PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers field hockey team will officially kick off its season on Saturday, Aug. 30 when the Scarlet Knights face West Chester at 11:30 a.m. in the first game of the Blue Hen Classic in Newark, DE. On Sunday, the Scarlet Knights face Delaware at 2:00 p.m.
Rutgers, under the guidance of first-year head coach Liz Tchou, returns nine starters and 15 letterwinners, including tri-captains Ashley Recker (Dillsburg, PA), Colleen Mainere (Princeton Junction, NJ) and Jennifer Noon (Shaverton, PA). Maniere will anchor RU’s defense, while Noon and Recker will see most of their playing time in the midfield. In the Scarlet Knights’ preseason scrimmage against Rider on Aug. 25, Noon scored RU’s lone goal. Senior goalkeeper Meris Burton (Wilmington, DE) returns to the Rutgers program after a three-year absence. Since seeing action in seven games during the 1999 season, Burton has spent time as a club and high school goalies coach.
Sophomore Kara Spector (Easton, MD) and junior Tiffany Klebez (Milford, PA) return to bolster RU’s defense. Klebez had an exceptional sophomore season, making nine defensive saves, the second most in single-season school history. Freshman Megan Dowling (Wilmington, DE) is expected to make an immediate contribution on offense. At Mount Pleasant High School, Dowling earned first-team all-state honors with 11 goals and eight assists.
West Chester, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, finished 9-10 last season and qualified for the Atlantic 10 playoffs. The Golden Rams return just four starters and lost their top three scorers to graduation.
Delaware finished 10-10 last season and qualified for the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs. The Blue Hens return their leading scorer and six other starters.
Rutgers returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 6, at noon when it hosts Columbia at the Rutgers Stadium Complex. The following day, RU hosts Dartmouth at noon.