By Jillian Shutt
The field hockey team had an outstanding weekend, winning both of its away games against two conference rivals, Quinnipiac and Monmouth.
Rider added to its undefeated streak on Friday against Monmouth, winning 3-1.
The game started off with sophomore Virginia Egusquiza scoring the first goal 21 minutes into the game. Rider has scored first in all of its games this season, according to Head Coach Lori Hussong.
“Scoring first gives us the momentum to finish strong,” she said.
The second goal for the Broncs was scored in the second half by sophomore Natasha Tukeva. It was her first goal of the season, as Tukeva lengthened the Broncs’ lead to 2-0. Senior Erin McGinniss capped off the contest with the final goal, putting away their state rival for good.
The Monmouth victory tied the record for most consecutive wins in a season which was set in 2003. The Broncs have claimed their best start to a season since 2004 with their current 11-0 record.
On Sunday, the Broncs competed against conference foe Quinnipiac, capturing the victory 1-0. This was a battle between two gritty teams and both played very well.
“Our team’s defense played tough and we allowed only one shot on goal,” Hussong said.
It was a true team effort that made this win possible for the Broncs. Egusquiza fired in the winning goal off an assist from sophomore Megan Pisani.
Senior goalie Lyndsie Johnson has not let Quinnipiac put one past her throughout her athletic career at Rider. Johnson entered the week second in the nation in goals against average.
Rider remains one of the three undefeated teams in NCAA Division I.
“The team has been able to stay undefeated thus far because we feel that our team has great belief in themselves that they can compete and be successful,” Hussong said. “They have a strong will to find a way to win.”
The defense was a big factor in both wins, as the Broncs only allowed four shots on goal.
“Our defense is rock solid and tough to score on, and our offense has been extremely productive,” she said.
Hussong understands that every game is going to be tough down the stretch.
“At this point, every game is a challenge trying to remain unbeaten,” she said. “We know that other teams gain extra motivation trying to be the first to beat our team.”
The team has great leadership this year from senior captains Kelly Crist, McGinniss and Johnson. Hussong believes that the players are very cohesive and team-oriented. The team knows how to work together, and that is the main reason for their success, she said.
“Their passion for success and excellence is contagious,” Hussong said.
The Broncs’ next game is at home at 4 p.m today, Friday, against Bryant.
By Jillian Shutt