By Victoria Lyons
Following a solid start to the season, the women’s soccer team experienced two setbacks on the road this past weekend.
The Broncs lost to Marist last Friday 2-1 and then dropped a 4-1 match up against nationally ranked and undefeated Siena on Sunday.
According to head coach Drayson Hounsome, the team delivered a good performance, but could have made some adjustments in its play.
“Overall we played OK, but we made some mistakes and that cost us,” he said. “Without the mistakes we would have definitely had a better outcome from the weekend.”
The Broncs (5-6-2, 1-3 MAAC) got off to a quick start in the MAAC game against Marist, scoring in the 39th minute with freshman Jody Sokol scoring her fifth goal of the season.
“Jody scored a great goal on Friday night, but it is something she is doing on a regular basis,” Hounsome said.
The Red Foxes (7-6, 3-0 MAAC) tied it up on a header from a direct kick with just a little more than two minutes left in the first half.
Rider was outshot 10-5 in the first half, coming up short overall.
Marist took the lead, 2-1, with less than four minutes remaining in the second half, scoring a goal identical to its first, striking off a header from a direct kick.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Post notched five saves, but the Red Foxes outshot the Broncs 24-8.
Last year, Rider defeated Marist by the same score — 2-1 — but trail the Red Foxes in the career series, 9-5, which began in 1997.
On Sunday, Rider fell behind early against an elite opponent — the 25th ranked Saints.
Siena (12-0, 4-0 MAAC) gained a quick advantage, scoring in the 22nd minute, but freshman Jennifer Meier countered, crashing the net and tieing the score at 1-1 for the Broncs with 10 minutes left in the first half.
However, Siena’s senior, Tabitha Tice, produced a hat trick in the second half. The first score came three minutes into the second half, the second a minute later and the third with 22 minutes left in the game.
The Broncs were outshot by the Saints 21-6 and 11-3 in shots on goal.
Post earned six saves, while sophomore goalkeeper Jenn Nichols played the final 21 minutes, making one save.
Siena defeated Rider last season as well, 3-0, and lead the Broncs 5-8-2 in the series that started in 1997.
Rider only has five more games left in the regular season, all of which are in conference. Three are at home. The Broncs are currently in seventh place in the MAAC.
“The players have worked hard and made a commitment to each other,” Hounsome said. “The talent and desire is there so everything is in place to be successful.”
Rider will have a golden opportunity to get some conference wins down the stretch. The last three games of the season are all against teams who have a worse record than the Broncs.
Rider currently ranks third in the MAAC in points, goals, goals per game, assists per game and are tied for third in shots.
Up next for Rider is a home conference game tonight against Iona, which sports a 3-10-1 overall mark and a 1-1-1 record in the league. The Broncs’ follow that up with another home game against Fairfield (6-5-2, 2-0-1 MAAC) on Sunday at 1 p.m.