After ending last season with seven straight losses, the women’s soccer team is starting fresh this year under new leadership.
Head Coach Drayson Hounsome, who came to Rider after coaching at C.W. Post in Long Island for seven seasons, brings a positive attitude and an impressive résumé to the table.
“Last year we were as high as seventh in the nation and went to the NCAA Sweet 16,” explains Hounsome. “I was National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Northeast Regional Coach of the Year.”
Don Harnum, the Rider director of Athletics, is confident he made the right choice in hiring Hounsome, who stood out from approximately 80 other applicants for the head coach position.
“You’re looking for someone who has a proven track record with success at schools similar to Rider, which he had at C.W. Post,” said Harnum. “We also looked for someone who had recruiting ties in the area.”
Hounsome believes that there is no substitute for hard work on or off the field, and he is working hard to keep the team focused.
“We set team qualities which will distinguish us from other teams that we play,” said Hounsome. “The players focused on five qualities for the season as goals: dedication, unity, sacrifice, positivity and pride.”
In Hounsome’s outlook for the season, he told Rider Sports Information that he is “trying to get the losing out of their system” after last season. He also said that he is trying to change how the players respond to losing a game or giving up a goal.
The team started this season with 17 returning players, including sophomore goalkeeper Alex Post, who began the season strong. Post made a career-high 16 saves in the team’s 1-0 overtime loss to Towson earlier in the season.
The Broncs traveled to Colorado this past weekend to compete in the Northern Colorado Tournament. They returned home with two losses, falling 4-0 to Northern Colorado and 3-1 to North Florida.
The losses at Northern Colorado give the team a 1-5-1 record so far. However, the scores of the games this season are a better indicator of the talent on the team. Out of the first five losses, four of the games were decided by just two goals or less. Despite their record, the women are working hard to prepare for their upcoming conference games.
The team ended their losing streak from the Northern Colorado Tournament by tying Binghamton 2-2 in double overtime, making this Rider’s third game of eight that have gone into overtime.
Junior Natalie Sica scored 10 minutes into the second half for Rider to gain a 1-0 lead over the Bearcats. Binghamton tied the game with 18 minutes left in regulation time to put the game into two overtimes.
The Bearcats entered the game after shutting out their last three opponents, until coming up against Rider.
The Broncs outshot Binghamton 10-9, with nine of the 10 shots on net during the regulation halves.
Post assisted in the tie with four saves. She has collected 62 saves thus far in the season and finds herself having the 11th most saves in the nation.
The team will continue its game schedule on Sept. 27.