No. 10 Rutgers field hockey returns to the road this weekend for a pair of ranked matchups. Friday is the Big Ten opener, with the Scarlet Knights facing No. 3 Northwestern. The team then returns to New Jersey and travels south to face an in-state rival, No. 17 Princeton on Sunday.
Friday’s game, a 4 p.m. Eastern start, will be streamed on B1G+, while Sunday’s noon matchup will feature an ESPN+ stream.
Rutgers enters the weekend at 6-1 overall, featuring five ranked wins on the season after a weekend sweep last weekend of No. 20 Monmouth and No. 22 Delaware. Freshman Guillermina Causaurano scored the game-winning in the victory over the Hawks and was rewarded with Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. She became the third different RU freshman to receive the freshman weekly award this season, with RU earning three of the four freshman weekly accolades. Kerrie Burns also received a Defensive Player of the Week honor this season as well.
Rutgers has opened the season with five ranked wins through seven games, with two more opportunities this weekend. Overall, the Scarlet Knights will play nine of their first 10 games against ranked teams and 14 of the 18 teams on the schedule are or were ranked. RU’s five ranked wins is the program’s most in a season since defeated five ranked foes in 2018. In the modern NFHCA Coaches Poll rankings (dating back to 2004), that represents the program record.
Rutgers’ 6-1 start is its best opening to a season through seven games since beginning the 2018 campaign at 6-1. A victory over Northwestern would give RU it’s best eight-game start to a season since beginning the 2008 season with a 9-1 record.
The Scarlet Knights are led offensively by Milena Redlingshoefer with 12 points on a team-high six assists and three goals, all coming on penalty strokes. Freshman Lucy Bannatyne leads the team with four goals, with Kerrie Burns (three), Tayla Parkes (two) and Carly Snarski (two) also registering multiple scores. In goal, Gianna Glatz has a 1.20 goals-against-average and .700 save percentage, as RU has allowed just nine goals in seven games. Glatz has 300 career saves, tied for 8th all-time in Rutgers history.
The Scarlet Knights played Northwestern three times last season, which included back-to-back ranked wins over the No. 4 Wildcats during the regular season. The team earned a 2-1 Friday win behind goals from Milena Redlingshoefer and Liz Romano. Then on Sunday, the Scarlet Knights claimed a 3-2 overtime win behind a Katie Larmour game-winner, with Romano and Bridy Molyneaux also tallying.
The wins over No. 4 Northwestern were the highest ranked for the program in the modern poll’s history (dating back to 2004). A victory this weekend over now No. 3 Northwestern would top that for a new best. All-time, Northwestern leads the series 6-3, claiming the last win in the series in last season’s Big Ten Tournament.
Northwestern enters the weekend with an 8-1 record. The Wildcats hold ranked wins over No. 6 UConn, No. 21 Miami, No. 12 Duke, No. 11 Liberty, No. 23 Kent State and No. 25 Maine with the lone loss coming to No. 7 Boston College.
The team is led offensively by Bente Baekers (eight goals, six assists, 22 points). She ranks first in the Big Ten and second nationally in points per game. The Wildcats are first nationally in assists, second in points and fourth in goals. In between the pipes, Annabel Skubisz is 11th in the country in goals-against-average.
Princeton enters the weekend at 2-4, with all of their losses to ranked foes. The Tigers offense is led by Beth Yeager with six goals, four assists and 16 points. Goalkeeper Robyn Thompson has a 2.43 goals-against-average. The Tigers are 22-5-1 all-time in the series, but RU has taken the last two matchups, claiming 1-0 (2018) and 2-1 (2019) wins over Tigers squads that were ranked sixth nationally each time.