Rutgers wins shootout thriller, defeating Arkansas to earn trip to College Cup

Rutgers returned to the College Cup.

For the second time in six seasons, the Scarlet Knights advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament.

Rutgers hit his ticket Friday night with a penalty shootout win over Arkansas after a 2-2 draw two more times.

Rutgers made all four of his shootout attempts, with Becky Flushel, Amira Ali, Megan McClelland and Riley Ternan netting to back McClelland, the Scarlet Knights goalkeeper who kept a pair of shots clear 4-2. Winning on penalties.

The win qualifies the Scarlet Knights (20-3-1) to the College Cup, where they meet Florida State next Friday night in Santa Clara, California.

It didn’t take long for Rutgers to join the board, scoring in the second minute thanks to the strength of Riley Tiernan’s goal fed by Frankie Taglifieri and Sarah Prochus.

Arkansas responded with two goals, but Rutgers settled it before the break. Amira Ali scored her 12th goal of the season, netting the net thanks to a pass from Riley Tiernan and Becky Fluchel.

This was for scoring in regulation. In an evenly played match that saw the Scarlet Knights beat the Razorbacks 23-22, Meagan McClelland scored six saves before extra sessions.

I saved another shot in the two overtime periods while the Vermilion Knights couldn’t convert in their seven shots.

This meant that a penalty shootout would need to determine the match for Rutgers’ second straight round. In last Sunday’s Sweet 16 match against the TCU, the Rutgers won on penalties 5-4.

Anna Bodogill of Arkansas made the first attempt but McClelland moved to her left and stopped her.

Fluschel captured the momentum, grabbing her shot past Hannah Warner of Arkansas to win 1–0 on penalties.

After Arkansas edged it out with a score of 1 each, Amira Ali continued to press with another goal. McClelland cleared her second shot and then fired past her goal. Tiernan, the eastern regional producer this year’s Big Ten Freshman, hit a crucial goal to start the celebration in front of 4,672 fans at Yurcak Field.

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Keith Sargeant can be reached at ksargeant@njadvancemedia.com.

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