On The Rise

Senior Stephanie Walker had two shots on goal in the Broncs’ 2-1 loss to LaSalle last Sunday.  The team travels to Siena on Sunday at 1 p.m. to take on the Saints in an NEC showdown.By Kristie Kahl
The field hockey team overtook another Northeast Conference (NEC) team in a shutout before losing to LaSalle in double overtime to wind up with a .500 record.

Senior goalie Jen LoCastro earned her first career shutout, making six saves, as the Broncs (5-5, 2-0 NEC) beat Robert Morris (2-8, 0-3 NEC) 1-0 last Friday.

“It was an awesome feeling to get my first shutout,” LoCastro said. “Everyone has been working so hard, especially the defense. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. I think we all deserved it.”

Freshman Lindsay Rajeski scored her second goal of the season in the 20th minute off of a pass from senior Stephanie Walker, giving Rider the win in its first conference match of the season.

“A major strength the team can take away from that game is that we can shutout a team, no matter who it is, if we are all willing to pull together and play for the whole 70 minutes,” LoCastro said.

Rider outshot Robert Morris 7-6 as the Broncs had only one penalty corner to the Colonials’ 10.

“We needed to beat Robert Morris to keep ourselves on top in the conference,” said LoCastro. “It wasn’t a strong win because we only won by one, but a win is a win.”

The team has beaten Robert Morris 5-0 in the past, but came up short in points this time around.
“It was nice to win against Robert Morris since it was a conference game but we played down to their level,” said junior forward Diana Celebre.

After improving their conference record, Rider fell to .500 10 games into the season with a 2-1 loss to LaSalle.
“We are so much better than our record shows,” LoCastro said. “Being .500 isn’t a good thing, but it isn’t the worst either. There’s plenty of room for improvement.”

LaSalle scored at the 14 minute mark, but Celebre responded with her third goal of the season with less than six minutes left in regulation play, forcing the teams into overtime.

“It felt good to tie since individual players worked so hard during the game that it gave us more confidence to try to score again,” said Celebre.

In the second overtime period, LaSalle’s Kara Harpel scored with four minutes left to end the game.

“We were disappointed to lose that game,” said LoCastro. “We’ve beat them every time we’ve played them in the past years that I have been here, so to lose was very upsetting. We did fight to tie the game and take it into overtime. It hurts to lose after playing so hard for over 95 minutes of hockey.”

LaSalle out shot Rider 18-7 and LoCastro made 11 saves, including four in overtime.

“It was disappointing,” Celebre said. “We know we are a better team but offensively we need to score more. All the teams we play are very talented and just scoring one goal during the game isn’t going to always help to win.”

Thus far in the 2007 season, the Broncs are 2-1 in their overtime encounters.

“We can improve on getting more shots on cage, so that we can score more goals, said LoCastro. “In the game of field hockey the team needs to work together. We’re coming closer and closer each day; we just need to keep working hard.”

Rider still finds themselves in second place behind Lock Haven in the NEC.

“Offensively we need to step it up,” Celebre said. “We need to shoot more on goal. The more we shoot, the more opportunities there are for the forwards to put the ball in the cage.”

Rider will continue their NEC schedule as they travel to Siena to take on the Saints this Sunday.

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