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Women’s Soccer Becomes First Rutgers Team (Any Sport) to Reach NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Since 2008

(Photo by Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jeff Auger – Double G Media)


When a team sports an overall record of 19-3-2, it can be hard to say they are hitting their stride now, in the playoffs. However, that may be just what the Rutgers Scarlet Knights women’s soccer team is experiencing at the moment.

The No. 9 ranked Scarlet Knights have advanced to their first ever NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal after defeating No. 18 ranked Connecticut at Yurcak Field in Piscataway on Sunday. The 4-0 win just may have been the most impressive performance from this team all season.

The Scarlet Knights defense has been key all season and that has not changed in the NCAA Tournament. Through the first three games, Rutgers and goalkeeper Casey Murphy, have yet to allow a score. The shutout on Sunday was the 18th by Casey Murphy, a school-record.

There is something very special about this team and the way they are playing. Senior defender Brianne Reed felt a “really good vibe” before Sunday’s game and feels there is plenty more to come.

“As this tournament has progressed we keep playing better and better,” said Reed. “I have huge hopes for what’s left.”

What’s left is a trip to the Elite Eight, where the Scarlet Knights will meet No. 1 ranked Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. Virginia has defeated Rutgers in each of the last three seasons and knocked the Scarlet Knights out of the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and last year.

This is the first Rutgers team, in any sport, to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament since the women’s basketball squad accomplished the feat in 2008.

If Rutgers is to have a shot at upsetting the Cavaliers, they will look to score early. The Scarlet Knights are 12-0-0 this season when leading at halftime.

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