By Cristiana Votta
Coming off a win against Lehigh, the Rider field hockey team was unable to continue its recent success when they dropped a 3-2 decision to Columbia.
“We knew going into the game it would be an even match,” said Head Coach Lori Hussong. “Columbia is pretty much identical to us. We did not execute as well as we should have and that was the difference in the game.”
Upon completing their non-conference schedule, Rider’s field hockey team (7-4) looks to learn from its mistakes and prosper throughout the beginning of conference play.
“Anytime you lose, you hope you learn from the situation,” Hussong said. “I told the girls that they have to hate losing more than they love winning. It should be such a bad taste in your mind and your heart that you don’t want to ever feel. We need to approach every game like that and turn things around heading into conference.”
Going into conference play, the Broncs realize that they must keep bringing their best game every time they step on the field.
“We know that any team can knock us off and that we have to be ready,” Hussong said. “I’m hoping that we maintain the intensity that we did in the last game.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game against Robert Morris, the women had a similar game mentality.
“Honestly, I don’t really know how [Robert Morris] is going to be,” said junior Sandra Penas. “I know we’ve beaten them in the past but it’s not going to be easy. This year we need to play well in every game in order to win. We have to work hard every single minute we’re out there.”
Though Robert Morris has lost its last six games, they still have a tough team.
“They are a much stronger team this year,” Hussong said. “The fact that they have many foreign players on the field, some coming from Europe, creates a whole new dynamic for the team. I think they will be a little bit tougher than they have been in the past.”
Although Sunday’s game against Robert Morris will be just the first Northeast conference game for the Broncs, the girls have set goals toward achieving success and another conference title. The drive of play may have a simple change of energy heading into conference games.
“I’ve been telling the girls that conference play is precious because there is no room for mistakes,” Hussong said. “You have to be on and at least have your spirit and intensity on the field.”
Although the team doesn’t look to improve all aspects of its game, they have gained confidence in each other on the field.
“We’ve come a long way and are playing well together,” senior captain Jackie Adams said. “I think we just need to go out and play our game and play our style of field hockey in order to achieve success. We obviously want to win so we need to come out together as a strong unit and try and get an early goal.”