By Logan VanDine
The Rider field hockey team saw their magical season and 11-game winning streak end on Nov. 9 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as they got blown out by the University of Miami (Ohio) 7-1, dashing any hopes of a Cinderella run.
It seemed like it was going to be a long day for the Broncs right from the beginning with the RedHawks jumping out to a quick 2-0 first quarter lead and seemed to dominate the rest of the way.
The RedHawks added three more goals in the second quarter, making the score 5-0 and effectively putting the game away for good.
The RedHawks were not done there as they put the icing on the cake in the third quarter adding two more goals making the game 7-0 until the Broncs added a garbage time goal in the fourth with a goal made by senior midfielder Sierra Giuliano scoring her final goal of the season and her collegiate career.
“Today was definitely not the ending we were hoping for, but still a lot to be proud of. Miami was an excellent team. They are well coached and highly skilled and have a lot of depth,” Head Coach Lori Hussong said.
Even though it was not the outcome she expected, Hussong gave props to her senior players.
“We are very proud of our team. We couldn’t have asked for a better group to work with and appreciate all of their effort and sacrifices they made this season a success. We want to thank our senior class for 4 years of hard work, loyalty and commitment. This senior class was a very special group and will be greatly missed next year,” Hussong said.
Giuliano, who accounted for the Broncs only goal of the game, gave her own thoughts on her team’s blowout loss and reminisced on her time at Rider since it was her last game.
“It was definitely not our best game. Our structure fell apart a little bit after the first quarter. Miami is a great team and I don’t think we were ready for the challenge,” Guiliano said. “My time on the team has been an amazing journey. I’ve grown so much as a person and a leader. I will have these relationships with my teammates and coaches for life so I feel so blessed and grateful to have gotten to experience playing division one field hockey at Rider University.”
The Broncs finished off their 2022 campaign with a record of 15-6 and winning 11 of their final 12 games. Hussong was very optimistic about the team going forward.
“The future is bright for Rider field hockey. We have a talented group coming in next fall to add to our returning team. We will have to rebuild our defense as we graduate almost the entire defense but are very confident in what we have returning,” Hussong said.