PISCATAWAY, NJ – Redshirt sophomore Christine Wentzler (Northvale, NJ) scored less than 90 seconds into the second overtime period to lift the Rutgers women’s soccer team (10-5-4, 3-2-1 BIG EAST) to a 2-1 victory against Georgetown (6-11-1, 0-6 BIG EAST) in the regular-season finale Oct. 26 at Yurcak Field.
Rutgers finished the regular season tied with Villanova (3-2-1, 10 points) in the BIG EAST Conference’s Mid-Atlantic Division. The Scarlet Knights will get the third seed, thanks to a 1-0 win against the Wildcats Oct. 15, and will play at Northeast Division No. 2 Boston College (12-2-2, 3-2-1 BIG EAST) in a BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinal match Nov. 1 or 2.
Georgetown got on the board in the 20th minute when Nicole DePalma knocked in the rebound of Shara McNeill’s shot off the crossbar. Georgetown’s Elizabeth Roberti, who had received a yellow card in the sixth minute, was issued a red card at the 31:01 mark, forcing the Hoyas to play with 10 on the field from that point on.
Wentzler had two excellent chances in the 59th minute, but the Georgetown keeper made a pair of outstanding plays to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Sophomore Kelly Evans (Saddle Brook, NJ) blasted a ball just over the bar with six minutes to play, but she would get another chance to tie up the match less than 90 seconds later. Sophomore Zoe Avner (Paris, France) played a ball from the middle of the field to the left side, allowing Evans to run onto it and beat the keeper to the upper 90.
Rutgers freshman keeper Robyn Jones (Titusville, NJ) kept the match tied at 1-1 when she came 25 yards off her goal line to break up Georgetown’s solo breakaway in the opening moments of the first overtime period. Then, with 8:39 to play in the second overtime, Evans again sent a ball on goal from the left side. Hoya keeper Louisa Butler was able to dive and get her hands on it, but Wentzler was waiting for the rebound and punched it in on the goal line. The goal was the first of the season for Wentzler, and her first career game-winning score.
“You have to give Georgetown a lot of credit,” fourth-year head coach Glenn Crooks explained. “It was a difficult task for them to hold us off for so long, especially being a player down. The first half was frustrating, and I think they played harder than us. But, the second half we really controlled the game, and it just felt like we were going to get it done. It’s a great win, especially our ability to come back and win when we knew our postseason lives were on the line.”
The Scarlet Knights were playing without All-American Carli Lloyd (Delran, NJ), who was serving a suspension for a red card.
Rutgers was ranked fifth by both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Soccerbuzz in the Mid-Atlantic Region this week (Oct. 20). The Scarlet Knights also received votes in the NSCAA, Soccerbuzz and SoccerTimes.com national polls.
Rutgers 2, Georgetown 1; Double Overtime; Yurcak Field; Piscataway, NJ
Score By Periods
Georgetown 1 0 0 0 0
Rutgers 0 1 0 1 2
Shots: GU 5, RU 17. Corner Kicks: GU 3, RU 3. Saves: GU 8, RU 0. Fouls: GU 30, RU 12. Offsides: GU 0, RU 5. Yellow Cards: GU 1 (Roberti), RU 3 (Dugandzic, Evans, Cameron). Red Cards: GU 1 (Roberti), RU 0.
Score By Periods
Time Goal Assist
GU 19:54 Nicole DePalma Shara McNeill
RU 85:24 Kelly Evans (5)
RU 101:21 Christine Wentzler (1) Evans (1)