By Josh Veltrie
Although many of the teams at Rider this year had successful seasons or had members of their squad win individual accomplishments, only the women’s swimming and diving team was able to win a MAAC championship.
Men’s swimming and diving and women’s cross country also had a strong year, as they both finished second in the MAAC while field hockey came in second in the Northeastern Conference. Third place finishes were grabbed by men’s basketball in the MAAC and wrestling in the CAA.
Men’s cross country placed fifth in the MAAC. As for the rest of Rider’s sports, none of them finished the 2008-09 campaign with a .500 record or better, although baseball, softball and track and field have not yet finished their seasons.
Men’s and women’s tennis combined for six wins throughout the year, none of which came in conference play. The soccer teams finished with four total wins, two each for women’s and men’s, with both teams picking up one conference win.
The golf team finished the year this past weekend, placing sixth out of nine teams in the MAAC championship. Volleyball finished the season with nine wins, two of them within the conference and women’s basketball went 10-20, going 7-11 in the MAAC.
Three individual MAAC records were set by women’s swimming and diving on their way to winning the conference championship. Senior Priscilla Modrov broke her own record in the 200 fly, junior diver Amanda Burke set the three-meter record and junior Kellyanne Tomasula broke her own MAAC record in the 200 backstroke.
For the men, sophomore Drew Modrov and senior Josh Rosenbluth led the Broncs to their second place finish. Modrov won the 100 freestyle and in the preliminaries he broke the pool record set by Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. Rosenbluth won the 200 backstroke breaking a MAAC record in the process.
Men and women’s swimming and diving also did extremely well in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships as the men placed third out of 26 and the women finished second out of 23.
Junior Lyndsie Johnson led the field hockey team to its 13-7 record with her consistent performance at goalie. Johnson was rewarded for her stellar play by earning National Field Hockey Coaches Association Second Team All-Region honors.
Women’s cross country was led by three All-MAAC performers. Seniors Megan Crowe and Kelly Wojciehowski placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 6,000 meter course at the MAAC Championships. Freshman Heather Giovagnoli placed 14th, which helped her also receive All-MAAC honors.
Men’s basketball finished the season with a 19-13 record overall and 10-6 in conference play, ending their season in a double overtime loss to Niagara in the semi-finals of the MAAC Tournament. Considering the Broncs lost a current NBA player to graduation last year, Jason Thompson, most people would say they exceeded expectations this season thanks to the stellar play of junior Ryan Thompson and freshman Novar Gadson. Thompson was named to the Metropolitan Writer’s Association First Team and collegeinsider.com’s Mid Major All-American Team. Gadson was named to collegeinsider.com’s Freshman Mid Major All-American Team.
Wrestling’s season was highlighted by senior Doug Umbehauer, who earned All America honors while placing third in the nation in his weight class at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. He celebrated his 100th career victory and is only the third Bronc to finish third in the nation, a Rider best. Junior Ed Bordas also had a solid season, winning a CAA title, the second of his career.
Baseball is currently 20-17 overall, giving them fourth place in the conference, and in good shape to make the postseason.
Softball is 14-30 overall but is tied for fifth in the conference and still has a chance to make a run and get into the postseason.
Track and field will compete at the MAAC Championships this weekend and are looking to cap off an up and down season on a high note.