November 7, 2016
Rutgers women to host Harvard women in NCAA's
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rutgers University women qualified for their fifth consecutive NCAA Division I Tournament Monday, as announced on the NCAA Division I Selection Show.
The Scarlet Knights will host Harvard (10-3-3) at 5 p.m. Saturday at Yurcak Field.
“This team has so much character. Every day I feel truly blessed that I get to go out on the field and work with this group, because they never stop amazing me,” Rutgers head coach Mike O’Neill said. “The comradery, the family atmosphere, and the way they pull each other to a different level. I believe they have the ability to get on a good run.”
Rutgers (11-4-6), one of eight Big Ten schools to qualify for NCAAs, made a run to the conference tournament final for the second consecutive year. It fell just short of a title in a 2-1 loss at eighth-ranked Minnesota (16-3-3) Sunday. RU has reached a conference final in three of the last four seasons.
The Scarlet Knights are 10-8-5 in NCAA Tournament action. Rutgers won all three of its home matches during the 2015 postseason and is 6-0-2 all-time at Yurcak Field in NCAA tourney matches. RU qualified for its first NCAA College Cup in program history last season.
Rutgers and Harvard have never met on the pitch, but the Scarlet Knights are 31-11-3 all-time against Ivy League opponents.
“I know the coaching staff very well. I’ve know them for years and I’ve also been fortunate to coach a couple of players that play for them,” O’Neill said. “I know they’re going to be very well organized, they’re going to be up for the challenge, and I think to get to this stage you have to have special players and every team is going to be able to play.”