Soccer teams unable to get on track

Fairfield’s freshman forward Tucker Nathans tried to score on a header but is denied by Rider’s junior goalkeeper Randall Zapolski who had eight saves in the 1-0 loss to the StagsBy Charles Guthrie

The Rider soccer teams went 0-3 against conference opponents this weekend.

The men’s team (5-7-1 overall, 0-3-1 MAAC) came up on the losing end of two home games against Iona and Fairfield.

Last Friday, the Broncs took on Iona (6-7, 3-1) in their first home game of the MAAC season and lost 1-0.

The lone goal came at 27:03 into the first half when Iona junior midfielder Aly Lo scored on a header from 10 feet out. Senior midfielder Michael Ferenci tallied the assist on the goal.

Lo has been impressive for the Gaels and was selected by College Soccer News for its National Team of the Week.

Rider was unable to score despite outshooting the Gaels 14-5. Sophomore Nico Tramontana led the Broncs with four shots, three of them on-target shots.

Junior goalkeeper Randall Zapolski had one save for the Broncs and sophomore goalkeeper Nils Binstock had 10 saves for the Gaels.

Rider lost to Iona 1-0 last year when the teams met in New Rochelle, N.Y., but Rider still holds a 6-3-1 record against Iona since the series began in 1997.

Rider lost another tough 1-0 game to Fairfield (7-3-2, 2-1-1) on Sunday.

The game remained scoreless two-thirds of the way in until Stags senior forward Sam Bailey put one through the posts for the games’ only score. Sophmore midfielder Christian Uy picked up an assist on the play.

“Fairfield is a high-quality team,” Tramontana said. “They knocked off St. John’s this year and are always ranked very high within the college soccer rankings.”

The Broncs outshot the Stags 22-13. It was quite suprising that a game that featured 39 shots had only one goal.
Junior A.J. Parillo led the Broncs in shots with five, while senior Lee Tomasso and Tramontana each had four.

“There was a volley I had that went to the defender that just happened to be standing on the goal line to knock it out,” Tramontana said. “[Parillo] had a well-taken volley that went straight to the defender’s head on the goal line also.”

For the Stags, junior defender Tom Clements had three shots, and Bailey had four to go along with his goal.

In a game that had shots coming from all angles, the goalies were pretty busy and both played well. Zapolski made eight saves for Rider, and sophomore Matt Cleveland had seven saves for Fairfield.

This isn’t the first time the Broncs have been down this season. After losing their first three games, they went on to win five of their next six. The team has now lost its last three MAAC games. Tramontana said this team has what it takes to bounce back.

“We are playing amazing soccer, probably the best that anyone has seen in a long time,” Tramontana said. “We were in a slump earlier and we were able to get out of it.”

The women’s team also lost a close one to Loyola 1-0 last Saturday, Oct. 13.

The game was scoreless for more than 61 minutes until midfielder Theresa Ferraina booted one from the outside box for the game’s only goal.

Rider (5-4-3, 1-2-0) was unable to put a lot of shots on net as they were outshot 13-2 by Loyola (5-5-2, 2-0-1).
Freshman midfielder Lauren Musumeci and freshman forward Kara Perkoski had the only shots taken for Rider.
Freshman goalkeeper Alex Post had four saves for Rider while sophomore Brittany Henderson had one save at net for Loyola.

Henderson has been stellar in net for Loyola and was announced MAAC Player of the Week for the third time this season.

After blowing out St. Peter’s 5-0 in its conference opener, the Broncs have lost their last two conference games with a 2-1 win against Delaware State sandwiched in between.

The women’s team looks to get back on track today as it travels up to play Niagara at 3 p.m.

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