Starting XI: Women’s Football No. 10 at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Rutgers Women’s Soccer No. 10 (10-1-1, 2-1-1) visits Purdue (3-7-1, 0-3-1) on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 12 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) at Folk Field and live on Big Ten Network with Dean Linke and Lauren Link on the call. Rutgers is playing the final leg of a two-game road trip through the Midwest before heading home for three straight Big Ten games at Yurcak Field.

HOW TO FOLLOW: Watch on Big Ten Network/Fox Sports App | Live Statistics | @ruwsoccer on Instagram


Rutgers got a Big Ten point on the road at No. 8 Northwestern (9-1-2, 3-0-1) after a 1-1 draw Thursday night at Martin Stadium. Playing in the program’s first regular-season Top 10 game since 2009, Allison Lowrey scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season to tie the game in the 48th minute.

The Wildcats, entering the competition with their highest national ranking in program history, scored early to take a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute on their first shot on net. That’s all they would muster against the Rutgers keeper Meagan McClellandwho made five saves, including three great saves in the second half to keep Rutgers in the game.

Just 2:44 from the half-time break, second year back Emily Mason played a smart long ball to the junior midfielder Sara Brocious, who collected and launched an attack deep in Wildcat territory. Brocious led Lowrey for the breakaway chance and Lowrey pushed the shot to the right of the keeper to tie the game at 1-1.

IN SEARCH OF BOILERMAKERS: Purdue started its season with a bang with a 3-0 win at home to No. 15 USC, but lost seven of its next nine, including losses to No. 9-ranked foes Notre Dame (3-1) and No. 18 Northwestern (3-0). The Boilermakers also lost 5-2 to Wisconsin in the Big Ten game before drawing 1-1 at home with Nebraska in their last outing on Thursday night.

Purdue is outscored, 21-13. On the offensive front, Gracie Dunaway has a big team lead in points with 12 of five goals and two assists. Emily Mathews leads the assists department with five this season. Kailey Kimball recently got the call at net with a 2.22 GAA and 0.545% SV. Sara Kile started seven games in goal averaging 1.69 and SV of 0.771%.

Rutgers is undefeated against Purdue at 5-0-1 since joining the Big Ten in 2014, including a 1-0-1 mark at West Lafayette. The Scarlet Knights edge the Boilermakers, 10-2, in the series.

HISTORICAL START: The 2022 Scarlet Knights are the only team in Rutgers women’s soccer history to start a 9-0-0 season. They overtook the 8-0-0 start of the 2015 College Cup team, which lost its ninth game. Before the setback at Penn State, the Scarlet Knights had won 20 straight regular season games since Sept. 16, 2021. Prior to Thursday, the team’s last regular season loss was on Sept. 12, 2021, at Georgetown.

RUTGERS RANKED: RU was ranked No.10 in the latest national United Soccer Coaches poll. The Scarlet Knights started at No. 6 in the preseason poll, marking 11 of the last 13 seasons Rutgers received votes in the national preseason vote, before moving to No. 3 in Week 1 after a 2-0-0 start – corresponding to the highest ranking in the program’s history.

  • In games on Sept. 29, Rutgers is among the nation’s leaders in goals (12th, 31), assists (6th, 31) and points (10th, 93). The 2.7 goals per game rank 16th nationally.
  • Sam Kroeger and Allison Lowrey each has three game-winning goals to rank 15th in the NCAA.
  • Riley Tiernan and Sara Brocious each has six assists, ranking 13th in the NCAA.
  • Allison Lowrey seven goals is 24th in the country.
  • Big Ten coaches voted to have Rutgers repeat as conference champions, tying for first place with Penn State in the annual preseason poll. The poll marks the first time in Rutgers Athletics history that a Scarlet Knight team has been selected No. 1, and it’s also the first time in conference history that the football preseason poll Women results in a tie for first place.

FAMILY STYLE: The Scarlet Knights’ early attack was fueled by an unselfish passing style and an unpredictable source of origin through five matches. Twenty-five of their 31 goals have been assisted, and the total number of assists (31) follows the total number of goals (31) thanks to a single pass crediting double assists.

Fourteen different Scarlet Knights have recorded a point so far in 2022, including 11 different goalscorers and 12 different assists. Nine goals spanning wins over Buffalo and Temple were all scored by different players, including all seven against Temple on September 1.

HUNTING FOR HISTORY: Riley Tiernan and Sara Brocious each has six assists this season and is moving up the RU career assist record books. Tiernan is tied for eighth all-time with 19 and needs four more to enter the Top 5. Brocious has 15 career assists and is one step away from entering the Top 10.

Goalkeeper graduate student Meagan McClelland is already the school record holder in minutes played and with 94 games played, continues Amira AliThe program record of 103.

CLEANEST SHEET: With five shutouts in the first 12 games, the graduate student goaltender Meagan McClelland opens the 2022 season as the NCAA Division I career leader in shutouts with 40. With 8,762:27 minutes played in his career, McClelland is aiming for the NCAA’s all-time career record for minutes played of 8,998:07 established by Laurel Ivory of Virginia in 2021.

The Kearny goalie has 13 shutouts and 83 saves on the year in 2021, including five clean sheets against league opponents in the hunt for the conference title. She maintained a GAA of 0.67 in net, helping RU extend their streak of eight consecutive seasons by registering a GAA of 0.77 or less.

McClelland is first to credit the defense ahead of her, which allowed six or fewer shots on goal in 12 games, including seven with three or fewer shots on target allowed.

THE HOLDING CHAMPIONS: The 10-0 Big Ten record in 2021 marked the first undefeated conference season in Rutgers women’s soccer history, becoming the first Big Ten team to accomplish the feat since 2005. RU topped conference competition 23 -6 en route to the school’s first Big Ten title. The 10-0 run was part of a program-record 13-game winning streak that continued into the Big Ten tournament.

GUESS WHO’S BACK?: Rutgers is returning nine starters (15 or more starts) and 17 letter winners from the 2021 College Cup team.

Returning “On the Banks” this fall, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Region First Team perform Riley Tiernan (an NCAA Division I preseason player to watch) and all-region goaltender Meagan McClelland. Junior midfielder Becci Fluchel (All-Big Ten Second Team) also returns with All-Conference honors from last fall.

Returning graduate student Adriana Kuryla celebrated his birthday in the season-opening win at New Mexico by playing all 90 minutes in the shutout after playing just two games last season due to injury.

NEW CHILDREN “ON THE BENCHES”: Coach Mike O’Neill signed five freshmen to the 2022 roster (Hannah Blodget, Olivia Bodmer, Mallory McGuire, Allied postand Naila Schofberger) and welcomed five transfers into the mix (Niamh Cashin – Rider, Hailey Gutowski – Temple, Jessica Schildkraut – Colombia, Emily Smith – American, and Naya Vialva – The room).

Allied post and Mallory McGuire scored their first collegiate goals against Temple on September 1, while Hannah Blodget picked up his first point with an assist in the win. Hailey Gutowski leads the newcomers with five points on two goals and an assist, while Post had four points on a goal and two assists.

Stay up to date with the latest news and schedule updates by following Rutgers Women’s Soccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Download the Scarlet Knights app for Apple or Android today.


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