Rutgers opened play in a defensive mode and shut down the high-powered Hoosier offense, which features two National Player of the Year candidates in forward Pat Noonan and midfielder Ryan Mack. While the Scarlet Knights sat in, the Hoosiers failed to adjust, managing just 14 shots in 110 minutes of play. Rutgers, meanwhile, mustered just six of its own.
Indiana did manage four shots on goal, all saved by senior Ricky Zinter (Penfield, NY), who played exceptionally well in his first game of the 2002 season. He was aided by strong play in the back from seniors Guy Abrahamson (Livingston, NJ), who lived up to his 2002 Preseason All-America billing, and David Boutilier (Sparta, NJ), who showed little rust despite missing all of the 2001 season. Sophomore Anthony Schiavino (North Hunterdon, NJ) and junior Don Gray (Toms River, NJ) flanked the duo and added further support.
“We played well tonight as a team,” said head coach Bob Reasso. “Our defense did a great job shutting down a very potent strikeforce, but we couldn’t break through ourselves. To be so competitive and play the nation’s top team so evenly this early in the season is a real positive sign.”
Indiana outshot Rutgers, 14-8, and held a 6-1 edge in corner kicks. Zinter made four saves, while his Indiana counterpart, Jay Nolly, did not make a save. Abrahamson took four of RU's six shots during the match.
The Scarlet Knights return to action tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. (CT), when they face Butler University, the 2001 Horizon League Champions. Butler fell to No. 8 Clemson, 3-0, in the opening contest of the tournament.