By Jillian Shutt
The field hockey team’s winning streak reached four games after Wednesday’s home matchup against Villanova. However, it was no easy task as the Broncs were able to edge the Wildcats in a tough 2-1 overtime victory.
“This was a big game for us. For a small school like Rider to beat a team like Villanova is impressive,” said sophomore Jaclyn Adams. “A lot of players really stepped up today and worked hard. Our determination and leadership on the field led to our success.”
Rider, who is 7-3 on the season, led most of the game 1-0 after sophomore Marlaine Schneider scored 21:39 into the game off of a loose ball. The Broncs were able to hold on to the 1-0 lead until there was 3:33 left in regulation when the Wildcats (3-7, 0-2 Big East) scored the tying goal.
In overtime, junior Virginia Egusquiza had the assist in Schneider’s game-winning goal that came 6:08 into the first overtime period.
“This win changes the rest of the season because it shows that we are able to compete with high level teams and that other teams should not take us lightly,” said Schneider.
This was a physical game for the Broncs, who received three green cards and two yellow cards throughout the duration of the game.
Rider outshot the Wildcats 15-7, including a 2-0 shot advantage in the overtime period. The Broncs also had an 18-9 penalty corner advantage, including two in overtime that set up the game-winning goal. The Broncs lead the nation in penalty corners, averaging 12.67 per game.
Junior goalie Rebecca Lotito allowed one goal on five shots to get the win.
“It was a very exciting game, and I’m so proud of everyone for sticking together and playing our best to get the win,” said senior Kristy Kelly.
This is the first time since 1993 that the Broncs have been victorious against the Wildcats.
The Broncs are still undefeated at home, winning all three of their games on the turf. The win also keeps momentum on the Broncs’ side as this was the last non-conference game of the year for Rider.
The only team in the conference with a better overall mark is Monmouth at 8-2.
Rider’s next game, which will begin a three-game road trip for the Broncs, is at Robert Morris on Sunday. This will be the first Northeast Conference game in 2010 for Rider. It then travels to Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart on Oct. 15 and Oct. 17, respectively.
Last year Rider was undefeated in the regular season in conference play. The Broncs are aiming to repeat as regular season champions in the NEC.
Rider’s next home game is under the lights against Bryant on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.