By Logan VanDine
The Rider field hockey team was looking to right the ship as they headed to their weekend road trip on a two game losing streak and were able to get back to the .500 mark, splitting games against Drexel and Georgetown.
‘We need to score more’
Hoping for vengeance after a heartbreaking loss to Lock Haven on Sept. 18, the Rider field hockey team stayed in the Pennsylvania area and took on Drexel. In yet another heartbreaker in overtime, the Broncs lost to the Dragons 3-2 on Sept. 23, extending their losing streak to three.
The Dragons instantly proved to be a challenging opponent for the Broncs. Just three minutes into the game, they struck the first goal of the match, making it 1-0, until the Broncs responded with a penalty corner shot that freshman Valeira Perales was able to sink for her seventh goal of the season, successfully tying the game.
Each team added one more goal, but with the score deadlocked until the end of regulation, the Broncs were in another familiar spot: overtime. Luck did not favor the Broncs as the Dragons sealed their victory with a quick overtime goal.
“I was very happy with the team’s performance, other than not scoring more goals than them. The bottom line is we need to score more. When we have that many chances, we need to score more goals,” Head Coach Lori Hussong said.
If there was any silver lining in the team’s crushing defeat, it was Hussong being able to get her young players involved more, which is something that she has been impressed with this season.
“We had outstanding play on the attack from Indy Zoontjens, Sierra Giuliano, Semra Said and Valeria Perales,” Hussong said. “And on the defensive end Maeve Riehman, Kiki Van Ommeren and Amanda Zambrana played steady and smart. Kaitlyn Tomas played well in goal.”
Freshman midfielder Indy Zoontjens, who scored two goals in as many days, talked about how positive of an experience it’s been for her this early in her career.
“This has been a great experience, and we will be prepared when it’s time for the conference season,” Zoontjens said.
Handling the Hoyas
Looking for better fortune after a crushing overtime loss, the Broncs bounced back as they convincingly shut out the Georgetown Hoyas 4-0 on Sept. 25.
After a scoreless first half, the Broncs broke the ice as Zoontjens ripped a shot in the third quarter on a penalty corner for her first of two goals.
The Broncs sealed the game with three goals in the fourth quarter that helped send the Broncs back to .500 with a 4-4 record.
“Georgetown played tough throughout the game. It took us a little while to get our legs moving and get our attack going,” Hussong said. “Today’s win was much-needed. It will definitely give us confidence as we move forward into conference play next week.”
The defense was also able to pitch a shutout, which was something Hussong was very impressed with, especially after three straight losses.
“Our defense held tough and earned another shutout, and Kaitlyn Tomas was outstanding in goal, coming up with some huge saves to keep us in the game before our attack got going. Amanda Zambrana and Sierra Giuliano held our midfield together,” said Hussong.
The Broncs will now get some time to enjoy this victory before they play Saint Francis on Sept. 30 and No. 22 ranked American University on Oct. 2.