30 goals.
• With 13 wins, RU recorded double-digit victories for the 19th time in the program’s 30-year history.
• RU had its final three matches of the 2013 season decided by penalty kicks, the first time in school history that feat has occurred.
• With wins against Temple and Cincinnati and draws vs. Memphis, UCF and West Virginia, RU enters 2014 on a five-match unbeaten streak.
• As a team RU recorded double-digit shots in all but four games last season.
Scouting Stony Brook
• Stony Brook enters the season opener vs. RU after winning the America East regular season title in 2013.
• Returning to the sidelines for her 30th year is head coach Sue Ryan, who owns a 218-267-49 career record.
• The Seawolves have 19 letterwinners returning for the 2014 campaign to go with 13 newcomers.
• Leah Yuko is the Seawolves’ leading returning point-getter from last season. She compiled nine points (4g, 1a) as a rookie.
• Ashley Castanio started all 19 games in net for Stony Brook last season as a redshirt junior. She posted a 1.12 GAA and .829 save percentage.
• Rutgers leads the all-time series over Stony Brook, 6-0-1. RU has taken the last two matches against the Seawolves by a combined score of 5-0. All seven matchups in series history, dating back to 1984, have occurred at Yurcak Field.
• Head coach Derek Greene enters his fifth season at the helm of the program in 2014 after taking over in 2011.
• Simone Charley returns as the leading point-getter for Vandy in 2013, registering 15 points (5g, 5a).
• Olivia Liebman saw the most time in net for the Commodores last season, playing in 15 matches. She owned a 2.61 GAA and a .657 save percentage.
• The Commodores and Scarlet Knights will meet on the pitch for the first time in the history of the two programs. RU has played just seven SEC schools in its history, compiling a 2-5 record in those matches.
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