By Austin Ferguson
In a week where both of its games were sent to overtime, the men’s soccer team came out winless with a loss to Saint Peter’s on Oct. 9 and a tie Monmouth on Oct. 12.
The Broncs traveled to Jersey City, New Jersey, on Oct. 9 to try to maintain their undefeated status in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. Rider tied its first conference matchup at Fairfield on Oct. 2 and defeated Canisius on Oct. 5.
In the 32nd minute, the Broncs struck first when redshirt junior midfielder Mathis Catanzaro put a pass from freshman midfielder Matt Araujo past the goalkeeper.
Rider kept steady and held Saint Peter’s scoreless until the 81st minute, when Peacocks midfielder Alex Garcia scored in traffic to tie the game at one. Neither team was able to capitalize in the last 10 minutes of play and the match went to overtime.
Both sides were quiet through the first overtime as neither team was able to score. The second overtime appeared to be headed in the same direction until the final minute of play.
In the 110th minute, Saint Peter’s Jordan Jowers drew a foul and a red card from graduate student midfielder Sam Carter to set up a penalty kick. Jowers cashed in on the kick and won the match for Saint Peter’s, 2-1.
Carter’s red card was one of 11 bookings made during the game. Besides Carter, six cards were shown to Rider players, all of which were yellow. Araujo, Catanzaro, redshirt senior backs Sylvain Coco and Emmanuel Kouma, senior midfielder Aaron Robinson and senior forward Clement Bourret were booked in the Oct. 9 draw.
Four yellow cards were shown to Saint Peter’s players. Forwards Matt Hoyt and Gabriele Zennaro and back Tom Climpson received yellow cards in the second half and midfielder Immanuel Sierck was booked in the second overtime period.
The Broncs outshot Saint Peter’s, 19-12. Rider also held the advantage in shots on goal with 10 as opposed to Saint Peter’s seven.
The Broncs looked to bounce back from their first conference loss when they took on Monmouth on Oct. 12. Monmouth came into the match off of its first win of the season against Siena on Oct. 9. Before the win, Monmouth sat at an 0-8-1 record on the season.
Rider looked to strike early as it set up a free kick in the 16th minute. The Broncs did exactly that when junior midfielder Pablo DeCastro headed the kick from Catanzaro into the net to give Rider the 1-0 lead.
Monmouth quickly answered in the 25th minute when Ben Zakowski put a shot past junior goalkeeper Pablo Gatinois to tie the game.
Junior midfielder Francisco Gomez Olano began the second half by avoiding his defender and weaving the ball past another defender and the goalkeeper to retake the lead for Rider.
In the 58th minute, Monmouth’s Santo Arena showcased a shot with just as much finesse as Gomez Olano’s to knot the game at two.
The Broncs made a strong push for a goal in the closing minutes of regulation. Nothing went for them, however, as they missed a multitude of shots, including three that ricocheted off the crossbar. Rider found itself in overtime once again.
Neither squad was able to find the golden goal in the overtime periods and the final buzzer signaled a 2-2 draw for the Broncs.
The shot chart did not reflect the final score, as Rider outshot Monmouth 27-6 during the match. Head Coach Charlie Inverso cited unlucky misses to the shot total, though he didn’t look to use the misses as an excuse to the Broncs’ loss.
“We were pretty unlucky with not putting away chances,” Inverso said. “A couple of crossbars, maybe three, a couple of good keeper saves. But in the end, we still have to own it that we have to do better.”
Inverso also touched upon the defense’s responsibilty in Monmouth’s scores.
“We gave away a couple of bad goals. However many shots it said on the board, about three of them were truly on goal and two of them went in and we’re not going to win if we give up bad goals,” said Inverso.
Injuries also plagued the Broncs’ lineup against Monmouth. Coco sat out with an injury and Bourret left the game in the sixth minute with apparent discomfort in his leg.
Inverso still had faith in players available for the Broncs in lieu of the injuries to multiple players on the team.
“We still have a good team,” Invesro said. “We got a lot of guys, key guys, injured, but we can’t use that as an excuse. We have to move on and win games.”
Despite scoring a goal against Monmouth, Gomez Olano echoed Inverso’s sentiments.
“I was happy to score a goal, but I wasn’t happy with the tie. There are things we have to improve upon to have better results,” said Gomez Olano.
After their draw with Monmouth, Rider sits at 1-1-2 in the MAAC standings, putting them in sixth place.
Saint Peter’s tops the MAAC standings with a 3-1 record.
Iona stands as the only undefeated team in conference play with a record of 2-0-1, though its one-game deficit in games played to Saint Peter’s puts it in second place.
Niagara and Quinnipiac are tied for third place with 2-1-1 records and Manhattan sits in fifth in the MAAC with a 2-1 record to round out the teams above Rider in the standings.
Monmouth is placed seventh in the MAAC standings with a 1-2-1 record after its draw with Rider.
Siena, Marist and Canisius are all tied for eighth in the MAAC. Siena and Canisius have records of 1-3 and Marist sits with a record of 1-2.
Fairfield remains as the only team in MAAC without a conference win, sitting in last in the standings with as 0-1-2 record.
The Broncs remain at home on Oct. 16 when they take on Manhattan at 7 p.m. Rider then hits the road to face Niagara on Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.
Rider’s Oct. 16 game against Manhattan will be broadcast on ESPN 3, beginning at 7 p.m. You can find a web link to the broadcast on gobroncs.com.