Starting eleven: men’s football at Princeton



PRINCETON, New Jersey – Men’s soccer Rutgers (1-0-1) and Princeton (0-0-0) renew a 79-year-old rivalry on Friday, September 3 at 7 p.m. at Sherrerd Field. This is the first test drive of 2021 for the Scarlet Knights and the first official game for Princeton since November 16, 2019 – lasting 658 days.

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  • One hundred and ten minutes couldn’t separate Rutgers’ and Temple’s men’s football in a scoreless draw on Monday night at Yurcak Field.
  • Rutgers played with 10 men for the final 65 minutes of the 110-minute affair after a consecutive red card seconds before halftime. The match was also interrupted in the 12e minute for lightning in the area – the delay lasted 45 minutes.
  • Temple goalkeeper Eoin Gawronsky stopped a PK in the first overtime period, his second penalty save in as many games to start the season for the Owls 0-0-2.

BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER (TEAM) OF THE WEEK: junior goalie Oren Asher is the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after two shutouts to start the season. He is one of five NCAA Division I goaltenders to have played 200 minutes or more in goal without allowing a goal.

“I think clean sheets are a team effort,” Asher said. “So I don’t really take all the credit for it. For me, it’s all about the team.”

Asher and the defense contributed to Rutgers’ four wins last spring, all via the clean sheet. The goalie now has nine shutouts in more than two seasons. Asher was the first to credit the boys ahead of him on shared shutout stats, including the team captain Thomas DeVizio, Vincent Borden, Chris Tiao, Hugo Le Guennec, and Cole sotack, who all combined for the lion’s share of defense minutes last season. Rutgers is one of 12 teams in the country to have conceded no goals in two games this fall.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Despite the extended downtime due to the Ivy League’s entire 2020-21 season being canceled, Princeton will have a veteran presence in the lineup. Eighteen players return from the Tigers 2018 Ivy League Championship squad. Four players with All-Ivy accolades upon their return from credit, including 2018 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year Kevin O’Toole as well as the 2019 All-Ivy selections Gillespie Walker, Alex charles and Moulay Hamza Kanzi Belghiti. Joining the returning players will be a group of 14 newcomers – six sophomores and eight freshmen set to make their Princeton debut.

HISTORY VS. PRINCETON: The Scarlet Knights and Tigers will meet for the 60th time since the rivalry within the State began in 1942. The streak resumes for the first time since 2017, when RU claimed a 1-0 victory at Sherrerd Field – breaking a two-game skid against the Tigers. Princeton holds a 29-21-9 advantage in the head-to-head series, including an 18-8-5 advantage when the game is played at Princeton.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Big Ten announced the Rutgers men’s football student-athletes Oren Asher, Pablo Avila, and Ritchie barry as 2021 players to watch as part of the conference’s preseason honors.

Asher, a junior goalie from Herzliya, Israel, led four shutout wins in the spring 2021 season for the Scarlet Knights, a mark that was tied for second in the shutout category in the Big Ten. Asher won two Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards last spring, the first Rutgers player to repeat that honor in the same season since joining the conference in 2014.

Avvila led the Scarlet Knights in scoring in 2019 and is now a two-time captain of the Rutgers team heading into fall 2021. Avila has steadily increased his presence as a team manager. Despite missing three games of an already shortened spring 2021 campaign, Avila made his mark on and off the pitch as Rutgers tied his best Big Ten mark with four wins. The Terrassa, Spain midfielder was on the pitch for Rutgers’ four shutout wins last season.

Barry made a quick impact on his new squad in the spring of 2021 after being transferred from St. Joseph’s. The senior forward from Cardiff, Wales led the Scarlet Knights with four goals, which placed third in the Big Ten. Two of his four goals, which gave him 17 in his college career, were won by Rutgers in a season that ended with his best Big Ten result (fifth) since 2015.

EXPERIENCED RU? : The vast majority of the group that was so successful last spring are back for the fall. The Scarlet Knights once again welcome 10 returning starters. In all, 19 players who played last spring are back for the fall, totaling 24 of 27 points scored and 91% of minutes played throughout the roster. Rutgers flips material with graduate attacking student Ritchie barry stay for its fifth year after being named All-Big Ten Second Team in the spring.

SPRING : The Head Coach Jim McElderry has guided Rutgers not only through a non-traditional pandemic season, but has also achieved four Big Ten victories and finished in fifth place in the conference along the way – both tied for program highs since joining the league in 2014. The conference-only campaign ended 4-4-1 and included historic victories for RU: a first-ever win in seven tries against Michigan State and the program’s first triumph over Maryland since 1995. The The season ended with a touch of grief as Maryland outlasted the Scarlet Knights, 5-4, in a penalty shootout in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals after a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes.

NEW CHILDREN “ON THE BANKS”: McElderry has recruited seven freshmen and three transfers to form 10 newcomers to the fall 2021 roster. Xavi Olmos is a graduate transfer from Florida International, while Jason bourégy (American) and Jace Orvos (Penn State) transfer to second year. The first seven years include five New Jersey natives – Matthew Acosta, Aurie Briscoe, Bryan keating, Nico rosamilia, and Joey zalinsky – in the same way Adam davies from Pennsylvania and Aidan Flynn from Portland Timbers Academy.

Freshmen Acosta, Rosamilia and Zalinsky all made starts in both games early in the season, and Rosamilia collected her first college point with an assist on the game-winning goal against Delaware on August 26.

OUT OF CONFERENCE IS IN: The season opener against Delaware was Rutgers’ first non-conference game in 667 days. The last time RU had a non-conference roster, the Scarlet Knights came out of the conference 6-1-2 for their fifth-best non-league winning percentage in school history.

NEW JERSEY STATE UNIVERSITY: Rutgers’ men’s football roster includes 13 New Jersey natives, including five of this year’s freshmen. Five Scarlet Knights have come to the MLS New York Red Bulls Academy development program, which trains and plays its home games in Garden State.

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