PISCATAWAY, N.J. (August 29, 2014) – A young Scarlet Knights squad earned a victory in the regular season opener in dramatic fashion. Rutgers overcame a late second-half deficit and tallied an overtime winner, beating Bucknell 3-2.
“This was a great statement to make today,” head coach Meredith Long said. “It was an exciting game and a thrilling way to win in overtime with a fantastic finish by transfer Jasmine Cole. I’m really proud of the effort and willingness to do whatever it took by the players to get the win today.”
Rutgers scored the game’s first goal, just fifteen minutes into the game. Junior Nicole Imbriaco (Clark, N.J.) deflected in a shot from defender Sofia Walia (Surrey, British Columbia) to put the Scarlet Knights ahead 1-0.
Bucknell would respond, as a goal from Cassie Lawrence just eight minutes later to even the score. In the second half, Liz Willis scored for the Bison to give them a 2-1 lead.
Late in the game, Rutgers dug in to try and equalize. With under seven minutes remaining in the second half, the Scarlet Knights earned a penalty stroke. Sofia Walia stepped up for RU, and smashed in a shot to tie the game.
“Sofia Walia is just outstanding,” coach Long said. “I knew she was going to score – I had no doubt in my mind. She’s a player that can perform under pressure as just a sophomore. For me, that’s just thrilling.”
Given new life in the game, Rutgers entered the overtime period on the attack. Six minutes into the frame, Walia sent a long pass up the left sideline to sophomore Jasmine Cole (Montclair, N.J.). Cole carried into the circle and fired in the game-winning goal.
Shevaun Hayes got the start in goal for Rutgers and made four saves, picking up her first win of the year.
The Scarlet Knights will be back home on Sunday as they host Sacred Heart at 1 p.m.
- Sofia Walia (1 Goal, 2 Assists) set a new career-high with 4 points, and tied her previous career-high of two assists.
- Jasmine Cole scored her first goal as a Scarlet Knight. Last season Cole scored 18 goals at Penn.
- Four players made their first career start at Rutgers: Haley Meade (Freehold, N.J.), Simrin Dhillon (Vancouver, B.C.), Elyse Broderick (Manahawkin, N.J.) and Jasmine Cole.
- Jade Dixon and Kimberly Jevic made their Rutgers debut off the bench.