SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The No. 25 Rutgers men’s soccer team played its second straight overtime match in four days, but could not produce a goal in the extra session, tying No. 19 Seton Hall, 1-1, in BIG EAST Men’s Soccer action on Wednesday afternoon. The tie is Rutgers’ first of the season, moving its record to 6-3-1 for the season, with a 3-1-1 mark in the conference.
Rutgers jumped out to an early lead just over 10 minutes into the match as senior Josh Gros (Mechanicsburg, PA) scored his ninth goal of the season. Junior Richie Arenas (Guatamala City) intercepted a clear attempt by SHU keeper Boris Pardo, flicking it over to Gros, who lofted the ball over Pardo’s head for the score at the 10:24 mark. Gros entered the week as the BIG EAST leader in points and goals per game, while ranking 10th in the nation in goals per game.
Seton Hall countered with a goal of its own in the 26th minute. Ryan McGowan served a long pass to Luke Vercollone, who beat RU goalkeeper Scott Conway (Aston, PA) to the ball, knocking in the goal from 10 yards out.
Rutgers’ attacking third pressured the Pirates hard in the second half, highlighted by a Richie Arenas (Guatemala City, Guatemala) header from five yards out with 25 minutes to go that Pardo made a leaping save on to swat the ball away.
Rutgers was dealt a major blow in the 66th minute when Conway collided with a Seton Hall player while making a save. The keeper injured his right leg on the play and had to be removed from the field on a cart, forcing freshman Lubos Ancin (Burlington, NJ) to make his fourth appearance in goal for the Scarlet Knights.
Conway and Pardo each made three saves for the game, while Seton Hall held a 13-12 edge in shots and an 8-6 margin in corner kicks.
Rutgers has played a total of five overtime matches this season, winning at No. 25 William and Mary and Monmouth, while falling at Virginia Tech and at home to St. Mary’s.
“We played a tough BIG EAST team today on the road,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “I would have liked to get a win, but we will take this. I thought we were fresh at the end, despite playing three games in the past six days, while Seton Hall hadn’t played in over a week.”
Rutgers will take on its second ranked opponent on the road as it travels
to No. 6 Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.