Sports Blog: Getting started on the right foot

By Josh Veltrie

As the fall season begins, each team has the same goal of winning a conference championship and nothing is more important than getting off to a fast start. During the first five games, it is imperative to win at least two games. Going 1-4 and 0-5 digs a hole too deep to get out of.
For teams that have struggled over the past few years, getting a couple of wins early on is just what they need. For a team like Rider’s volleyball team, which has started off the year with only one win in its first eight games, there’s a lot of tension around the locker room. That is what losing does. There isn’t much a coach can do about that except to try to turn the team around and start winning. Winning solves everything.
The women’s soccer team hopefully paved the way for a successful season by starting off with a record of 2-1-2. The Broncs have had three games go into double overtime so far, which means they have competed and stayed with the opposition in every game. This helps build confidence and team chemistry, which is key, especially in college athletics where players are graduating and new members are joining the team every year.
Men’s soccer needs a win badly as the team dropped its first three games and was outscored 2-11 in those games.  If Rider loses a couple more games it will be tough to rebound from an 0-5 start, although conference games are what really matter.
If the Broncs lose every non-conference game but win every conference game it will be considered a very successful season. A conference championship is what every team strives for but it is crucial to have some momentum going into the part of the schedule where the conference games are.
The field hockey team is looking for a conference championship this season. It had a very successful 2009 campaign but fell short in the conference championship. Rider started off the season well with a 3-1 record and should be on its way to another victorious season.
Golf started the season off on a bit of a low note, finishing 13th out of 15 teams at the Rutgers Invitational. However, golf is different from the other fall sports because it is more individual-based. That is something that can turn around in an instant if a couple players start playing well and carry the team like graduate student Eric LeFante did last year. Cross Country is very similar in that individuals need to do well. The Broncs started off the season on the right foot with the men finishing second in their first two events while the women placed fifth and third.
Overall, the fall season isn’t looking too bad after the first couple weeks, but it is crucial for the teams to try and get to a winning streak going before the conference schedule starts. If not, it could be another long season for some of the fall teams at Rider.

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