By Richard Saile
Rider women’s soccer traveled to Quinnipiac to take on the Bobcats with a trip to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament finals on the line, but in the end, the Broncs’ season concluded with a 1-0 loss.
The first half was scoreless, but the Broncs’ defense played well enough to keep the game close entering halftime. Rider’s defense was strong in the first half, preventing a goal and holding them to only one shot on goal.
The closest the Bobcats had to score a goal before halftime was in the 33rd minute where Quinnipiac pushed the ball toward the left post that Broncs goalie Ellie Sciancalepore saved.
The second half did not start out well for the Broncs notably in the first minute of the second half when Quinnipiac was awarded a penalty kick after a foul was called on Amanda Mendez. Courtney Chocol, the 2023 MAAC Golden Boot Award winner, converted the penalty kick to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead over the Broncs. The goal ended up being the only goal scored in the game. The Bobcats held on to win 1-0 to secure their third-straight MAAC Title Game berth.
After the match, Head Coach Drayson Hounsome said, “The team put out a really good second-half performance today and did everything they could to get into the MAAC Championship game. Being eliminated on a penalty call is hard to swallow but I am very proud of how hard the team competed as they really took hold of the game offensively and shut the opponent defensively.”
Broncs goalie Ellie Sciancalepore had four saves in the loss. The Bobcats outshot the Broncs 14-6 and had more shots on goal than the Broncs at 5-2.
Rider has made 11 straight appearances in the MAAC Championships and first semi-final since April 2021. The Broncs ended their season with a 7-9-2 record. When the Broncs started their season, they had a four game streak without scoring a goal, winning five of their next nine games which ended the regular season with a two game losing streak.
The Broncs made the quarterfinal as a six seed where they upset three-seeded Canisius and put up a great fight with top-seeded Quinnipiac in the semifinal. The Broncs close their 2023 Season with a record of 7-9-2.