PISCATAWAY, NJ – Thanks to a pair of victories in last weekend’s Rutgers Classic, the Scarlet Knight women’s soccer team (4-2) returned to the national top 25 polls this week for the first time in two years.
Rutgers is rated 24th by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and 21st by Soccer America this week (Sept. 14), and received votes in the Soccerbuzz and SoccerTimes.com polls. The last time RU was nationally ranked was the beginning of the 2002 season when the Scarlet Knights were rated 19th by the NSCAA, 15th by Soccerbuzz, 20th by SoccerTimes.com and 24th by Soccer America in the preseason polls. In the first weekly poll (Sept. 6) of that year, Rutgers was ranked 21st by Soccerbuzz and 25th by SoccerTimes.com.
The rankings come after a very successful weekend for the Scarlet Knights, one that saw them upset No. 12 Santa Clara (1-2-1) Sept. 10 and hand Michigan State (6-1) its first loss of the year, 2-1 in double overtime Sept. 12, at the Rutgers Classic. On the heels of those victories, junior Kim Brandao (Rahway, NJ) was named the BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Week, sophomore Robyn Jones (Titusville, NJ) was named the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week and Ashley Lunemann (Hillsborough, NJ) was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week.
Rutgers will play its second ranked opponent in a three-match span, traveling to Gainesville, FL, to face the No. 11 Florida Gators (4-1-1) Friday, Sept. 17. Kickoff at Percy Beard Stadium (4,500) is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.