Broncs look to shake off first MAAC loss

Junior Claire Thompson uses fancy footwork to get by her opponent. She has one goal so far this year.

By Kyle Boris

The women’s soccer team had been on a roll heading into its match with Loyola (MD). Before squaring off with the Greyhounds, the Broncs hadn’t lost a game in over a month. But Loyola brought Rider’s streak to a halt with a 3-0 victory Saturday.
Sophomore Jennifer Meier, who is second in scoring for Rider, believes the Broncs (7-3-2, 0-1 MAAC) showed their nerves against Loyola.
“We played quite nervous and panicked a bit during the Loyola game, which contributed to the loss,” she said.
Meier feels her team needs to get past the loss and  look to rebound. The Broncs have two big games coming up this weekend against Canisius and Niagara.
“For this weekend, our team needs to focus on staying composed, confident and playing our game, especially since both games are on the road,” Meier said. “We must stay focused and play more relaxed as a team in order to succeed.”
The Broncs will try to go back to their winning ways when they take on Niagara tonight at 7. Niagara is 4-7 overall, 2-0 in the MAAC, and riding a two-game winning streak. Rider Head Coach Drayson Hounsome is not underestimating Niagara.
“We have to deal with Niagara on Friday night, who lost in the MAAC final two years ago,” he said.
Hounsome is looking for a strong overall effort.
“We’ll be looking for a great team performance in order to be successful rather than looking for an individual player to break out,” Hounsome said. “We have a lot of players who are playing very well at the moment and everyone will be needed to perform and play a vital role.”
Following their match with Niagara, the Broncs will be looking for revenge when they take on Canisius on Sunday at 1 p.m. Rider made it to the MAAC semifinals last year but its run was stopped when Canisius picked up an impressive victory. Hounsome realizes this as well.
“Canisius ended our season last November in the MAAC semifinals, so we’ll be looking for a little bit of revenge when we play them on Sunday,” he said.
Canisius has a record of 7-4-1 and a 2-0 mark in the league, so it will be a tough obstacle for the Broncs, but not one that they think they can’t overcome.
Hounsome agreed that this is a crucial part in the Broncs’ schedule and a sweep this weekend would be huge.
“Both will be challenging matches,” Hounsome said.
Two big wins on this road trip could prove that the Broncs are going to be serious competitors in the MAAC.

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