By Tom Regan
Finishing up non-conference games, the Broncs (6-3, 1-0 MAAC) were handed their third loss of the season in a double overtime loss to Seton Hall (3-5-2, 0-2 Big East) on Oct. 2.
The Broncs were first to score with a goal in the 63rd minute by junior forward Ryan Walsh off of a deflected free kick from freshman midfielder Christian Flath.
Two minutes later, the Pirates tied the score with a goal of their own. The game remained tied at 1-1 for the remainder of the second period, leading to overtime.
Rider could not get anything going in overtime as it failed to take a shot on goal. Seton Hall also could not capitalize, taking only three shots between the two overtimes.
Freshman goalkeeper David Pastuna made nine saves to keep Rider in the game, but could only hold the Pirates off for so long. The game ended on a golden goal off of a corner kick in the 101st minute by Seton Hall’s junior midfielder Kai Greene.
The Pirates dominated possession, totaling 24 shots to Rider’s seven.
Head Coach Charlie Inverso believes his team was presented with enough opportunities, but was unable to capitalize.
“We need to score more goals,” Inverso said. “We are creating enough chances, but not converting.”
Despite the loss, Inverso was proud of how his team fought all game.
“Seton Hall is a quality team,” Inverso said. “The game could have gone either way and we battled them hard.”
This loss presented the first time the Broncs lost consecutive games all season, but they were able to get back into the win column with a 3-1 victory over Marist (1-8, 0-1 MAAC) on Oct. 5.
The win was Rider’s first MAAC victory of the season, opening in-conference play on the right foot.
Flath opened the scoring in the first half with his fifth goal of the season. He then helped set the table for the second goal, scored by sophomore midfielder James Greco, early in the second half.
Flath, who currently leads the MAAC with 15 points, credits his teammates for his successful season.
“There is not a special key to my success, I just try to play my game,” he said. “But, to do that, you need a good team.”
Marist quickly scored in the 49th minute to inch closer in the contest, but Rider pushed ahead 3-1 in the 65th minute on Walsh’s second goal in as many games.
Rider has had its most successful start to a season in decades and hopes to continue its success on Oct. 9, against St. Peter’s (2-4-3, 0-0-1 MAAC). This game will kick off a stretch of two games on the road.
Flath isn’t worried about how his team will perform, expecting a conference victory over St. Peter’s.
“We are a young team with talented guys,” Flath said. “We don’t worry a lot, we just want to play soccer. My expectation is always to win the match, and that will happen if we play great soccer.”