The Rutgers women's soccer team (4-0-1) blanked No. 13 Penn State (2-3-0), 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. This was the first time since 1996, second time overall, that the Scarlet Knights defeated the Nittany Lions during the regular season. This was also the first win for RU at Penn State.
Rutgers remains undefeated through five games - the first time in 13 years, when the Scarlet Knights won their first six. Rutgers now stands first in the BIG EAST National Division with a .900 winning percentage.
"This is a great rivalry (between Rutgers and Penn State)," said head coach Glenn Crooks. "I am very happy with the level that the girls played at today. This was a great college soccer game. I think when you have two high-caliber teams on the field, the majority of the game will be played between the 18-yard line and it only takes one break of the line."
With six minutes remaining in the game, junior Ashley Jones (Feasterville, Pa.) stole the ball from a Penn State defender and used her speed to beat another. One-on-one with PSU All-American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, Jones crossed the ball from left to right and sent the ball into the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
Just previous to the play, Jones nearly came out of the game as she was kicked in the face. Jones also had the game-tying goal last season in the NCAA Tournament against Penn State, sending the teams into overtime.
Senior captain Erin Guthrie (Sparta, N.J.) made two saves in the first half, three total for the game. She earned the 36th shutout of her career, fourth clean sheet on the season. The BIG EAST Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year boasts a 4-0-0 record in 2009.
With 13 minutes to go in regulation, freshman Maura McLaughlin (West Windsor, N.J.) broke away from the pack, beating two PSU defenders, but could not get the ball past Naeher.
Redshirt junior Karla Schacher (Tofield, Alberta) sent a rocket towards the goal in the 58th minute, but the PSU netminder was able to deflect it, pushing it out of bounds for a RU corner kick.
Overall, RU outshot PSU 12-9. In the first half, Rutgers took seven shots to Penn State's four, keeping the Lions away from the goal for the last 25 minutes of the stanza.
Penn State's Danielle Toney had a breakaway opportunity eight minutes into the game, but Guthrie made the diving save.
Schacher sent a header rocketing towards the goal in the 16th minute, but the PSU goalkeeper was there to scoop it up.
The Scarlet Knights return to action Friday, Sept. 11 in Tucson, Ariz. for the Marriott University Park Tournament. RU will face No. 12 San Diego at 8:30 p.m. ET. On Sunday, the squad takes on host Arizona at 10:00 p.m. ET.