PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers women’s soccer team (9-7, 4-3 BIG EAST) will look to score an upset in a critical BIG EAST Conference match as the Scarlet Knights host No. 18 West Virginia (11-3, 5-2 BIG EAST) Friday, Oct. 15, at 7:00 p.m.
Rutgers is 9-7 overall and 4-3 in the BIG EAST Conference this season following a 3-0 victory at St. John’s (8-5-1, 2-5 BIG EAST) Oct. 13. Senior All-American Carli Lloyd (Delran, NJ) leads the Scarlet Knights with 21 points (10 g, 1 a). Sophomore Domenique Esposito (Rivervale, NJ) has seven points (3 g, 1 a). Sophomore Robyn Jones (Titusville, NJ) owns a 0.79 goals-against average, .711 save percentage and eight shutouts in goal this season. Rutgers returned 15 letterwinners and eight starters from a 2003 team that posted a 10-7-5 overall record and a 3-2-1 mark in BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division play, advancing to the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
West Virginia is 11-3 overall and 5-2 in the BIG EAST Conference this season following a 4-1 victory against Binghamton (7-3-1) Oct. 10. Senior Laura Kane leads the Mountaineers with 21 points (7 g, 7 a). Sophomore Lana Bannerman owns a 1.02 goals-against average, .708 save percentage and four shutouts in goal this season. West Virginia returned 12 letterwinners and seven starters from a 2003 team that finished with a 17-4-2 overall record and a 4-1-1 mark in the BIG EAST’s Mid-Atlantic Division to finish second. The Mountaineers advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship and the third round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
Rutgers was picked seventh by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and 10th by Soccerbuzz in this week’s Mid-Atlantic Region Polls (Oct. 12). West Virginia was picked 18th by the NSCAA, 19th by Soccer America and Soccerbuzz and 16th by SoccerTimes.com in this week’s national polls. The Mountaineers also were picked fourth by both the NSCAA and Soccerbuzz in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Rutgers is 2-6-1 (.278) all time against West Virginia, including a 2-1-1 (.625) mark when playing in Piscataway. The last time the two teams played, West Virginia earned a 2-0 victory in Morgantown (Oct. 10, 2003). The last time the two teams played at Rutgers, West Virginia won 2-1 (Sept. 29, 2002). The Mountaineers have won the last four meetings in the series.
The match comes at a critical time for Rutgers, currently tied with Villanova for fifth place in the BIG EAST standings with three matches remaining. The top eight teams will advance to the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals Oct. 30-31 on campus sites.
The Scarlet Knights will honor their five seniors prior to their final home match of the regular season Sunday, Oct. 17, at 1:00 p.m. against Pittsburgh.