Rutgers women's soccer celebrates a thrilling 3-2 win over LSU. Photo Rutgers Athletics.
The Rutgers women’s soccer team won its eighth straight to open the season thanks to a game-winning kick by Sam Kroeger in the 85th minute that propelled the Scarlet Knights to a thrilling 3-2 win over LSU at Yurcak Field in Piscataway on Sunday afternoon.
“We came out a little slow, and we knew we would need to step it up in the second half,” said sophomore forward Riley Tiernan, who assisted the game-winning goal. “At halftime, we told each other to relax and play our game. We were not going to let someone come in our house and take our win from us. We set goals for out-of-conference and one was to go undefeated. That second half was the only thing separating us from our goal, so we found a way to get it done.”
It is only the second time in program history that Rutgers has started a season 8-0. They last did it in 2015. No Rutgers women’s soccer team has started 9-0.
Tiernan assisted on both Kroeger goals, including her first of the day in the 49th minute when Tiernan’s cross attempt took a deflection and ended up in front of Kroeger who buried it to cut the LSU lead down to 2-1.
Then 25 minutes later Kylie Daigle evened things up at two with a 25-yard, left-footed kick that hit the bottom of the crossbar before falling in for the goal.
Ten minutes later, Kroeger found the back of the net with the assist by Tiernan to give RU a thrilling 3-2 win.
“At halftime, we talked about going back out and being us,” head coach Mike O’Neill said. “The mentality, the attitude, the commitment, the desire to win the game was there in the second half. You could see it. It was two different halves. Without that mentality, the result was going to be hard to chase. Honesty is the best policy and it took 27 strong, a great team effort from everybody that we are very proud of.”