Rutgers Olympic Sports Roundup: Women’s Soccer and Volleyball for Steamy Debuts

College sports are back in Piscataway.

All but one of Rutgers’ fall sports teams started their 2022-23 campaigns in the past two weeks, and the exception — cross country — begins its season this weekend.

To that end, here is the first complete edition of NJ Advance Media’s weekly summary of performance for each Olympic sports program:

Women’s football

Head coach Mike O’Neill’s team was the first team in action in the 2022-23 college year, and the Scarlet Knights opened the fall season in impressive fashion.

Rutgers won the first four games of the season by a combined score of 11-2. The first three games were played on the road: two games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Scarlet Knights beat hosts New Mexico (1-0) and UNLV (5-1), and the third to Providence, where they defeated the Brethren. (3-0) convincingly.

Rutgers played their first home game on Sunday, coming back from a 1-0 deficit and beating Buffalo (2-1) to remain undefeated.

Junior forward Allison Lowery (three goals, two assists) leads the offensive charge for Rutgers, followed closely by sophomore forward Riley Tiernan (one goal, three assists). Senior goaltender Meagan McClelland has two clean sheets, having conceded just two goals in 350 minutes of action so far.

“We’re a good football team,” O’Neill said. “I would like our habits and details to be a bit better because we talk about habits and details to be a champion. There is a great team spirit in them, it shows. I like it a lot. ‘crew. “

Ranking: The Scarlet Knights bounced up the national rankings throughout the first two weeks of the season, starting the year at No. 6 in the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Women’s Division I Preseason Poll, rising to No. 3 the first week after their 2-0 start, then dropping to No. 9 this week.

Schedule this week: against Temple (Thursday September 1), against Princeton (Sunday September 3).


Rutgers sophomore forward Riley Tiernan scores the tying goal in the Scarlet Knights’ 2-1 win over Buffalo on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Ben Solomon, Rutgers Athletics).


Head coach Caitlin Schweihofer’s team is off to a historic start to its third season, sweeping the Charleston Invitational by beating Fresno State (3-1), The Citadel (3-0) and Charleston (3-2) in the opening weekend. It’s the first time Rutgers have won their first three games in a season since 1998, when they beat Delaware, UMass and Siena.

Freshmen outside hitters Alissa Kinkela (46) and Taylor Humphrey (37) led Rutgers in wins, while Arkansas-Little Rock transfer Alyssa Nayar and redshirt junior Lauren DeLo each played eight sets to the setter.


Schedule this week: Radford (Friday, September 1), Morgan State and Towson (Saturday, September 2) at the Towson Invitational.


Field hockey

The defending Big Ten tournament champions got off to a false start, dropping the first two games of the season in its opening weekend against No. 18 Duke (2-1 in shootout) and No. 16 Saint Joseph’s (5-0), but bounced back with a 2-0 victory over La Salle on Wednesday. All three games were played at Piscataway.

“That win was really important,” head coach Meredith Civico said after the first win of the season. “It’s a young team, a new team. Obviously we’re disappointed with our opening weekend. Duke was a great game where we fought and I think St. Joe’s, the score didn’t necessarily reflect the game which was unfortunate. (We did) a lot of learning from both games and the team worked so hard that day to reset, watch the games, watch some things that we really needed to improve and they did it today. It’s a group that wants to succeed, they have a standard and I’m really happy to see them continue to grow.

Senior forward Rachel Houston, sophomore Lucy Bannatyne and redshirt rookie Indy van Ek each scored a goal for the young Scarlet Knights, who replace 11 players on last season’s squad.

Ranking: No. 8 (no change; they retain their preseason rankings despite the two losses as the first regular season poll won’t be released until Wednesday, September 6).

Program this week: vs. No. 15 UConn (Friday, Sept. 1).

men’s football

The season-opening trip to Omaha, Nebraska was a mixed bag for Jim McElderry’s men.

The Scarlet Knights started strong, beating hosts Omaha in a convincing 4-2 win. But in Game 2 of the weekend, Rutgers were overtaken by Big East powerhouse Creighton in a heavy 6-1 loss.

High Point transfer MD Myers, an academy product from the Philadelphia Union, leads Rutgers with two goals, both against Omaha. Senior midfielder Pablo Avila (one goal, one assist) was equally productive against the hosts.

Ranking: NR

Program this week: Rutgers host Princeton in their home opener (Friday, September 2) and Yale (Monday, September 4).

Cross country

The men’s and women’s teams will begin their season on Friday, September 2 at the Lehigh Invitational. Each team replaces its best athletes from last season; Patrick Walsh for men, Olympia Martin for women. Alex Carlson, who had a strong first season last fall, is a name to watch.


Schedule this week: The Lehigh Invitational (Friday, September 2)

Please sign up now and support the local journalism YOU rely on and trust.

Brian Fonseca can be reached at [email protected].

Related Article

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button