By Austin Ferguson
The Broncs ended out-of-conference play with a loss to St. Francis, 4-0 and a double overtime victory at Stony Brook, 2-1.
Rider’s season started as a back-and-forth campaign after beginning the campaign 2-2. The Broncs looked to put together back-to-back wins after a victory in their home opener against La Salle on Sept. 14.
The Broncs’ first 30 minutes of action against St. Francis (Pennsylvania) were quiet from both sides. St. Francis managed only three shots in the timespan, with one on-goal shot being saved by junior goalkeeper Pablo Gatinois.
Rider struggled to find the goal itself in the first half hour of action. Junior midfielder Taner Bay’s shot in the 14th minute and redshirt junior forward Pablo DeCastro’s 24th minute attempt both sailed high.
St. Francis’ Lucas Rosa broke the scoreless drought from both squads in the 31st minute and gave the Red Flash a 1-0 advantage.
Rosa found the back of the net again before the first half closed and scored his second goal of the match in the 42nd minute.
Head Coach Charlie Inverso felt energy had a lot to do with Rider’s woes in the first half.
“We really didn’t come out energized in the first half,” Inverso said. “We put ourselves in a hole.”
The second half played out similarly to the first as both teams went scoreless for the first 35 minutes of the period.
The Broncs attempted 10 shots up to the 80th minute but were unable to find the goal. Five of those attempts came between the 54th and 59th minute. The final of those attempts, made by senior forward Clement Bourret, was on course to break the shutout before it was saved by St. Francis goalkeeper Jonas Dieseler.
Jonathan Neil was the beginning and end of second-half scoring for St. Francis. He scored in the 81st minute and gave the Red Flash a convincing 3-0 lead. Neil was able to get on the board again just three minutes later and cemented the 4-0 victory for St. Francis.
Inverso said that the time of day in part contributed to Rider’s loss.
“Traditionally, we’re not a really good afternoon team,” Inverso said. “It’s just one of those things.”
Despite the loss, DeCastro hoped the Broncs would go out against Stony Brook the same way they played in the second half against St. Francis.
“We have to start the game the way we did in the second half. If we do that, we’re going to have a lot more chances to score,” said DeCastro.
Rider traveled to Long Island, New York, to take on Stony Brook in their final non-conference matchup of the regular season.
After Stony Brook started the action with a 14th minute goal from Jared Dass, DeCastro answered back in the 45th minute by way of penalty kick to level the score at one a piece to close out the first half.
Neither team were able to gain a lead in the second half, which brought the contest into overtime.
After a scoreless first overtime, redshirt junior midfielder Mathis Catanzaro sunk a 106th minute shot, and gave Rider the 2-1 win in the second overtime period.
The Broncs begin Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play on Oct. 2 against Fairfield. Rider will then travel home to Ben Cohen Field for its conference home opener on Oct. 5 to take on Fairfield.