Win keeps Rider’s playoff hopes alive

Freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Flemming won MAAC Rookie of the Week after two goals against LIU.

By Ryan Connelly 

During the past week, Rider went 1-1 against La Salle and LIU Brooklyn. The Broncs fell to La Salle in overtime 3-2 but were able to come out on top against LIU 4-1.

Summer Pierson started the game off for La Salle with a goal 16:53 into the first half. Not even a minute later, Rider retaliated with a goal of its own. Sophomore forward Jade Freeberg was assisted by freshman defender Eline De Jong.

Just before halftime, La Salle went up 2-1 after Mackenzie Karcher scored a goal. Later in the second half, freshman midfielder Tess Coorens scored the equalizer for the Broncs tying the score 2-2. The goal was assisted by senior forwards Shannon Hughes and Allison Baligian.

After Coorens’ goal, there was no more scoring between either of the teams, forcing the game into overtime.

The contest looked like it was going to extend further with only a minute and a half left in overtime, but then Karcher netted a goal, making the score 3-2. Rider was not able to answer before the game ended.

On the offensive side, La Salle looked to have an advantage over the Broncs. The Explorers had 17 shots, 14 of which were on goal, as opposed to Rider, who had 18 shots with only eight on goal.

However, Rider seemed to have the defensive advantage. Freshman goalkeeper Lena Vandam recorded 11 saves while La Salle only had six.

The game against La Salle did not go the Broncs’ way, however, the game against LIU did.

Head Coach Lori Hussong said, “Sunday’s win was a must-win in order to keep our playoff hopes alive.”

Hughes started the game with an early goal off a rebound only six minutes in. The second goal was scored by sophomore forward Kaityln Flemming six minutes later. Flemming was assisted by senior forward Kesheal Henderson.

LIU then showed a little bit of life at 23:08 when Gillian Vallaster put one in the net, cutting Rider’s lead in half. Rider scored two more goals, one from Henderson and one from Flemming, ending the game with four goals and making the final score 4-1.

Throughout the game, the Broncs dominated the Black Birds. Rider shot 18 times, nine were on goal, opposed to LIU who only had three shots, two on goal.

The Black Birds had five saves as opposed to Rider’s one.

Hussong stated after the win against LUI, “Our goal at the start of every season is to qualify for the playoffs and continue our run of consecutive appearances.  Every conference game is important as there is very little room for error. If we continue to improve in our scoring and play tough as nails defense, we will give ourselves a great chance at qualifying.”

The Broncs’ next home game is against Fairfield on Oct. 15 at 12 p.m. as they look to make their final push towards the playoffs.

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