PISCATAWAY, N.J. (June 26, 2014) – The Rutgers men’s soccer team has released its 2014 schedule as the Scarlet Knights begin their first season of competition in the Big Ten.
The Scarlet Knights will once again face another challenging schedule as RU will play eight NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, with six of those teams coming from the Big Ten. Yurcak Field will play host to 12 regular season contests, including four Big Ten matches that include national runner-up Maryland, Big Ten Tournament champion Indiana, as well as NCAA Tournament participants Northwestern and Michigan. RU’s home schedule also features Ivy League champions, Pennsylvania, and the Missouri Valley Conference champions, Bradley.
“I am thrilled to be a part of what I think is one of the best conferences in the country,” said head coach Dan Donigan. “Every school within the Big Ten has had tremendous success in the NCAA Tournament and every year there will be many teams within this conference that can make a run at a national championship.
“I don’t feel there is one team in the league that you can say is the top team and that says a lot about the caliber of this conference,” Donigan added. “If we can have success within the Big Ten, we will have success nationally. That is how strong I feel about this conference. The coaches are some of the best in the country and certainly the talent pool of players is fantastic. We will be ready to go come this fall.”
After a pair of exhibition games with Virginia in Charlottesville on Saturday, Aug. 16 and at home against NJIT on Saturday, Aug. 23, Rutgers will kick off the regular season at Yurcak Field with four-straight contests. The Scarlet Knights will welcome UMKC on Friday, August 29 in the season opener, Lafayette on Sunday, August 31 and open September hosting Syracuse on Thursday, September 4 and Hofstra on Sunday, September 7.
Following the homestand, Rutgers jumps into Big Ten play by traveling to Wisconsin for a showdown with the Badgers on Friday, Sept. 12. Wisconsin finished last season at 14-5-2 overall and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
After their first Big Ten road trip, the Scarlet Knights will return home to host Monmouth on Tuesday, Sept. 12, as well as Indiana on Saturday, Sept. 20 for the Big Ten home opener. The Hoosiers captured the 2013 Big Ten Tournament title and fell to Akron in first round NCAA Tournament action, a squad which Rutgers took to double overtime.
The Scarlet Knights will wrap up the month of September by heading to Michigan State on Sunday, Sept. 28. The Spartans reached the Big Ten Championship game and played their way to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, earning a 14-6-3 overall mark a year ago.
The Scarlet Knights travel to Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 4 to meet the 2014 Big Ten regular season champions. The two squads met last season with Rutgers handing the Nittany Lions a 4-1 loss in their home opener. PSU ended last season at 13-6-2 overall, 5-1 in Big Ten action and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
RU will also have a brief trip down Route 1 to meet in-state rival Princeton on Tuesday, Oct. 7.
Following the meeting with the Tigers in Princeton, the Scarlet Knights will close out the 2014 regular season at Yurcak Field in six of the next seven games.
Rutgers begins a four-game homestand featuring Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 11, Ivy League Champion Penn on Tuesday, Oct. 9, NCAA Tournament participant Northwestern on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Army on Tuesday, Oct. 21, before traveling to Ohio State for its final conference road test on Saturday, Oct. 25.
The Scarlet Knights wrap up nonconference play another NCAA Tournament team in Bradley on Friday, Oct. 31. The Braves, the Missouri Valley Conference champions, reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 14-7-2 overall record.
RU closes out the regular season hosting national runner-up and fellow Big Ten newcomer, Maryland, on Wednesday, Nov. 5. The Terrapins finished last season at 17-4-5 overall, falling to Notre Dame in the College Cup final.
Big Ten Tournament action begins with the play-in game on Friday, Nov. 7 at the No. 1 seed, pitting the conference’s eight and nine seeds. The quarterfinal matches will be hosted by the top four seeds on Sunday, Nov. 9, while the semifinal matches and championship match will be hosted by the highest remaining seed on Friday, No. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 16.
The 2014 NCAA Tournament begins Thursday, Nov. 20 with the College Cup slated for Dec. 12-14 in Cary, N.C.
“Our fan base should be excited as they will have the chance to see us play against some of the best teams in the country every year,” noted Donigan. “There should be incredible excitement about the quality of soccer that will be played at Yurcak Field every time there is a Big Ten home match. This year we host Northwestern, Michigan, Indiana and Maryland…four great games to get excited about and look forward to watching.”
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16 - at Virginia (Exhibition) - 7:00 p.m.
23 - NJIT (Exhibition) – 7:00 p.m.
29 – UMKC - 7:00 p.m.
31 - Lafayette - 1:00 p.m.
4 - Syracuse- 7:00 p.m.
7 – Hofstra - 1:00 p.m.
12 - @ Wisconsin* - 8:00 p.m.
16 – Monmouth - 7:00 p.m.
20 - Indiana* - 7:00 p.m.
28 - @ Michigan State * - 2:00 p.m.
4 - @ Penn State * - 7:00 p.m.
7 - @ Princeton - 7:00 p.m.
11 - Michigan * - 7:00 p.m.
14 – Penn - 7:00 p.m.
18 - Northwestern* - 7:00 p.m.
21 – Army - 7:00 p.m.
25 - @ Ohio State * - 7:00 p.m.
31 – Bradley- 7:00 p.m.
5 - Maryland *- 7:00 p.m.
7 – B1G Play In (No. 8 vs. No. 9) – at No. 1 seed on campus
9 – B1G Quarterfinal – at higher seed on campus
14 – B1G Semifinal – at highest remaining seed
16 – B1G Final
20 – NCAA First Round
23 – NCAA Second Round
30 – NCAA Third Round
5-7 – NCAA Quarterfinals
12 – NCAA Semifinals
14 – NCAA Finals