By Jenni Chiarello
Coming off two strong wins against Temple (2-5) and Drexel (2-4-2), the women’s soccer team looks forward to this weekend’s games versus Delaware State (1-8-1) and Holy Cross (2-6).
“I know that these upcoming games are going to be extremely difficult, but if we play like we have been playing, then we should be fine,” said sophomore Jody Sokol. “I have a lot of confidence in our team and I am not worried about playing Delaware State and Holy Cross.”
Head coach Drayson Hounsome was happy about his team’s performance this past week.
“It was a strong performance from start to finish and the players controlled the tempo of the games well,” he said. “We played from whistle to whistle for 90 minutes.”
Rider (6-2-1) dominated last Friday’s game versus Temple, winning by a score of 5-0. Two goals were scored by junior Abi Cottam. Sophomore Bridgette Bartkoski, freshman Sarah Wulk and Sokol were also able to find the back of the net. Rider’s game against Drexel was tighter, but the Broncs were still able to grab the victory, winning 2-0. Both goals came from sophomore Jennifer Meier.
“We played very well as a team against Temple,” said junior Jenn Nichols. “We put everything that we have been working on together and executed it well. Our forwards had a great game. They came out and scored within the first 10 minutes of the game. They went on to score four more goals.”
Defense was a key in Rider’s past two wins, and it will be important this weekend.
“Our defense had a solid performance, allowing only a few shots,” said Nichols. “Our midfield did an amazing job of keeping possession in the middle of the field and setting up offense for us.”
Cottam was named the MAAC Player of the Week for her play, and she looks to ride that momentum into the weekend.
Although Delaware State has lost its last three games, Rider prepares to face fierce competition from a team desperate to steal a win.
“Every game brings its own set of challenges and the great thing with soccer is you don’t know what they are until the game starts,” Hounsome said. “We just need to be ready and the players focused to address these challenges in the flow of the game.”
Holy Cross is also coming off a loss, but they have the overall series lead against Rider, winning both games that they have played.
“We are just hoping to come out of next weekend with another two wins,” Nichols said.