By Kristie Kahl
Rider’s field hockey team put another Northeast Conference (NEC) win under its belt after overtaking Siena.
Siena (1-9, 1-4 NEC) fell to the Broncs 3-1, as Rider moved another win closer to its postseason goals.
“Coming out of the game against Siena, it wasn’t a perfect game for us, which is good, because being able to get a win like that, means there’s room to improve on some areas to help strengthen our game for upcoming conference games” said senior Stephanie Walker.
Rider took the lead five minutes into the game, as freshman Amanda Barretta scored off of an assist from junior Tricia Crotty and freshman Allison Vogel.
“We had a lot of shots on goal. It was exactly what we needed and we need to keep shooting,” said senior goalie Jen LoCastro.
Crotty scored again, making this her fifth goal of the season, after picking up a rebound off of a corner.
“We worked hard all week on supporting the ball up the field in an
effort to contain the ball in our offensive circle,” said Head Coach Lori Hussong. “We knew if we could improve in that area we would set our selves up for more shot opportunities on goal.”
Siena found their way onto the board, but Rider responded quickly as Walker scored on a fast break to maintain a two- goal lead for the team. This goal makes it Walker’s fourth of the season and 33rd of her career, which makes her the seventh best all-time at Rider.
“The win over Siena was a good one for us,” Walker said. “Every conference win is a positive, and the fact it was a 3-1 win instead of a one goal difference is a good statement for our team.”
LoCastro had two saves as Rider outshot Siena 19-8.
“Sundays win against Siena was one of best wins of the season,” said Hussong. “We put together a great team effort both defensively and offensively for the first time this season.”
With another win, the team saw the return of Vogel and senior Emily Egan.
“It was such a lift for our team to have Allison Vogel and senior captain Emily Egan return to the line up,” Hussong said. “Allison is a freshman forward who will add to our offense and Emily is one of our senior captains who is returning from ACL surgery. She has been an inspiration to our team in the fact that she has worked extremely hard and aggressively to be able to return to the line- up.”
The Broncs still find themselves in second place behind Lock Haven in the conference while looking to receive home field advantage in the post season.
“These conference wins will rank us in the NEC, putting us into the conference tournament,” said Crotty. “If our record is good enough we will be able to host the tournament, which is always something we like to shoot for. These wins give us a better chance at doing that.”
This season, the Broncs are looking for their eighth trip to the playoffs, all under Hussong, who has a 99-53 record as coach of the Broncs.
“Every game leading up to these games is preparation and will hopefully be an indication of how we are going to play when this weekend comes around,” said Crotty. “At practice we’ve been intense in drills and working on our offensive corners. The conference championship can be in anyone’s hands, and we keep reminding each other that if we keep working hard we will be the ones to come out on top.”
Rider (6-6 overall, 3-0 NEC) fell to Lehigh 4-2 in a non-conference game on Wednesday.
Egan put the Broncs on the board, while freshman Lindsay Rajeski added another goal two minutes later, taking Rider into the second half with a 2-0 lead over Lehigh.
Lehigh scored all four of its goals in the second half to ensure their win over the Broncs.
“Every game from here on out is important,” Hussong said to Rider Sports Information. “There are inherent things that we need to do better and with the conference game today, we need to figure out the mistakes we made Wednesday and more importantly, correct them going forward.”
Rider will play at home, playing Lock Haven today at 4 p.m.