PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers men’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to Hartwick College in double overtime on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the 19th annual Philips/adidas Rutgers Soccer Classic in front of 1,125 fans at Yurcak Field. With the loss, the Scarlet Knights drop to 4-4-2 on the season, finishing third in the tournament. St. John’s took home the tournament title, Hartwick finished second and College of Charleston finished fourth based on goals as all four schools finished 1-1.
After more than 84 minutes of scoreless play, senior Chris Karcz (Clifton, NJ) provided the offensive output for the Scarlet Knights with his third goal in as many games. He finished off a lob feed from sophomore Nick LaBrocca (Howell, NJ), heading it above the goalkeeper from 12 yards. Karcz’s goal gives him at least one goal in all four years of participation in the tournament. He finished Sunday’s contest with a game-high five shots, nearly connecting on two more scores.
Hartwick responded quickly with a goal 34 seconds later as Kenny Rodriguez punched home an Edwin Ruiz corner kick to even the match.
Ruiz later provided the overtime heroics for Hartwick, rocketing in an Eldin Sijercic feed from 20 yards out with less than three minutes remaining in double overtime to lift the Hawks to victory.
Rutgers outshot Hartwick, 20-7, holding an 8-6 edge in corner kicks. RU goalkeeper Lubos Ancin (Burlington, NJ) made three saves, while his counterpart, Josh Wagenaar of Hartwick finished with six stops.
“This is a young team and I thought we really turned the corner in the last week,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “We had a number of chances today, but we couldn’t finish with a second goal. I give Hartwick a lot of credit.”
Earlier in the afternoon, College of Charleston defeated St. John’s, 1-0. Ben Hollingsworth provided the goal for the Cougars.
College of Charleston goalkeeper Keith Wiggans was named the Philips/adidas Rutgers Classic Defensive MVP. Andrei Gotsmanov of St. John’s was named the tournament’s Offensive MVP.
Karcz and sophomore Nick LaBrocca (Howell, NJ) represented the Scarlet Knights on the Philips/adidas Soccer Classic All-Tournament team. Rounding out the All-Tournament team was Chris Corcoran (St. John’s), Simone Salinno (St. John’s), Patrik Engstrom (St. John’s), Edwin Ruiz (Hartwick), Craig Potter (Hartwick), Keneth Kelley (Hartwick) and Keion Yearwood (College of Charleston).
Rutgers will travel to Jamaica, NY, to face No. 12 St. John’s on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.