PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Nov. 3, 2013) – In a wild finish at Yurcak Field, the No. 3 seeded Rutgers women’s soccer team defeated No. 6 Cincinnati, 2-1 in 2OT on a goal from 30 yards out by sophomore forward Rachel Cole (Teaneck, N.J.).
The American Athletic Conference Quarterfinal ended with 17 seconds left in the second overtime, sending the Scarlet Knights (13-4-2, 5-3-1) to the American Athletic Conference Semifinals to face the winner of Louisville and Memphis on Friday, Nov. 8 in Orlando, Fla.
It is the first conference semifinal for the Scarlet Knights since the 2006 team advanced to the BIG EAST Championship Finals.
“Cincinnati is a very good team,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “I told the team before the game that they’ve improved since the last time we played them and I think we saw that today especially in the second half when they were putting a lot of pressure on us.
“I can’t honestly sit here and say I saw it coming, but Rachel Cole is on the field for a reason. She adds an extra dimension where she can score from outside the area and it’s something we’ve lacked this year.”
After attempting a deep shot earlier in the period, Cole dribbled ahead for the Scarlet Knights with time winding down in the second overtime period. She advanced to about the 30-yard mark, when she cut and launched a shot to the near corner for the game-winning goal. RU’s bench cleared after the score and created a pile on Cole to celebrate the Scarlet Knights’ 11th home victory this season.
The Bearcats (8-11-1, 4-4-1) knotted the score in the 79th minute on a penalty kick goal Jae Atkinson. Atkinson was taken down inside the box to force the PK attempt, as she put it by redshirt senior goalkeeper Jess Janosz (Ringwood, N.J.) on the far post.
Redshirt senior Jonelle Filigno (Mississauga, Canada) notched the first goal of the contest, scoring from in front of the net to give RU a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. Freshman Ali Ryan (Bowie, Md.), who made her first career start in the match, earned the first points of her career on the goal.
Janosz made five saves against the Bearcats while allowing one goal, dropping her goals against average (GAA) to 1.10 this season.
- With the victory, Crooks picked up the 200th win in his college coaching career.
- RU’s 13 victories tie its total from last season.
- Ryan notched her first career points in her first collegiate start against the Bearcats.
- Filigno’s goal was her eighth of the season and 33rd of her career.
- RU defeated Cincinnati for the second time this season with the win. It was the first time since 2005 that Rutgers topped a conference foe twice in the same season.
- RU will go to a conference semifinal for the first time since the 2006 season.
- The Scarlet Knights increased their record home wins total to 11 with the win.
- Redshirt senior Tricia DiPaolo (Sparta, N.J.) played in the 81st game of her career Sunday, moving her into a tie for seventh on the school’s all-time list.
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