By Isaac Harris
On April 3, the women’s soccer team defeated a strong Manhattan Jaspers team 3-1 after coming off a hard loss at Fairfield earlier in the week.
The Broncs entered the game with a little adversity of their own with a recent loss against Monmouth on March 30 and the loss of some key players going into the game, including the team’s leading scorer sophomore forward Makenzie Rodrigues.
Despite the odds against them, the shorthanded Broncs came to the game prepared and ready to go. In the first half, the Broncs started making attempts to score immediately, which resulted in a goal at the 19-minute mark from freshman forward Jenny Skrumbis, the first in her collegiate career.
Keeping the high energy strong and fast-paced tempo from the first half, the Broncs pushed the lead to 2-0 with a goal at the 57-minute mark from senior midfielder Madeleine Tarin, her first of the season, off an assist from sophomore midfielder Camryn Dees.
Manhattan woke up in the second half, becoming more aggressive with nine shot attempts, all saves made. The offensive pick-up resulted in a last-minute goal from Jasper’s midfielder Lindsey Healy at the 79-minute mark. However, the game was decided a few minutes prior with Broncs sophomore midfielder Lindsey Maslow taking a tough angle shot that, from distance, looked like a save but resulted in a goal, securing the Rider win.
“We are [a] good team and it’s promising in the fall when we have all our bodies in place,” Head Coach Drayson Hounsome said of the win.
Hounsome was pleased with the energy given by the team and making the challenge of being overpowered and undermanned work to their advantage.
The Broncs took a “next man up” approach going into the game knowing that everybody was needed to secure the win and a playoff berth.
“Knowing our team was short-handed we knew everyone had to put in their best effort and play hard the entire game,” Maslow said.
Maslow added that clinching the playoffs was added motivation to securing the win, she believes that the team can make a deep run in the playoffs.
With securing the second win of the season and a playoff berth to add, the Broncs hope to take the momentum from their big win into the postseason.
“Our preparation is going to be on Tuesday’s game, but as well focusing on the playoffs making sure we have [an] enough healthy players ready to play,” Hounsome said.
Hounsome added that the week ahead will be challenging with the finishing of the regular season and entering into the playoffs undermanned due to fatigue, but remains hopeful after the April 3 win that the team has a lot of fight in them.
The Broncs concluded their regular season with a 1-0 victory against Saint Peter’s, to push their record to 3-1-2 on the season.
Forward Hailey Russell scored the Broncs lone goal with 30:45 remaining in the first half, it was the sophomore’s second goal of the season.
Russell’s goal was all the Broncs needed, with the Rider defense suffocating the Peacocks attack for all 90 minutes.
Saint Peter’s was able to get five shots on net, but freshman goalkeeper Ellie Sciancalepore stifled every chance the Peacocks had, en route to her first career shutout.
The Broncs will look to continue their winning ways when they play their first game of the MAAC Tournament on April 9.