By Allie V. Riches
The unbeaten record of the women’s soccer team walked into its games against New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Columbia hoping to continue early momentum. Rider was shutout in both games, 5-0, and, 1-0, respectively.
The Broncs started their season off strong, winning their first two games and tying against Fairleigh Dickinson in their third game of the season to become 2-0-1.
Coming into the match, NJIT had lost two close games and were looking for its first win of 2019.
Even though Rider had the better record, it had not defeated NJIT since 2016. The Broncs were unable to break the losing streak and lost to the Highlanders 5-0 on Sept. 5
“We were very happy with our performance. We played really our best game of the season,” Head Coach Drayson Hounsome said. “There were areas of the game where we performed stronger than them, but the only area that counts is the ball going into the back of the net, and they were much stronger than us in that area.”
Leaving only two days for recovery, Rider hosted Columbia on Sept. 8, which it had only faced once prior in program history.
The Lions held the Broncs scoreless and outshot them 13-0 en route to a 1-0 victory and handed Rider its second loss of 2019.
“I believe last year’s game [against Columbia] was similar to this year’s game,” Hounsome said. “They had the better of the performance last year. We were fortunate to score on a penalty kick and a free kick last year, so we took our opportunities. Today, of course, they are a strong team, and it was tough for us to create those opportunities because defensively they are a very good team.”
Even though Rider lost and allowed the lone goal in the 50th minute, it kept pace with Columbia for most of the first half. The team hoped to improve its offense before Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play, according to Hounsome.
“It’s really about our performance and what we can control. We do need to work on finishing and some shooting,” Hounsome said. “It’s not really something we have been spending some time on. We have really been working on defending.”
The Broncs currently sit at 2-2-1 with two games left before MAAC competition.
“We look really strong. At least the back four that we have, like defense. We’re doing a great job moving the ball from the back,” said junior goalkeeper Carmen Carbonell, who has a .708 save percentage. “I think we will look good in the MAAC championship.”
The Broncs host Delaware State on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. with the game broadcasted on ESPN+. They will continue their homestand on Sept. 15 against Temple at Ben Cohen Field at 3 p.m.