PISCATAWAY, N.J. (August 27, 2012) – Rutgers senior goalkeeper Kevin McMullen (Blackwood, N.J.) and freshman defender Mitchell Taintor (Storrs, Conn.) were named BIG EAST Goalkeeper and Rookie of the Week, respectively, the league announced Monday. It marked the second career honor for McMullen and first for Taintor.
McMullen and Taintor helped the Scarlet Knights to a 1-0 season-opening victory over Fordham on Friday. Taintor provided the game-winning goal, the first score of his collegiate career, while McMullen posted his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career.
The Scarlet Knights took an early lead over the Rams with Taintor scoring the rebound off a deflected shot from fellow freshman Mael Corboz (Green Brook, N.J.) in the fifth minute. McMullen played an integral role in maintaining the one-goal advantage, as he came up with several timely saves, helping seal the win.
Taintor, a starting center back, along with McMullen, anchored an RU defense that put forth a stout effort in the first half, holding Fordham without a shot for the first 45 minutes. However, in the second half momentum shifted with the Rams managing five shots, including four on goal. In the 50th minute, the Rams seemed poised to get on the scoreboard as a collision between McMullen and Kalle Sotka resulted in a foul inside the box and a penalty kick for Fordham.
McMullen stood tall as Sotka took the PK, making a diving save to his right. The deflected shot landed at the feet of Nathaniel Bekoe who fired back another shot that McMullen saved to close the door on the Ram’s best scoring chance of the game.
The Scarlet Knights return to action Friday, Aug. 31, at 5:30 p.m. against Southern Illinois - Edwardsville as part of the Ameritas Classic on the campus of Creighton in Omaha, Neb.
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