By Michael Mack
The field hockey team traveled to Fairfield, Conn., Sunday to put its perfect record on the line in its first conference game against Sacred Heart. Once again, the talent and will of the team helped it to overcome the pressure of remaining unbeaten, and it was able to pull out yet another win, defeating the Pioneers 3-0.
Freshman Marlaine Schneider scored the first goal of the game for the Broncs to give them a 1-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Broncs poured it on. Sophomore Megan Pisani found the back of the net twice, scoring her 13th and 14th goals of the season. Those impressive numbers place her first on the team and fourth in the nation.
The defense was stifling as senior goalie Lyndsie Johnson, who was recently named Rider’s female athlete of the month for September, faced only two shots throughout the course of the game. Without making a single save, Johnson recorded her sixth shutout of the season, giving the Broncs their 10th win of the year. Going into the game, Johnson was fourth in the nation with a 0.48 goals against average.
“The 10-0 start is nice, but we know that the most important part of our season lies ahead,” Head Coach Lori Hussong said. “We divide our season into two, with the first half of games being used to prepare us for conference play.”
While there is no shortage of confidence on this undefeated team, Hussong and her players do not boast about their accomplishments on or off the field.
“We like to promote quiet confidence in our team,” Hussong said. “Really, our goal at the beginning of each game is to try and give our best effort so that in the end, win or lose, we can leave the field knowing we gave it our all.”
The Broncs have not trailed at any point this season and are one of only three undefeated teams left in Division I.
“We feel that our success has been, in part, due to the fact that we have been able to recruit student athletes who are hard-working and team-oriented players,” Hussong said. “This year’s squad is comprised of 20 individuals who always put their team needs ahead of their personal needs.”
The team is just getting into its NEC schedule as seven of its remaining eight regular season games will be against conference foes.
Next up for the Broncs is a conference road game at Monmouth today at 4 p.m. Rider then hosts Quinnipiac on Oct. 11 at noon.
By Michael Mack