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Rutgers Women’s Soccer Repeats as Double G Sports College Women’s Team of the Year

Madison Tiernan kicks ahead of a UConn defender. (Photo by Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

Madison Tiernan kicks ahead of a UConn defender. (Photo by Jeff Auger – Double G Media)

Rutgers women’s soccer had a much acclaimed 2016 season. Under the tutelage of head coach Mike O’Neill, Rutgers women’s soccer finished the year ranked No. 25 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for the third consecutive season. Rutgers women’s soccer also competed in its second consecutive Big Ten Championship, as well as advancing into its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament.

Rutgers had a 12-5-6 overall record, including a 4-2-5 record in conference competition. Entering the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 7 seed, Rutgers defeated No. 2 Penn State 2-0 in the first round, with goals from senior forward Erica Murphy and captain/forward Madison Tiernan. Rutgers would then defeat No. 3 Northwestern 1-0 in the semifinals thanks to a goal from junior forward Colby Ciarrocca, which punched their ticket to the Big Ten Championship game. Despite a game-tying goal from freshman backliner Chantelle Swaby, Rutgers would fall short to No. 1 seed Minnesota 2-1 in the championship game.

Rutgers entered the NCAA Tournament, defeating Harvard 3-0 in the opening round, thanks to two goals from Tiernan and one goal from freshman Taylor Aylmer. Rutgers, however, fell short 2-0 to the No. 2 seeded Georgetown University.

With a strong 2016 season, Tiernan and senior captain/center back Erin Smith were named to the NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team. Tiernan led Rutgers in goals (11) and points (28). Smith also received First Team All-Big Ten honors. Freshman Nicole Whitley was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Freshman Best XI Second Team after leading Rutgers with 10 assists, which is also tied for the lead in the Big Ten Conference. Aylmer and center back Amanda Visco were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Senior goalkeeper Alana Jimenez’s 11 shutouts in a single season is tied for third in the school’s history. Jimenez also posted a 0.78 goals against average (11th in school history) and had the second most minutes in a single season (2203:35).

With an impressive 2016 season in the books, it will be exciting to see how Rutgers women’s soccer will continue to impress the Big Ten Conference.

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