By Carlos Toro
The Broncs (4-6, 1-3 MAAC) couldn’t have asked for a better time to come back home, especially after a lopsided defeat by Marist (5-6-2, 3-2 MAAC), losing 5-0 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Despite the blowout, Head Coach Drayson Hounsome looked at the game in a positive light.
“Our possession and speed of play were very good,” Hounsome said. “We were able to maintain possession of the ball and the tempo of the game, which was good.”
However, Rider was not able to stop Marist senior midfielder Rycke Guiney, who scored a hat trick against the Broncs.
The game opened up in the 15th minute when Guiney scored the first goal after junior midfielder Jamie Strumwasser crossed the ball from the left part of the field into the middle of the box.
With six minutes remaining in the first half, Marist doubled its lead in the 39th minute and the third goal came about a minute later, giving the Red Foxes a three-goal lead at halftime.
It wasn’t any better in the second half for Rider.
Coming out onto the pitch for the second half already facing a large deficit, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Vanessa Perdomo subbed in for freshman keeper Bethany-May Howard and allowed two goals in the 52nd and 57th minutes. Howard made three saves while Perdomo made two.
Senior forward Jennifer Meier believes her team played poorly because of being away from home.
“It’s always tough playing on the road, as it’s a different atmosphere and you are at a bit of a disadvantage having traveled far and not being used to the playing field, unlike the opponent,” Meier said.
Hounsome agreed with Meier, but also noted that the Broncs were not 100% healthy.
“When you add in the effects of travel and the additional support of the home fans, it makes winning away from home challenging,” Hounsome said. “Unfortunately, we have a significant number of players out injured, so it has been even more challenging these last three weeks.”
It has not been an easy road trip for a team that had a winning record and won its first conference game of the season beforehand. Despite this three-game skid, the team will still feels optimistic for a run at a MAAC championship now that it returns home.
Senior midfielder Sarah Cirigliano believes that the team, although inexperienced, can still compete.
“Our team is young this year,” she said. “Even though we have the talent to win every single one of our games, the many freshmen on the field are still getting experience playing at this level.”
Rider will play St. Peter’s (2-9, 0-5 MAAC), who have lost five straight games, in their first home game since Sept. 21. The Broncs now have four home games out of six remaining on their schedule.
Meier is excited to return to the friendly confines of Rider’s campus.
“Coming back home, I am looking forward to playing at Ben Cohen Field again, having Rider support in the stands and getting back to winning,” she said.