By Steven Sica and David Pavlak
The early part of the schedule has not been to kind to the Rider men’s soccer team, as it is still searching for their first victory of the year heading into the Princeton Tournament which starts tonight and continues until Sunday.
The Broncs will face the hosting Princeton Tigers and the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). Even with the recent struggles the Broncs have faced in its winless season so far, Head Coach Charlie Inverso isn’t planning on straying from his usual plan of attack.
“We’re not making many changes to our game plan,” Inverso said. “These two teams have a similar game plan to ours. They like to move the ball around a lot so our offense will have to attack that strategy.”
Senior goalkeeper Matt Perrella, a standout between the posts for the Broncs, is trying to see the brighter side of things.
“[There are] a lot of the positives from the team this year,” Perrella said. “Mainly, that we have been attempting to create a culture of work hard and extra effort. We are fully aware that we may not be the most skilled team player-for-player, but as long as the effort to get better every day in practice is apparent then the strides to creating the culture we are looking for will fall into place.”
Princeton comes in with a 2-3 record with wins against Seton Hall and Villanova while UPenn is still looking for its first win of the season as well.
Perrella has seen flashes of what he believes the Broncs are capable of, and hopes that the Princeton Tournament is the perfect stage for all of it to come together.
“We possess the ball well in the back and in the midfield,” Perrella said. “We’re just having difficulty scoring goals. I think that soon enough some good things will happen with this team as long as we continue to persevere through the obstacles and work hard. It’s a game of minimizing mistakes and taking advantage of the opportunities given to you. We’re hoping to have the better of this fall [go] our way in future games.”
Inverso isn’t worried about the mix of young and new talent on the field.
“We have nine freshmen on the team this year so there is a lot of potential for the future,” Inverso said. “Every one of them has earned it and the more experience they get now, the better they’ll be later. I’m [also] very fond of our senior players. I hope that they can go out with a few more wins while playing for Rider.”