A defensive minded Seton Hall women’s team was able to keep Rutgers off of the scoreboard until a thirty-fourth minute goal from the Scarlet Knights opened up the scoring that made the difference in a 1-0 Pirates loss.
The lone goal came from Rutgers sophomore Jessica Puchalski who was able to weave her way through the Pirates defense and first half goalie Gina Maiorana. She would then score on the open net, giving the Scarlet Knights (3-0) the only goal they would need.
Seton Hall (1-2), after cracking the NSCAA Regional poll for the first time following the blue and white’s loss to Rider, was unable to establish tempo. The Hall struggled to keep possession because of the constant pressure and speed that seemed to be coming from every direction by the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers defenders Brianna Reed and Erica Stroski were swarming on defense as they constantly broke up passes in addition to stopping numerous opportunities in transition for the Pirates.
The Hall played the game with five defenders in the back because of the firepower of Rutgers’ offense. The Scarlet Knights had 6 goals in their first two games and were contained for much of the match by the Hall.
Hall head coach Rick Stainton’s team was outshot thirteen to five, many of those attempts were right on net. Goalkeepers Gina Marioana and Illissa Blackshear in a joint effort, made five saves to keep the Hall in the game.
The Pirates defense saw many players step up too as juniors Emily Hansinger and Melissa Blevins battled to stop the many attacks from the Rutgers strikers while logging eighty-two and ninety minutes respectively.
This season, the Pirates have only scored one goal that has come off the foot of a Hall player. Since that goal by junior D’Yonna Riley, the blue and white have only scored on an own goal by a Marist defender in the opener.
The night overall was memorable for Rutgers as they were able to get the win on Alumni Day for Scarlet Knights women’s soccer. This year’s team put on a great showing as a whole for their fans, alumni and community.
For the Hall, they are back at it again on September 1st as the Pirates host Monmouth at Owen T. Carroll Field with the Labor Day kick-off scheduled at 7 p.m.