By Maria Eldridge
The Broncs are chomping at the bit this weekend as they are set to face off in Brooklyn, N.Y., Saturday night against St. Francis College.
Though the Broncs (1-5-1) are coming back from a long weekend in which they lost both games to Albany (4-3-0) 1-3, and Binghamton (3-3-0) 1-0 at the Binghamton Tournament in Vestal, N.Y., they are fired up, ready to display what new knowledge they have acquired under their new coaching staff.
“Since Coach Inverso took over the team last spring, I have noticed a new commitment from everyone on the team to put in extra work in order to be more successful this season,” sophomore Eric Elgin said. “Practices have also been more competitive and everyone is more passionate about winning this year.”
St. Francis (3-2-1) is having a fairly impressive season so far, and their final scores against their opponents are a sign of that. The offense is not a weakness for the Terriers.
“We are very confident going up against St. Francis,” senior captain Corey Diamond said. “ We feel that even though the past few games haven’t gone our way, that we have out-played each of our opponents and that it’s about time we start winning some games.”
According to the Broncs, in order to claim victory on Saturday, Rider must be offensively aggressive, while simultaneously maintaining their defensive strength.
“We want to continue to out-possess our opponents and be sure to work hard to win the ball back on turnovers,” senior Jonathon Burd said.
The Broncs plan to capitalize on its offensive opportunities by taking advantage of their front-line. This includes starting freshmen Matt Veltri and Ryan Walsh.
“They’ve been very positive contributors to our team so far this season,” Burd said. “ Ryan brings a lot of speed and strong work ethic, while Veltri’s skill has been valuable in controlling the midfield.”
Saturday’s game is crucial, for this is the last non-conference game of the season.
“We want to end our non-conference season with a good result to pick up momentum going into our first conference games next weekend,” Diamond said.
Such momentum could propel the Broncs to a winning season; however the first hurdle is conquering the Terriers.
“Just by looking at our record, people will probably underestimate us during the upcoming conference season,” Elgin said. “Hopefully, through our improvement with possessing the ball, and continued improvement of attacking as a team, we will be able to surprise some conference opponents and win more often than last year”
The Terriers are coming off a three-game winning streak, and are scheduled to play NJIT (1-4-2) on Wednesday. Confidence could benefit the Terriers in the match against Rider; therefore it is imperative that Rider starts the game strong, not allowing St. Francis to gain any kind of early lead.
“Our team plays awesome collective defense and now we must transition quicker and attack effectively as a unit as well,” Elgin said.
It appears that goal scoring and tight defense is the name of the game that the Broncs plan to play against the Terriers.