Women’s Soccer Falls at Rutgers

Laurel McHale, Contributing Writer

Fifth-ranked and top-seeded Rutgers scored once in each half to defeat a hard-working Bison team 2-0 Sunday in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. Goalkeeper Jenna Hall ’24 played a starring role for the Bison, finishing with a career-high 15 saves. Hall made 11 stops in the first half alone, along with an impressive save on a penalty kick in the 88th minute of the game. 

Hall was busy, but the defense held strong in front of her until just before the half-hour mark when the Scarlet Knights cashed in on a scramble in the box. The first goal came after two amazing saves from Hall, but ended up in the back of the net. Rutgers doubled its lead in the 61st minute, taking the ball from the left flank across the 18 to the top of the D and pulling a low shot back inside the left post.

The Bison were not without their chances however, as they earned numerous shots and corners throughout the game. In the second half, Teresa Deda ’25 hit a distance shot off the crossbar, which would have cut the Scarlet Knights lead to one. 

Junior Kaylee Donnelly spoke on the team’s excellent performance, “Despite the loss, our team really put forth an incredible effort. We knew going into the game it was going to be a tough one, but I’m really proud of the way we played. I think we proved ourselves on the field to a top ranked team, and everyone gave their best. It showed that our team is capable of playing at a highly competitive level and how we hope to carry that same energy into next season,” Donnelly said.

This game marks the Bison’s best defensive showing in the NCAA tournament, as they got scored on three times a-piece against both Penn State and West Virginia, and had limited offensive chances. The Scarlet Knights were the first team to break through the Orange and Blue defense since a strong three-game tournament stretch. 

Despite having to say goodbye to six impactful seniors, the Bison will return 9 of this year’s 11 starters, which is promising for next season.

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