PISCATAWAY, NJ – Fresh off a 2-0 shutout of Monmouth on Wednesday, the Rutgers men’s soccer team ventures south to participate in the 29th annual Stihl Soccer Classic this weekend. The Scarlet Knights will face William & Mary on Friday at 4:30 p.m., before taking on host-ODU on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Rutgers enters the weekend 1-0-1 overall after defeating the Hawks on Wednesday. RU opened the season with a 3-3 tie at home against Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights have dealt with the loss of their top three scorers from a season ago with the additions of senior Andrew Herman (Oceanside, NY) and freshman Tommy Gray (Middletown, NJ). Each has help to shoulder the loss of last season’s scoring punch as Herman netted a pair of goals in his regular-season debut, while Gray registered an assist in the season-opener before producing his first collegiate goal Wednesday against Monmouth.
Both William & Mary and Old Dominion should remember the Scarlet Knights well as each school built a two goal lead on RU in its last meeting only to see it disappear. Rutgers came back to defeat both clubs in overtime. The Scarlet Knights opened the 2003 season at William & Mary, erasing a two-goal deficit to defeat the Tribe, 3-2, in overtime. Rutgers and ODU last met during the 2002 season in the Rutgers Soccer Classic. The Monarchs opened a 2-0 halftime lead, but the Scarlet Knights stormed back and won it in overtime, 3-2.
ODU, ranked 11th nationally, enters the weekend tournament with a 2-0 record, defeating Campbell and Davidson at home. ODU has out-scored its opponents 3-0 this year with Kevon Harris leading the way with two goals. Goalkeeper John Connelly has posted shutouts in each of the first two matches.
William & Mary is appearing in the tournament for the second-consecutive season after splitting its two games last year. The Tribe enters the weekend 1-1, losing to South Carolina in the season-opener, 2-1, and defeating VMI, 2-1. Sophomore Brendan McCurdy, senior Colin Young and junior Pat Scherder have each scored goals for the Tribe this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Kris Rake owns a 1.50 goals-against average, playing every minute this season.
Navy is the final participant in the tournament. The Midshipmen will face ODU on Friday and William & Mary on Sunday.