First MAAC victory eases pain of out-of-conference loss
By Carlos Toro
The field hockey team’s five game win-streak ended on Oct. 19 at Hofstra, but not before opening MAAC play with a win against Monmouth on Oct. 17.
The Broncs (8-6, 1-0 MAAC) lost 6-3 to Hofstra in a back and forth, non-conference game. Head Coach Lori Hussong was proud of her team’s recent performance against a tough Hofstra (10-5, CAA 1-1) team.
“Hofstra had too many skilled players for us to contain and we were able to contain their efforts in the latter part of the second half,” Hussong said.
Hofstra kicked off the first half with an offense firing on all cylinders, scoring three straight goals to open the game. The Pride took the lead less than two minutes into the game when senior Jonel Boileau scored off of an assist from sophomore midfielder Colby Hussong, who is the daughter of Lori and Rider Assistant Coach Dan Hussong.
They kept the offensive pressure on the Broncs for almost 18 more minutes before sophomore forward Stella Schoen scored her third goal of the season.
Hofstra scored again when junior midfielder Charlotte Loehr earned her eighth goal of the season at around the 26 minute mark off of a Schoen assist, which left Rider with a 3-0 defecit.
Rider was not willing to go down without a fight. They closed the first half by scoring two goals in the last five minutes with a goal from freshman forward Shannon Hughes followed by one for freshman midfielder Allison Baligian.
The Broncs opened the second half determined to win and managed to tie the game up at three apiece in the 44th minute.
Unfortunately for Rider, Hofstra’s offense broke through for three straight goals to win the game 6-3.
The loss came off the heels of Rider’s first conference win this season against Monmouth (8-7, 1-1 MAAC). They beat Monmouth 1-0 in a special Play 4 The Cure game that the team dedicated to Rider Director of Publications and Team Mentor, Cathy Carter Romero, who currently is battling breast cancer. Junior Melyssa Alonso scored the only goal in the win.
Despite not being to pull off the comeback against Hofstra, the team left feeling confident and prepared for what’s left of the MAAC schedule.
Sophomore forward Kalyn O’Brien, who had an assist against Hofstra, believes that the game was proof that the team can compete with the best.
“Coming back from being down three gave us confidence that we have the ability to play with anybody,” O’Brien said. “We didn’t give up and came back. Although we didn’t win, we played hard and that’s what it’s going to take to win the MAAC.”
Rider continues their MAAC schedule on the road this weekend. They will go to Connecticut on Oct. 24 to face off against Quinnipiac (5-8, 1-0 MAAC) and on Oct. 26 against Sacred Heart (7-7, 1-1 MAAC).
Hussong believes that they’ll be in for two very tough games, but also believes they can win.
“We know that this weekend is huge,” Hussong said. “Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart are going to be at the top of their game and we need to rise to the occasion and play to our potential to have success. If everyone does their job and a little bit more, we will give our team the best chance at success.”