Rider reaches playoffs in final MAAC season

By Dylan Manfre 

The field hockey team’s recent success had transformed a team who started out in 2018 with a 1-3 record, into a squad whose sixth consecutive win came in a 3-1 battle against the Bryant Bulldogs in a MAAC showdown on Oct. 19.

The Broncs outscored their opponents 17-7 over their six-game winning streak. 

Sophomore midfielder Marion Waterkeyn got the scoring started vs. Bryant notching her seventh goal of the season which ended a six-game scoreless skid for the midfielder. 

Freshman forward Carly Brosious, who was named the National Rookie of the Week by Synapse Sports on Oct. 16., recorded her fifth assist of the year and her third in Rider’s last five outings.

Jess Randazzo scored the first goal of her final campaign as a Bronc just over 28 minutes into the contest. Junior midfielder Tess Coorens jumped in on the action and recorded her team-high 12th goal, putting her behind Monmouth’s Georgia Garden Bachop for the second most goals in the MAAC.

Sophomore goalkeeper Lena Vandam produced two saves giving the Brasschaat, Belgium native her 18th career win.

“I think we’ve switched our mentality,” Coorens said. “In the beginning of our season, we stayed with the team every single time, but we ended with a loss because we would give up in the last 10 minutes and they would score on us. Halfway through the season that totally switched, even if things were going south a little. We played more for each other to try and get that win.”

The Rider vs. Sacred Heart contest would determine the final playoff seeding after Monmouth locked up the No. 1 seed. Fairfield’s final MAAC contest was against LIU Brooklyn, who upset them last year, affecting its seeding.

“We’ve been on a nice winning streak, everybody has been working hard and I think we’re ready for the Sacred Heart game, especially since it determines seeding — and we’d love to become the second seed,” Coorens said. 

The Broncs’ streak ended at the hands of La Salle in a 2-1 contest on Oct. 23. Freshman midfielder Tess van Ommeren scored the lone goal for Rider just over 50 minutes into the game. It was van Ommeren’s second career goal.

The Broncs were looking to remain even-keeled as they sit second in the MAAC with a 3-1 record. Of Rider’s final two opponents, only Sacred Heart owned a winning record. Colgate held a record of 3-13.

The game between Rider and Sacred Heart would determine playoff seeding for both teams, as both have clinched playoff berths.

The Broncs will travel to Sacred Heart on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. to face the Pioneers.

Follow Dylan Manfre on Twitter.

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