Junior goalkeeper Stacey Gaenzle (Lancaster, PA) continued her stellar play in the cage, not allowing a goal in the opening half. Grondski put Rutgers on the board when she converted a penalty corner shot from junior Megan Cech (Moorestown, NJ) with less than 12 minutes remaining in regulation. The Stags tied the game with 6:11 remaining when Julie Knoblich took a pass from Rebecca Odenwaelder during a penalty corner.
Gaenzle maintained her composure during the two overtime periods, not allowing a goal. Gaenzle was assisted on defense by junior Julie Speckels (Los Altos, CA), who made her third defensive save of the season. Speckels now holds sole possession of second place on the Rutgers all-time career defensive saves list with nine. She is seven shy of the record of 16, held by Brandi Bailey (1993-1996).
After two scoreless overtimes, the two teams went to penalty strokes. Today’s match marks the second time this season that RU has gone to penalty strokes, beginning the season against Pacific, which saw the Knights fall, 2-1. The two teams made three of the five strokes in the first series, one of five in the second. Grondski would make the game-winning stroke with the first Rutgers stroke of the third series, giving Rutgers the win.
Gaenzle finished the day with seven saves, while the Stags’ goalie, Lauren Thomas, saved nine of Rutgers 15 shots on goal.
Rutgers will head to Syracuse this weekend for the BIG EAST/ Big Ten Challenge on Friday, Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 15. The Knights will face Indiana University on Friday at 4 p.m. and the eighth-ranked Spartans of Michigan State on Sunday at 12 p.m.
1 2 1ot 2ot PS1 PS2 PS3 Final
RUTGERS 0 1 0 0 3-5 1-5 1-1 2
Fairfield 0 1 0 0 3-5 1-5 0-1 1
58:05 RU Leann Grondski (Megan Cech) 1-0
63:49 FFD Julie Knoblich (Rebecca Odenwaelder) 1-1
100:00 RU Grondski – winning penalty stroke 2-1
RU – Stacey Gaenzle (7)
FFD – Lauren Thomas (9)
Shots on Goal:
RU – 15
FFD – 16
RU – 8
FFD - 9