PISCATAWAY, NJ – A change in the line-up sparked an offensive explosion for the 16th-ranked Rutgers men’s soccer team in its 2-0 victory over West Virginia in front of 1,234 fans at Yurcak Field on Saturday night. Rutgers senior back Todd Moser (Fanwood, NJ) earned the start at center-forward against the Mountaineers, helping the Rutgers offense control possession for most of the game and outshoot WVU 20-2. The win improves Rutgers to 8-4-3 and 5-2-3 in the BIG EAST.
Less than three minutes into the game, Rutgers erased its two-game scoring drought as senior Josh Gros (Mechanicsburg, PA), one of the nation’s leading scorers, converted a penalty kick for his BIG EAST-leading 12th goal of the season. More importantly, it gave the Scarlet Knights a 1-0 advantage early in the contest, serving as a spring board for more to come. Gros’ 12 goals place him 16th in the RU’s single-season record book with five other players.
RU opened up a two-goal lead later in the half, once again capitalizing on a Mountaineer foul. Junior Chris Karcz (Clifton, NJ) rocketed a free kick from 25 yards out that slipped between defenders, creeping inside the left post past the diving West Virginia keeper, Nick Noble.
“I thought we needed a spark so we decided to put Todd [Moser] up front for tonight’s match,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “I thought he played the position very well. He has had experience playing up front before. We were exceptional in the first half and moved the ball around, sharing it well.”
Rutgers did not back down after that, nearly notching its third goal of the match as freshman Brinker Dailey (Atlanta, GA) fired a shot from 20 yards out that ricocheted off the cross bar near the end of regulation.
Senior Scott Conway (Aston, PA) had a quiet night in goal for the Scarlet Knights, stopping the lone shot on goal that he faced, earning his third career shutout. Noble made four saves in goal for WVU.
Rutgers concludes its 2003 home slate on Tuesday, Oct. 28, when it plays host to Princeton on Senior Night at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ.