Rider propels winning streak to five games

By Logan VanDine

Following a slow start to the season, along with playing most of their games on the road, Rider field hockey has seemingly found its stride, winning both weekend games against Stone Hill and Bryant and seeing their streak of victories extend to five.

‘A total team win’

Despite Stone Hill coming into the game with a record of 2-7, the Broncs still wanted to come out strong. Thanks to a 4-0 lead in the opening quarter, the Broncs cruised past the Skyhawks taking the first of two weekend matches by a final score of 8-0 on Oct. 14.

The scoring started fast for the Broncs in the opening minute of the game, as freshman forward Semra Said notched the first goal to give Rider an early 1-0 advantage. 

The scoring did not stop there, this time being senior midfielder Sierra Giuliano who initially ripped a shot on a corner that missed before scoring on the rebound to make it 2-0. The Broncs added two more in the first, making the score 4-0.

After being held to just a single goal in the second quarter by freshman forward Valeria Perales, the Broncs sealed the win for good in the third quarter with junior midfielder Kiera Guckavan putting the icing on the cake by scoring the eighth and final goal of the game giving the Broncs their fourth straight victory.

“Today’s game was a total team win where several players had a hand in putting the ball into the cage. Our attack played with confidence and took advantage of their opportunities and our defense played tough,” Head Coach Lori Hussong said. “We are improving and our younger players are gaining more confidence and experience as the season goes on.”

Perales said that this was a major step forward from her previous matchup against Sacred Heart, both as a team and as an individual.

“I think that this game was a great improvement from the last one. We made a great game by passing and transferring the ball. That made the opponent open spaces and gave us the opportunity to create offensive plays and score the goals,” Perales said. “For me, my play was a little down. I wasn’t really feeling my best, but thanks to my teammates I was able to score two goals. Over the whole game I got the chance to get more focused and give my teammates good chances to score or to create a positive chance for us.”

Five straight for the Broncs

After her team extended its winning streak to five-games with a 4-1 win over Bryant, Hussong said she “could not be more proud” of her team. 

After the Broncs fell behind 1-0 early in the first, they held the Bulldogs in check from there, scoring two goals in the second and one each in the third and fourth to get themselves to 5-1 on the season.

“Today’s game was extremely physical in nature, and our team kept their composure and after a slow start stepped up to the challenge. Bryant played tough, and despite the score, gave us everything we could handle,” Hussong said.

Said, who was responsible for two of the Broncs’ four goals, expressed her happiness in her performance along with her team’s play as well.

“Today’s win was a well-deserved win because this was one of the most physical and mental games we played. We played with fire and with heart, which is really important especially when they scored the first goal,” Said explained. “We didn’t let them bring us down, we kept fighting, and turned the game around in a spectacular way. The first quarter was tough because we weren’t awake, but after the first 15 minutes we brought our energy up and fought because we were the leaders of the game.”

With the Broncs now at 9-5 and on a five-game winning streak, Hussong knows that her team is playing hard and tough and the results have proven it.

“Overall, we are so happy for our team as they are working so hard to qualify for the playoffs. Their team camaraderie and team-first mentality is really a key to our success and every single player is accepting their role and giving all they have to each other. We couldn’t ask for anything more,” she said.

The Broncs will look to make it six in a row when they head to New York, to take on Long Island University on Oct. 21 and then return home on Oct. 23 to face Wagner.

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