By Kadie Digiuseppe
In the middle of their long stretch of road games, Rider field hockey fell just short in their last two games against Towson, who outscored the Broncs on Wednesday, 3-1 and, on Sunday, Columbia edged the Broncs 1-0.
After Rider’s Alumni Day win against Georgetown on Sept. 10, the team had 10 days off before their next game.
Against the Tigers, the Broncs played excellent defense in the first quarter of the game, but starting in the second and third quarters, the Tigers offense broke through, scoring three goals to take a 3-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Throughout the first three quarters, the Broncs kept fighting, sending in shot after shot at Towson’s goalie, Tessa Scheenstra. The Rider offense struck back in the fourth quarter with sophomore forward Valeria Perales banging in her first goal of the 2023 season at the top of the cage. It was the 21st goal of her Rider career.
“I felt really happy and relieved after the goal. I had been having a bit of problems at the time of shooting at goal, but I decided to reset myself and start enjoying my play time. Scoring that goal gave me back my scoring confidence and my skills,” Perales said.
The Broncs ended the game vs. Towson with 15 shots and seven corners. Senior goalie, Carlee Fulton, had seven saves in the game, bringing her season total to 33 saves so far in 2023.
On Sept. 24, Rider traveled to the big apple to take on Ivy League, Columbia. After the loss to Towson four days earlier, the Broncs were determined to get something positive going in New York.
Columbia dominated the first half and scored their only goal during the period. The first half was scrappy and filled with corners and fouls for both teams.
Shots by Perales, freshman defensive player Kate Muhmud, sophomore forward Semra Said and freshman forward and midfielder Willemjin Ephraim kept Columbia on their toes, but unfortunately, Rider couldn’t break through. The game ended 1-0, in favor of Columbia.
The Broncs put up eight shots in total, two more shots than the Lions. Columbia, and Fulton had one save.
“We played really well this past weekend even though we didn’t come out with the win,” says head coach Alicia Govannicci. “We are excited to enter into conference play this Friday. Our goal is to continue to build upon the things we are doing well defensively and really focus on scoring.”
The Broncs are 2-5 on the season. They take on Merrimack at 2 p.m. on Friday in North Andover, Massachusetts, Sept. 29. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.