Broncs drop opening game of MAAC play 2-1

By Carolo Pascale

A weekend trip up to Buffalo, New York didn’t go exactly as planned for Rider women’s soccer, as it opened its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play games with a 2-1 loss to Canisius on Sept. 17.

“We didn’t play as good as was needed, which is the important thing,” said Head Coach Drayson Hounsome.

Canisius came out quick, with three shots on goal in just the first seven minutes of action, but junior goalkeeper Ellie Sciancalepore was able to stop all of them, keeping it even at zero a piece.

However, the Griffins maintained their early pressure, sending one to the back of Rider’s net in the 10th minute. Canisius forward Jen Romero was able to put her third shot of the match past Sciancalepore, giving the Griffins an early 1-0 lead.

The rest of the 1st half saw the Broncs try to find some momentum, but Canisius was able to limit Rider’s offensive chances to just four shots, with only two on target. Meanwhile, the Griffins had doubled the Broncs’ totals in both shots and shots on goal, with eight shots and four on net.

The opening minutes of the second half looked as if it was going to be a repeat of the first. The Griffins were able to get off two shots quickly, with Sciancalepore saving a shot to the bottom right corner in the 48th minute, and the other going wide left in the 51st. 

The Broncs and Griffins then traded several shots over the next 20 minutes, but Rider finally broke through to tie the game in the 75th minute, when junior midfielder Hannah Freeman was able to finally get one past the Canisius goalkeeper, making it a 1-1 game. 

“Hannah’s goal was a great moment and showed that we never stopped looking to try to win the game,” said senior forward Makenzie Rodrigues.

The tie wouldn’t last long though, as Canisius went back on the attack, and Romero scored her second goal of the day in the 84th minute, giving the Griffins back their one goal lead, which would hold, dealing the Broncs a 0-1 record in conference play.

Despite the loss, Sciancalepore had a great day in net, having faced 23 shots, 10 on net, while making eight saves. 

The Broncs will return back to Ben Cohen Field for their first home game in three weeks, when they take on Saint Peter’s on Sept. 24.

“I think that playing at home on Saturday will be huge for us,” said Sciancalepore. “Having the crowd on our side and being able to feed off that energy at Ben Cohen will only fuel us. We look forward to being back home and using that to our advantage.”

The match against the Peacocks kicks off at 7 p.m.

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