Friday – Rutgers vs. Temple, 3 p.m.
Sunday – Rutgers vs. Lafayette, 1 p.m.
The Rutgers field hockey team opened the season 2-0 after wins on opening weekend over Bucknell (3-2, ot) and Sacred Heart (5-3). It is the first 2-0 start for the program since the 2008 season, when they opened 6-0.
This weekend, RU hosts two more teams, with home games on Friday, Sept. 5 against Temple and Sunday, Sept. 7 versus Lafayette. The two opponents this weekend share the distinction of the most played teams in Rutgers field hockey history. RU has faced both Temple and Lafayette a program-leading 35 times.
After Friday’s game, fans can stick around and meet the Scarlet Knights players, who will be signing autographs on the field. Sunday’s game will be the “Stick It to Cancer’ Match.
• Temple has started 2014 2-0 with wins over Northeastern (4-2) and No. 10 UMass (2-0) at the Conference Cup Tournament.
• Temple Goalkeeper Lizzy Millen was named BIG EAST Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week. She posted a .833 save percentage and 0.52 goals against average, including one shutout, in the two wins last week.
• Forward Amber Youtz leads the Owls with three goals in the first two games.
• Last season the Owls were 14-6, and were nationally-ranked for the last nine weeks of the season.
Temple holds the lead in the all-time series 22-11-2. The Owls have won the last three matchups, with Rutgers’ last victory over Temple coming in 2008. The two schools were formerly both members of the BIG EAST Conference and the Atlantic 10 Conference. The first matchup of these schools came in 1975, the second year of Rutgers Field Hockey.
• Lafayette started the year 2-0, with a 4-2 win over No. 13 Boston College and a 3-2 OT win over Quinnipiac.
• Amanda Magadan and Rosie Shanks each share the team lead with two goals thus far.
• Senior Brittany Blass was named Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, with Jenna Seybert joining her on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.
• Three Leopards earned Patriot League Player of the Week honors: Amanda Magadan (Offensive), Brittany Blass (Defensive) and Ellen Colbourne (Rookie).
• Last season the Leopards finished 6-12 overall.
Rutgers holds a 19-15-1 lead all-time. RU won last year’s game 2-1 and have won seven of the last ten games. The first matchup between the two schools was in the 1978 EAIAW Regionals (a 4-2 RU win).
Defender Sofia Walia had a big opening weekend for Rutgers, with a goal and five assists, leading the team and second in the Big Ten with seven points. Her first goal of the season came on a penalty stroke to tie the game late in the second half vs. Bucknell. Her four points (1G, 2A) against Bucknell and three assists vs. Sacred Heart were both new career single-game highs.
Between the Pipes
With the graduation of goalkeeper Sarah Stuby, sophomore Shevaun Hayes assumed the starting role. In her first two starts she posted 10 saves and 2.40 goals against average. Hayes had a strong freshman year, with a 4-3 record and 2.14 goals against average in 12 games.
Bull is Back
Alyssa Bull returns to the field this year after taking a medical redshirt last season. In her first game action since the injury in the 2013 opener, Bull led the team with 10 shots and scored her first goal of the season.
New Faces in New Places
Rutgers welcomed eight newcomers for the 2014 campaign, including six freshmen and two transfers. A number of newcomers got playing time right away, with three newcomers earning a start and five playing overall. Jasmine Cole, a transfer from Penn, scored the game-winning goal in OT vs. Bucknell. Jade Dixon recorded her first career point with an assist Sunday.
Youth is Served
Rutgers will bank on contributions from young players this year, as with just two seniors, lots of underclassmen will receive playing time. In the first two games, eight different underclassmen got a starting nod.
This year is the inaugural season for Rutgers as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Scarlet Knights had previously played in the BIG EAST since the 1995 season, after playing the sport in the Atlantic 10 from 1988-1995.
Building on 2013
After going 9-9 last season, Rutgers returns its four top scorers and six starters. Senior Sophie Wright (9 G, 1 A) led RU in scoring last year. Forwards Rachel Yaney (5 G) and Katie Champion (4 G, 1 A) also return to provide offensive firepower. Defender Sofia Walia (3 G, 3 A) was fourth on the team in points last year, as she earned Second Team All-BIG EAST accolades. Wright and Walia were also both named to the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team.
B1G Players to Watch
Rutgers three captains (Sophie Wright, Jen Staab, and Alyssa Bull) were all recognized as Preseason Players to Watch by the Big Ten Conference. Wright had19 points last year and was recognized as Second Team All-BIG EAST. Staab has been a fixture for RU, starting 53 of 55 games in her career. Bull, the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 2012, redshirted the 2013 season.
The Scarlet Knights face seven teams that entered the 2014 season in the NFHCA Top 25, and five that made the NCAA Tournament last season (Virginia, New Hampshire, Michigan State, Penn State, and Maryland). The squad plays 18 regular season games, including 12 at home and six on the road.
RU on Social Media?
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers field hockey, follow the program on Facebook (Facebook.com/RUFieldHockey), Twitter (@RUFieldHockey) and Instagram (@RutgersFieldHockey). Fans can receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on both social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com.