This past weekend was bittersweet for the field hockey team. A win against Siena guaranteed Rider a spot in the postseason, but a loss on Sunday ended the Broncs’ eight-game winning streak.
Lori Hussong, who is in her ninth season as Rider’s head coach, was happy with her team’s success against Siena but felt players could have competed better.
“Even though the score ended 3-0, it was much closer than the score indicated,” she said. “We did not play particularly well, but managed to get the job done and solidify our playoff berth for the ninth consecutive year.”
The defeat of Siena marked eight straight wins for the team. Senior Diana Celebre scored eight minutes into the game off an assist from freshman Virginia Egusquiza. Celebre currently leads the team with 11 goals for the season.
Senior captain Tricia Crotty gave Rider a 2-0 lead when she scored off an assist from sophomore Amanda Barretta three minutes into the second half. With just four minutes left in the game, Barretta assisted Crotty again, giving the Broncs their fourth straight shutout with a 3-0 victory over Siena.
The team feels its success over the past several games is a result of their good communication on and off the field.
“Having good communication comes from constantly playing with each other and developing a strong bond,” said junior goalkeeper Lyndsie Johnson. “We have been playing together for a long time and we have a family bond. We understand each other off the field and it makes it much easier to communicate and understand one another on the field.”
Rider moved on to lose to conference rival Lock Haven 1-0 in overtime. Both teams went into the game undefeated in the conference, meaning that the winner would get the first-place seed and hosting rights for the NEC tournament.
The Broncs have beaten the Lady Eagles only once in seven faceoffs. Lock Haven and Rider faced each other in the final game of the NEC tournament last year, where Lock Haven won 3-1.
Rider’s last game of the regular season is today against Monmouth at 4 p.m. Although Rider is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, Monmouth will be fighting for a chance to play in the postseason.
“The Monmouth game is key,” Hussong said. “We want to go into the tournament on a winning note, and Monmouth needs to beat our team to give themselves an outside chance at making the playoffs. There’s a lot riding on [the] game.”
Today’s game will be especially interesting for Rider junior Kelly Crist, who transferred from Monmouth last spring.
“I am really excited for [the Monmouth game] and it makes it that much better that we get to play them on our home field,” she said.
Crist feels her teammates here have made her adjustment of going from one team to another very easy.
“The girls and the coaches have really welcomed me to the team,” she said. “They made me feel like I truly belong here. I could not have asked for anything better and I just wish I would have come here from the start.”
The Broncs’ first game of the postseason will be on Nov. 7 in Lock Haven.