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NCAAW: No. 10 Rutgers defeats Rider 4-1 in season opener

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – No. 10 Rutgers women’s soccer erupted in the second half Friday night at Ben Cohen Field, scoring four goals in a 4-1 win against Rider to open the season. Senior captain Madison Tiernan scored on opening day for the third time in her career, as rookie midfielder Nicole Whitley recorded three points in her RU debut.

“I think we made things difficult on ourselves. We had a lot of chances in the first and we didn’t finish them, and they had an opportunity and they capitalized on it,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “We need to get better at the small little things. We need to get better at keeping the ball. The second half response was fantastic, but that has to be the standard all the time, whether it’s the first half or the second half.”

The Broncs (0-1) held the Scarlet Knights (1-0) off the scoreboard in the opening half, but the second period was a different story. Just 28 seconds into half, junior Colby Ciarrocca broke the Rutgers drought by cleaning up her own rebound in front of the net to tie the game. Less than a minute later, Tiernan scored her first goal of the season on a thru ball from Whitley from 15 yards out.

+Read: UConn women’s soccer opens season with 1-0 win over Northeastern

In the 57th minute, Tiernan added her third point of the day by assisting Whitley. Sophomore Kenie Wright sent a corner into the box, which Tiernan headed at Bethany-Ma Howard. The deflection came back to Whitley, who finished it for the 3-1 lead.

The Scarlet Knights’ final goal in regulation came off the foot of senior captain Tori Prager in the 70th minute. Freshman Taylor Aylmer centered a ball for Prager, which she met with a blast into the back of the net.

Senior goalkeeper Alana Jimenez made two saves in her first career start and win.

Rutgers hosts Providence Sunday night at 7 p.m. in its home opener. The game will stream live on BTN Plus.


  • Rutgers improved to 24-5-4 all-time in season openers, winning its 14th consecutive opening match.
  • RU took a 1-0 all-time series lead against Rider. Friday marked the first meeting between the two teams.
  • Whitley scored the first points of her career with a goal and an assist.
  • Tiernan scored in a Rutgers season-opener for the third time in her career. The three-point outing was her first since a four-point outing on Aug. 22, 2014 against Stony Brook.
  • Aylmer notched her first career point with a second half assist.
  • Jimenez made her first career start in net and picked up her first victory. She made two saves.
  • Eleven Scarlet Knights made their Rutgers debuts Friday – Chantelle Swaby, Erica Murphy, Amanda Visco, Carina Hendley, Tierney Wiltshire, Megan Katona, Jenna Sayers, Brianna Starr, Brittany LaPlant, Whitley, and Aylmer.

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