By Hannah Newman
After recent struggles, Rider women’s soccer secured two vital victories, defeating Mount St. Mary’s 2-1 on Oct. 19 and Marist 1-0 on Oct. 22 to clinch a spot in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) playoffs.
Barkey’s birthday bash
Two goals scored, a 2-1 victory, and two games closer to the playoffs is where the Broncs now stand after their triumph against Mount St. Mary’s on Oct. 19. This victory brought the team to a tie with Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers in the MAAC; however, the Broncs refuse to let this winning streak decline now that their chances to make the playoffs have been granted.
Head Coach Drayson Housome said, “A week ago, we had to win in order to potentially make the playoffs. A week later, we have qualified for the playoffs already and we are now playing to finish top four and host a playoff game.”
Graduate student midfielder Anna Barkey kicked off her birthday by scoring her first goal as a Bronc only seven minutes into the match with the help of senior midfielder Karagh Tait. The Broncs maintained the lead throughout the first half until the Mountaineers decided to rebel at full force with a 20-yard shot that gave them their first goal when the game hit its 50th minute. However, Barkey’s birthday fuel was nowhere near out after she scored her second goal three-and-a-half minutes after the Mountaineers.
“We had gone four games without scoring any goals, so I was pleased to break that streak with two goals on my 23rd birthday. I think this gave me reassurance that I am an important asset to this team, and now we have some momentum heading into our next match,” said Barkey. “I was thrilled to help contribute to our huge win against Mount St. Mary’s. Karagh Tait and I had talked about her giving me an assist off of a corner kick the night before the game, so we were super excited when that actually happened.”
After four losses followed by a 2-1 win, the Broncs have now learned that adversity is just another name for advancement.
Confidence is key
After bringing home a win from Mount St. Mary’s, the Broncs were sure to match this success in their game against Marist on Oct. 22 with a 1-0 victory on the road.
With three saves made by junior goalkeeper Ellie Sciancalepore, the first half remained scoreless. The Broncs were able to get on the board in courtesy of senior midfielder Lindsey Maslow who was able to score the Broncs only goal at the game’s 64th minute mark after taking on a pass from graduate student midfielder Ailis Martin in the box.
“Definitely a great feeling to score to put the team up 1-0 in the second half. The team is going into the last game confident with now a two game winning streak,” said Maslow. “Also knowing that we have clinched playoffs gives us relief, but still gives us motivation to get a home playoff game.”
The Broncs have one last chance to keep their winning streak before playoffs.
“We have played well, created opportunities and competed hard and that will continue to be our focus this week,” said Hounsome.
The Broncs will close their regular season with a home game against Siena on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. on Ben Cohen Field.
“Our last two games were extremely important for us to clinch a spot in the MAAC playoffs,” said Barkey. “I’m hoping the Siena game will be another great memory in my Rider uniform, and something I can hold onto as my college soccer career comes to an end.”